Lizards

Oops, She Did it Again

Yesterday afternoon.

I’d just brought the kids home from school.  I told them they could hang out or whatever for about half an hour before starting their homework.

I was in the kitchen working on dinner.

Bill wasn’t home yet.

And then, a loud cry interrupted the peace.

“MOM!  ANOTHER EGG!”

~~~

This is getting ridiculous.

Now, I’ve told you about THE egg, and our discovery when we returned from Seattle a month ago. 

What I didn’t mention, between then and now, was the nesting behavior the kids and I observed one day.

Alex said he saw another egg.  He showed me a little tiny bit of off-white in the dirt and substrate of Cricket-Catcher’s tank.  Right in the same area where she’d laid THE egg nearly two months before.

And then the lizard herself was behaving rather oddly.  She was poking at the substrate with her nose, and scratching at it with her front feet – much like the cats do when they’re digging in their litterboxes.  We watched, mesmerized, for a small eternity. 

And, of course, I took some pictures.

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We watched her do this for a while…and then, suddenly, she was finished.

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She turned,

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And went to sit on the piece of wood nearby.

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And there she sat.  We kept watching, but she didn’t do anything else. 

At first I thought maybe she was burying an egg she’d laid earlier.  But then I wondered if she was preparing the spot for a new egg.  I kept watching her, hoping she’d suddenly produce an egg.

But she didn’t.

Later that day, when Bill got home, we told him about the excitement, and he decided to feel around in the substrate to see if there was, in fact, an egg.

He found two of them.  Two shriveled eggs.  No idea when they were laid, no idea if they hatched, and she ate the babies…(well, they do that), or if they weren’t viable, or what.

But still.  Two more eggs. 

That was a couple of weeks ago.

Back to yesterday.

Here’s the egg:

Egg That’s it.  That oval-shaped white thing with dirt and stuff stuck to it.

Oh, there was quite the effervescent mood around here yesterday.

And then Bill got home.  The prospect of another baby lizard isn’t so exciting to him.  If we leave it in the tank to hatch, odds are Cricket-Catcher will eat the baby as soon as it moves.  But if we’re going to hatch it, we need to move it to yet another tank.  Not the one Lucky is in, either, because he may be small, but he’s still a predator, and he might see the hatchling as a challenging but tasty meal, much like my son sees the half pound burger at the restaurant up the street.  So that would mean…a third lizard tank.  And yet another quest to find the hatchling a good home. 

We did not set out to breed Cuban Knight Anoles.  Heck, we didn’t even have anything to do with the breeding.  At least, not that we know.  We don’t think Dinoraptasaurus (R.I.P.) was the father, but who knows.  Not that it matters, really.  Two and a half years after fraternizing with a male, or three – it’s still pretty incredible.

~~~

So, as of this writing, the egg is right where we found it. 

I think some sort of decision will be made today…and I’m thinking the egg will get a separate tank.  We have a small – 5 gallon – tank that currently holds Bluey’s smaller fish-shaped tank.  (Bluey is Alex’s Betta, or Siamese Fighting Fish.)  Anyway, we’d put the smaller tank inside the slightly larger tank to keep the kittens (when they were still kittens and VERY inquisitive) away from the fish.

But they’re big now – too big to fit up near that little tank – so maybe…maybe we can take the fish-shaped tank out of the other tank and maybe there won’t be any horrible consequences to the fish.

We’ll see.

And I”ll keep you posted.

4 thoughts on “Oops, She Did it Again

  1. I do think this is one of the coolest lizard stories I’ve ever heard. I do think your local university might be awfully interested, if this isn’t already documented behavior/biology for anoles.

  2. Lynne,

    Apparently female lizards can store sperm until they decide to use it. The weird thing here is that most of the stuff Ive read (and Ive read a LOT this summer!) has them storing for around 7 months to a year. This lizard, Cricket-Catcher, hadnt been with ANY other lizards for two and a half years (the green anole we had) and another half year (pet shop) before that. So shes been storing this a loooooooong time. Very unusual. The other possibility is parthenogenesis, which would be the lizard fertilizing her own eggs. Either way, its quite amazing.

    And yes, females can lay unfertilized eggs as well. No idea if its a random thing, or if the lizard somehow determines whats going on inside the shell. So well have to wait and see about this one.

  3. You know, I hadnt thought of that, Sprogblogger! Weve been focusing on pet stores and, maybe, the local zoo. Didnt even think about the university or colleges around here. Thanks!

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