The Hatching Season is Upon Us

Here at the Glor Lab we’re in the second year of a major anole breeding experiment.  Specifically, PhD student Anthony Geneva is completing the second generation of an experimental study of reproductive isolation that was the subject of his poster at the Evolution meetings this past summer (see this previous post on Anole Annals for more on this poster).  I’m happy to report that egg production thus far has been steady and that the we’ve had hatchling emerging for a few weeks now.  In the photo above, you can see a baby just emerging from an egg in the foreground and other eggs individually incubating in vermiculite in the background.  We’ll have more to report on this experiment in the coming weeks.  We’re particularly interested in sharing information on how we’ve encouraged breeding this year by manipulating light and humidity, and in learning how others might have tried to do the same.

11 thoughts on “The Hatching Season is Upon Us

  1. Excellent Post! We would like to learn more about the techinques of breeding in captivity and try it in some species of Anolis from Ecuador. But we need to get a good incubator. You could recommend us a incubator?

    Thanks, best wishes,

    1. Fernando,
      We don’t use an incubator. Instead we maintain our lizards and incubating eggs together in a room with controls on temperature, duration of light and, to some degree, humidity. I will write a follow up post in the next few days with details on the particular settings we use.

  2. Very interesting! Would you consider posting additional information and pictures regarding the husbandry techniques used for your breeding groups?

  3. A common husbandry experience is that moving the eggs doesn’t do much good for the incubation chances. Those females are pretty clever in seeeking out the right place to deposit.. And if it isn’t the right place they sometimes ( in A. aquaticus) use their mouth to replace the egg..
    But once the caretaker thinks he knows better, things get worse most of the time..

    1. An interesting suggestion Peter, but I think your comment is off the mark. We have a very well-established protocol for incubating eggs that is extremely efficient and effective. We lose very few eggs during incubation, and when we do there’s usually evidence to suggest the egg was never fertile or failed very early in development. There is no question that eggs maintained under this incubation protocol are better off than they would be if we left them where the females laid them.

      1. Well, I am refering to Anolis aquaticus and Anolis lineatus here. There is a drawback in letting the egges where they are deposited. You have a rather small timeframe available for catching the juves before one of the parents does..
        May I ask if you have ever noticed any TSD-effects in anoles, bred under your protocol? A friend of mine ha the problem with A.oxylophus, having only males hatched out of some twenty eggs.

        1. We’ve never seen evidence for TSD in our anoles. Anoles have a genetic sex determining mechanism that generally involves heteromorphic sex chromosomes (in A. carolinensis, the sex chromosomes are heteromorphic but histologically cryptic). It’s not completely outside the realm of possibility that anoles would have TSD, but this isn’t something that’s been validated experimentally.

  4. Looks like you guys are doing great with this; I’m kind of surprised you haven’t had to drop the night temperatures in winter.

    1. We actually only manipulated light cycle to get the animals reproductive this year. We usually drop temperature too, but we weren’t able to make this change this year because we needed to rear the animals in a common garden experiment at the same temperature throughout their lives. We have some evidence that reproduction is also tied to humidity of our lizard facility and hope to post more this sometime soon.

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