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Successful breeding of Cuora (Pyxidea) mouhotii

Yvonne G

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Seven newly hatched Cuora (pyxdea) mouhotii obsti. Five more eggs still in the incubator...View attachment 283199
Oh man! You lucky duck! I took in a rescue male mouhotii several years ago. He was a wonderful little turtle. Right off the bat he was friendly with me. He had three legs and one eye. I would have kept him but I knew nothing about the species and I worried about our cold weather here. Judging by my only experience with the species, like I said, you're one lucky duck!
 

jonathan gray

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You are correct on so many levels here Yvonne; the original group I had (all imports) arrived dehydrated, heavily parasitized, and 'circling the drain' by the time I got them. It was sheer luck that, out of the original eight, I was able to salvage one very libidinous male and two fecund females. The information about them out there at the time was scanty and sometimes just, in my experience, wrong. For example, almost every author writing about this species identifies them as being primarily herbivorous. The adults are strongly carnivorous but may eat certain fruits (pineapple and banana being favorites), when offered. The adults' diet consists of nightcrawlers, fuzzies and hoppers, snails and Mazuri Aquatic Turtle Diet, which some will eat dry from a feeding bowl. Neonates and youngsters are exclusively carnivorous but may begin sampling fruits after a year or so. Also most of the literature states that they are a tropical turtle and must be kept warm and humid but that has not been my experience either. Adults and youngsters seem to be most active in the 70 -75F range, with adults actively foraging and mating when temps dropped into the 50F range. The hatchlings had been kept at 82 -85F but have really perked up and are much more active now that I maintain temps in the 70s. I live in upstate NY so 'outside time' for tropical turtles would be fairly limited. I usually put them outside in May when the temps stay reliably in the 50s - 70s range, and they remain outside until October or even November -I make sure that they have plenty of straw and leaves to bury themselves during the cooler nights, and then bring them back inside once there's a threat of frost. I was able to acquire another adult pair this past summer, so the two males are house individually inside, while the females are housed communally. The females seem to get along well together, at least I have not observed any squabbling or bullying among them. The indoor pens in which I keep them are made of plywood and measure 6' x 3' x 18". Substrate is cypress mulch. There are hides placed in the enclosures along with soaking pools which some use frequently, others not so much.I spray the enclosures every day to maintain humidity. I will introduce the females to the males, one at a time, in each of the males' enclosures. This usually illicits an immediate and aggressive mating response from the male. These encounters are closely supervised as the males are capable for inflicting serious damage to the females if left unchecked. I have heard from another breeder that this will result in double clutches but that has not been my experience. When I put them outside, I house one male with two females. The outdoor pens are large enough and overgrown enough that the females are able to find cover to avoid any unwanted advances from the male. I rotate males every two weeks or so. By the bye, when talking about diet, I saw a male capture, kill and eat an sparrow that dared to bathe in the male's soaking pool. That I witnessed it once would lead me to believe that it may have occurred before. I know the females are gravid and ready to nest when I observe them getting very restless when normally they are quite sedentary. I bring them inside and place them in nesting boxes containing eight or so inches of dirt with a basking light overhead. They will dig several 'test nests' before finally depositing their eggs. My smaller female produced eight eggs in one clutch this year, resulting in seven hatchlings. The larger female deposited six eggs which are still incubating. The third female which I acquired this summer has done nothing.010.JPG 013.JPG
 

jonathan gray

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This is the first baby to pip from the second clutch of six eggs which was deposited by 'Big Mama' on 16 Sept 2019. One of the eggs cracked and molded about a month ago; time will tell about the remaining four eggs. This baby will make a total of eight hatchlings so far from my two breeding females.!!t40_1487201792649-221493007183319186434905n.jpg
 

Turtle girl 98

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This is the first baby to pip from the second clutch of six eggs which was deposited by 'Big Mama' on 16 Sept 2019. One of the eggs cracked and molded about a month ago; time will tell about the remaining four eggs. This baby will make a total of eight hatchlings so far from my two breeding females.View attachment 283724
Awh good job! I love looking at this thread to see if your babies hatched they are beautiful
 

jonathan gray

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I am very happy to report that all ten baby obsti are eating and doing very well indeed. I watched them stalk and catch isopods yesterday; for newborns, they're pretty stealthy! This photo was taken after eating, now going in for a morning soak.Thank you God, for letting me be part of this miracle once again!80996552_10218166012796505_4655027353750077440_n.jpg
 
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jonathan gray

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I've had these two, lone remaining eggs in the incubator; the last egg to hatch was 16 December (nine days ago).I figured I'd let them sit until New Year's and then I would discard them and retire the incubator until next season. And then the largest egg from the clutch of six began to pip! To be born on Christmas day! If it wasn't blasphemous I'd name him Jesus!
So with this hatching, that brings the total number of neonate obstii to eleven: 7 live babies from a clutch of 8 eggs and 4 from a clutch of 6. The babies are growing and thriving, eating minced earthworms, live isopods, meal worms and snails. I've put several small jar lids containing their crushed up eggshells, which I have observed them consuming for their calcium. There is still one more egg to go so I will continue with my watchful waiting.Merry Christmas!!!!b.jpg
 

jonathan gray

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Came home from Christmas dinner and the last egg, # 12 is pipping. From the first clutch of eight, seven hatched; from the second clutch of six, five hatched bringing the total to 12 neonate C.(P.) m.o. :tort::tort::tort::tort::tort::tort::tort::tort::tort::tort::tort::tort:
 

jonathan gray

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Two Cuora (Pyxidea) mouhotii obsti babies; same father, different mothers. Not much difference in their size: the eggs from the second clutch were huge, as were the babies that emerged002.JPG 003.JPG
 

jonathan gray

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Both clutches. At the top are ‘Big Mama’s babies; she laid six eggs, five hatched. The bottom ones belong to the smaller female; she laid eight eggs, seven hatched. All are doing very well, eating, stalking isopods and crickets, and exhibiting that curious and feisty behavior that makes them such wonderful animals. The babies in the bottom half of the photo are about a month older than the ones at the top.006.JPG
 

jonathan gray

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This is the ‘new’ male obsti’ that I acquired this past summer. Hopefully he’ll add a new bloodline to my breeding stock001a.jpg
 

jonathan gray

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This little guy was one of seven hatchlings from a clutch of eight eggs that were deposited on 25 August 2019 and hatched in mid-November. I am happy to say that all twelve hatchlings (from two clutches), are doing great; eating, exploring and growing. They are eating minced night crawlers, live crickets, isopods and Omega One turtle sticks. I can't wait until Spring so I can get these guys outside in a semi-naturalistic environment.82334452_10218396409236272_5827517450912006144_n.jpg 83748356_10218396409476278_6649915336323760128_n.jpg 82354771_10218396409756285_2521107452989014016_n.jpg
 

jonathan gray

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By the bye, I offer the babies the same fruit that the parents eat (banana, pineapple, mango and papaya), which they studiously ignore. In my experience, the young ones won't show an interest in fruit for several years yet.
 
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