The influence of incubation temperature on phenotype of Australian painted dragons (Ctenophorus pictus)

  • Published source details Hansson A. & Olsson M. (2018) The influence of incubation temperature on phenotype of Australian painted dragons (Ctenophorus pictus). Herpetologica, 74, 146-151.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Breed reptiles in captivity: Lizards

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Reptile Conservation
  1. Breed reptiles in captivity: Lizards

    A replicated study in 2016–2017 in New South Wales, Australia (Hansson & Olsson 2018) found that Australian painted dragons Ctenophorus pictus bred successfully in captivity, and that hatching success was not affected by incubation temperature but was higher during the early breeding season. Females produced 1–4 clutches, with an average of 4 eggs/clutch. Overall hatching success was 60% (66 of 110 eggs) and hatching success was similar across all incubation temperatures (68% at 28°C; 56% at 30°C; 57% at 32°C). In addition, hatching success was higher for eggs laid earlier in the season (data presented at statistical model results). Wild-caught dragons were housed as breeding pairs in cages (50 x 40 x 35 cm) with a sand substrate, basking area, and sandy area for egg laying. Temperatures fluctuated between 15–25°C. Eggs were removed (110 eggs from 19 females) and placed in individual plastic cups (125 ml) in moist vermiculite (1:5 ratio with water by volume), and the cups were sealed with plastic cling wrap and a rubber band. Eggs from each clutch were split evenly between three incubation temperatures: 28, 30 or 32°C (110 eggs overall). Eggs were checked daily and those that failed during incubation were removed.

    (Summarised by: William Morgan)

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