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Kidov A. A. Growth, Survival and Live Feed Utilization Efficiency of the Hyrcanian Meadow Lizard, Darevskia praticola hyrcanica (Lacertidae, Reptilia) in Captivity. Current Studies in Herpetology, 2020, vol. 20, iss. , pp. 35-42. DOI: https://doi.org/10.18500/1814-6090-2020-20-1-2-35-42


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598.112.23:591.16

Growth, Survival and Live Feed Utilization Efficiency of the Hyrcanian Meadow Lizard, Darevskia praticola hyrcanica (Lacertidae, Reptilia) in Captivity

Abstract

The paper presents materials on growing and winter hibernation of the Hyrcanian meadow lizard, Darevskia praticola hyrcanica, in artificial conditions. Juveniles were obtained from the captive breeding of lizards caught on the typical locality of this subspecies (Gadazyghahi Natural Boundary, the Talysh Mountains, Astara District, Azerbaijan) in the first decade of May, 2016. Immediately after leaving the eggs, newborn lizards were placed in groups of 5 specimens each into plastic 39×28×28 cm containers. Six groups were formed in total, and our research involved 30 lizards. The animals from the first three containers received only two-spotted crickets, Grillus bimaculatus, as feed (the control group). The lizards from the second three containers ate speckled cockroaches, Nauphoeta cinerea only (the experimental group). The feed was offered to the lizards every other day. The growing lasted 450 days. The weight gain, survival and feed costs per unit weight of the animal (feed coefficient) were investigated. After growing the animals were placed into wintering rooms, where they were kept without feeding for 60 days at a temperature between 4–11ºC. It was noted that during 450 days of growing the cockroach-fed lizards did not differ in weight from the cricket-fed animals. The feed coefficient of young meadow lizard growing with cockroach (11.7–14.3) was similar to that of the animals that ate their traditional food, crickets (12.3–12.7). The survival rate of young lizards in different containers for 450 days of cultivation on both feed types was 100%. The lizards that ate cockroaches showed a better survival rate (100%) in the period of winter hibernation than the animals from the control group (86.6%).

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