An egg is slit by a baby monitor just prior to emergence.
The nose peaks out.
The head emerges.
A head from another egg.
My female argus monitors have layed many clutches of eggs over the years, but this is the first clutch I have managed to hatch. The clutch was layed on May 20 or 21, 2000 in a rubbermaid tote filled with damp potting moss. There were 12 eggs in the clutch, but 9 of these quickly died. The remaining three were placed in tupperware containers on a substrate of vermiculite moistened until it was just barely damp to the touch. The tupperware containers were placed in a Hovabator brand incubator for incubation. The eggs were checked daily. About two months prior to hatching, I left one corner of the tupperware lid slightly open for better oxygen exchange. This resulted in the containers loosing moisture rapidly, so damp pieces of potting moss were placed over eggs that appeared to be drying out, and re-wetted as needed. One egg pipped on 12/31/00, and fully emerged on 1/01/01. At hatching, mass was 45 g. A second pipped on 1/01/01 and emerged by 1/02/01. Hatching mass was 40 g. The third pipped on 1/02/01 and emerged later that day. Hatching mass was 40 g.
Since hatching, all three have thrived. They are growing like weeds! I am calling one of them Figure Eight, due to a pair of merged ocelli on her back near her hips. Another is named Dash for an elongated ocelli, and a third is named dot due to no particularly unusual markings.
Dash is by far the largest. This is why I assume he is a male. He is bold and somewhat friendly - he squirms a bit when picked up, but comes up to the front of the cage when I aproach because he wants food!
Figure Eight is the friendliest of the three, although she is still squirmy and jumpy. She is an absolute pig, and will stuff away an amazing amount of food.
Dot is still shy. She likes to hide, and feels nervous when I am around. Becuase of this, she eats less than her sister and is consequently smaller.
July 22, 2003. It is obvious by now that both Dash and Dot are males, while Figure 8 is female. This shows the danger of trying to sex monitors when they are still young.
Dot and Figure Eight. Figure Eight is the one towards the back, you can see her figure eight mark just above her hips.
Another picture of Dot and Figure Eight.
All three hatchlings. Dash is the larger, darker lizard.
Figure Eight's identifying mark.
Figure Eight, a close-up.
This time with tongue.
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