Hosted by uCoz
Russian Journal of Herpetology

Vol. 3, No. 1, 1996, p. 99

© Yu. Kaverkin(1), N.L. Orlov(2)
1) Moscow Zoo, 1, B. Gruzinskaya ul., Moscow 123242, Russia
2) Zoological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences 1, Universitetskaya nab., Petersburg 199034, Russia.
Submitted November 3, 1995.

The patterns of geographical distribution of eublepharid lizards show that they are relicts of formerly diverse circumtropical group of lizards. According to classification of Kluge (1987) they are considered as superfamily Eublepharoidae Boulenger, 1883. The recent forms (about 20 species) are distributed from equator (Holodactylus africanus, H. cornii, Aeluroscalabotes felinus) to 38 of north latitude (Eublepharis turcmenicus, Coleonyx variegatus) in America, Africa, and Asia (Wermuth, 1965; Scherbak and Golubev, 1986; Grismer, 1988).

Asiatic eublepharids belong to three genera: Aeluroscalabotes Boulenger, 1925; Goniurosaurus Barbour, 1968 and Eublepharis Gray, 1827. The most species of these genera are rare lizards with very limited distribution range. They are objects of our program of reproduction and captive breeding (Kaverkin et al. 1994; Kaverkin and Orlov, in press).

One of the rarest species of Eublepharis genus, Eublepharis turcmenicus, inhabits Kopet Dag mountains in the southern Turkmenistan and northern Iran. In 1994 we succeeded to have successful captive breeding of this species. The group of captive breeding includes 3 individuals (2 males and 1 female) which were kept from 1990. In 1992-1993 preparing E. turcmenicus to reproduction we used the methods traditional for E. macularius captive breeding that gave no positive results and we have received no fertile copulation. In 1994 we used prolonged hibernation (3 months) with relatively low temperatures of 13-14°C. The geckos were brought out the hibernation in March and were kept separately for a month.

Then the males by turns were placed to the cage with female. During night time a number of copulations were noted. Diurnal temperature was 25-26°C. The more warm place with substratic temperature 35-37°C was organized in the cage. The night temperature fall to 20-23°C.

Two eggs were laid June 5, they were buried to sandy substrate on the depth of 8 cm. One of these two eggs was lost during its incubation; after 57 days of incubation under 27°C the newborn female was hatched from the second egg. Its length with tail was 83.5 mm.

The food of newborn lizard includes small crickets and Galleria melonella with addition of vitamins (Osteoform, Reptal, Reptovit). In the age of 18 month, after hibernation the young female was brought to the male. It shows the clear indications of gestation now. The mating behavior is very similar with E. macularius, we also noted the vocal communications (the low twittering) of male and female before the copulation.

We would like to express our deep gratitude to N.B. Ananjeva, I.S. Darevsky (Zoological Institute, St. Petersburg, Russian Academy of Sciences) for their consultations, S.M. Shammakov (Institute of Zoology, Turkmenian Academy of Sciences), B.S. Tuniyev (Caucasian State Biosphere Nature Reserve), and S.V. Kudryavtsev (Moscow Zoo) for their help in providing of this materials.

Grismer L.L. (1988) "The phylogeny, taxonomy, classification, and biogeography of eublepharid geckos (Reptilia, Sauria)", in: Phylogenetic Relationships of Lizards Families, R. Estes and G. Pregill (eds.), Stanford Univ. Press, Stanford, pp. 369-469
Kaverkin Yu., Mamet S., and Toriba M. (1994), "Husbandry and reproduction of the Eublepharid Gecko Goniurosaurus kuroiwae splendens in captivity", Akamata, 10, 23-26.
Kaverkin Yu.I. and Orlov N.L. (1996) "Captive breeding of cat gecko, Aeluriscalabotes felinus", Dactylus, in press.
Kluge A.G. (1987), "Cladistic relationships in the Gekkonoidea (Squamata, Sauria)", Misc. Publ. Mus. Zool. (Univ. Michigan), 173, 1-54.
Scherbak N.N. and Golubev M.L. (1986), Geckos of the Fauna of USSR and Adjacent Countries [in Russian], Naukova Dumka, Kiev.
Wermuth H. (1965), Gekkonidae. Pygopodidae. Xanthusiidae. Das Tierreich. Lief. 80, Berlin.