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Successful breeding of Cuora (Pyxidea) mouhotii

Discussion in 'Terrestrial turtles' started by jonathan gray, Dec 28, 2017.

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  1. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Tortoise Club

    Jan 23, 2008
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    Clovis, CA
    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 likes this.
  2. jonathan gray

    jonathan gray Active Member 5 Year Member

    Sep 9, 2014
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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
    TammyJ likes this.
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