Successful breeding of Cuora (Pyxidea) mouhotii

Hutsie B

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that is great news. best of luck with all 11. I hope they all hatch into thriving babies.
 

jonathan gray

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I am not overly optimistic about these recent clutches: eleven laid, eleven banded...two ended up exploding, three have mold that I am always wiping off and the rest are looking 'iffy'. Yesterday one pipped, I am keeping my fingers crossed for the remaining bunch. 1
 

jonathan gray

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Well, it's taken me this long to shake off my disappointment-induced lethargy to write the final chapter on this most recent clutch which, no matter how one choses, was an unmitigated disaster from beginning to end;
As I had previously written eleven eggs from my two females (six from one, five from the other), all banded but eight died at various stages in their development. Some died after they 'veined', some others seemed to come close to term before they died. Three eggs produced live hatchlings, one came out with a crooked neck which I hoped would resolve itself but it didn't...it died two days after hatching. The two remaining babies seemed healthy, active and feisty when I picked them up to examine them but they seemed indifferent to food. Then, a few days later I found one of the remaining two dead: to all appearances it was a healthy baby except it was dead. Two days later the second baby died. Again, nothing to indicate anything was wrong except they did not demonstrate much interest in food...and I tried everything: chopped up earthworms, bloodworms, four different types of pellets. They would pick but I did not see an 'active feeding response' that I had become used to with previous clutches. So the bottom line is I have no hatchlings this year and I have no idea as to what could have gone wrong. I did everything the same as I have in the past: incubation media, temps, humidity etc., all identical. The only variable was that I did not feed the adults as heavily with terrestrial snails as I have in the past. They got their snails but not in the same abundance. Other than that, their diet was the same as before: banana, pineapple, worms, pinkies and fuzzies, pellets, etc.
I'm at a total loss as to what could have gone wrong. If anyone has any insights to share I would be grateful to hear them. These obsti have been my pride and joy for years and their fecundity told me I was giving them what they needed to thrive and breed. I don't wish to sound melodramatic by saying this has broken my heart but I am heart broken.
 

zovick

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Well, it's taken me this long to shake off my disappointment-induced lethargy to write the final chapter on this most recent clutch which, no matter how one choses, was an unmitigated disaster from beginning to end;
As I had previously written eleven eggs from my two females (six from one, five from the other), all banded but eight died at various stages in their development. Some died after they 'veined', some others seemed to come close to term before they died. Three eggs produced live hatchlings, one came out with a crooked neck which I hoped would resolve itself but it didn't...it died two days after hatching. The two remaining babies seemed healthy, active and feisty when I picked them up to examine them but they seemed indifferent to food. Then, a few days later I found one of the remaining two dead: to all appearances it was a healthy baby except it was dead. Two days later the second baby died. Again, nothing to indicate anything was wrong except they did not demonstrate much interest in food...and I tried everything: chopped up earthworms, bloodworms, four different types of pellets. They would pick but I did not see an 'active feeding response' that I had become used to with previous clutches. So the bottom line is I have no hatchlings this year and I have no idea as to what could have gone wrong. I did everything the same as I have in the past: incubation media, temps, humidity etc., all identical. The only variable was that I did not feed the adults as heavily with terrestrial snails as I have in the past. They got their snails but not in the same abundance. Other than that, their diet was the same as before: banana, pineapple, worms, pinkies and fuzzies, pellets, etc.
I'm at a total loss as to what could have gone wrong. If anyone has any insights to share I would be grateful to hear them. These obsti have been my pride and joy for years and their fecundity told me I was giving them what they needed to thrive and breed. I don't wish to sound melodramatic by saying this has broken my heart but I am heart broken.
Very sorry to hear this news, Jonathan. I don't have any ideas as to what may have happened, but wanted to wish you better luck in 2022.
 

Markw84

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I'm at a total loss as to what could have gone wrong. If anyone has any insights to share I would be grateful to hear them.
Jonathan

I am becoming more and more a believer in the extremely important value of calcium to female egg producing chelonians. I have seen similar things to what you describe with both aquatic turtles and tortoises. It seems if not enough available calcium, the eggs can look OK but calcium levels don't seem there initially in the yolk and enough calcium uptake from shell chelation does not make up the difference. I have no scientific backup for this, just personal theory and observation. Hatch rate will be lower. Hatchling vitality is lower. Reduced interest in feeding. With tortoises in particular, the shell is softer and never seems to begin ossifying. Hatchling mortaility is high.

Your own assessment of the lack of snails in the diet adds to this theory. Snail shells are about 97% pure calcium carbonate. An excellent source of calcium for a turtle or omnivorous tortoise. I would do everything you can to boost calcium to the breeding adults this year and see what the difference is.
 

jonathan gray

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Jonathan

I am becoming more and more a believer in the extremely important value of calcium to female egg producing chelonians. I have seen similar things to what you describe with both aquatic turtles and tortoises. It seems if not enough available calcium, the eggs can look OK but calcium levels don't seem there initially in the yolk and enough calcium uptake from shell chelation does not make up the difference. I have no scientific backup for this, just personal theory and observation. Hatch rate will be lower. Hatchling vitality is lower. Reduced interest in feeding. With tortoises in particular, the shell is softer and never seems to begin ossifying. Hatchling mortaility is high.

Your own assessment of the lack of snails in the diet adds to this theory. Snail shells are about 97% pure calcium carbonate. An excellent source of calcium for a turtle or omnivorous tortoise. I would do everything you can to boost calcium to the breeding adults this year and see what the difference is.
This makes sense, especially since the only variable that changed was the amount of snails in the adult's diet. Thank you!
 

jonathan gray

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Jonathan

I am becoming more and more a believer in the extremely important value of calcium to female egg producing chelonians. I have seen similar things to what you describe with both aquatic turtles and tortoises. It seems if not enough available calcium, the eggs can look OK but calcium levels don't seem there initially in the yolk and enough calcium uptake from shell chelation does not make up the difference. I have no scientific backup for this, just personal theory and observation. Hatch rate will be lower. Hatchling vitality is lower. Reduced interest in feeding. With tortoises in particular, the shell is softer and never seems to begin ossifying. Hatchling mortaility is high.

Your own assessment of the lack of snails in the diet adds to this theory. Snail shells are about 97% pure calcium carbonate. An excellent source of calcium for a turtle or omnivorous tortoise. I would do everything you can to boost calcium to the breeding adults this year and see what the difference is.
I do not claim to be a malacologist, but I know that snails possess a gland which produces calcium for their shells. That gland must have some nutritional value for turtles
 
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