Wednesday, July 25, 2007

An Affection for Ackies

I've always had an affection for lizards. It began during my childhood when I caught countless "fence lizards" on the cedar fence posts surrounding the old Bedford Cemetery. That affection recently resurfaced when I obtained a small colony of Ridge-tailed dwarf monitors, commonly called Ackies, in a trade with High Plains Herp. The eagerly awaited shipment arrived last Tuesday and consisted of 2.2 Red Ackies (Varanus acanthurus acanthurus) and 1.1 Yellow Ackies (Varanus acanthurus brachyurus). I already housed a sexually mature red male that I recently purchased (as a pet for Darlene!) at the San Antonio Expo.


Although still relatively rare, the Ackie's small size makes it an ideal monitor for both the first time reptile keeper and the serious breeder. Darlene and I have found them to be very personable and overall friendly, although we've both been bitten by Darlene's pet! I am housing them in 20 gallon long aquariums with an elevated rock surface directly under a 85 watt plant bulb. They have been readily accepting peach fuzzie mice, dusted crickets and scrambled eggs. It is written they breed easily when given tons of food and lots of heat.


Well, it didn't take lots of heat to induce the yellow pair to breed. Within half an hour out of the shipping box, they were breeding! It was raining in Brownsville when they arrived and temperatures were even on the cool side for mid July. Maybe weather conditions played a role in their eagerness to breed. But, I've witnessed them breeding on two separate occasions since that first day. The female has been investigating her new nest box so, hopefully, we'll be incubating Ackie eggs in the not too distant future! Stay tuned!

1 comment:

darlene said...

Pet? You forgot to tell him that pets are not supposed give need for a 'band-aid' when handling!

Tip For Herpers:
Giving your wife a 'pet' ...whatever... is a way to get her to accept new animals. Jim has conceived and perfected this method nicely.