OK, I have this captive produced female named Anak Igor who has laid a few clutches of eggs at her young age of four years old. It must be said she is a VERY territorial female, she has done more damage to cage mates than any other lizard I care for. Both males and females I’ve observed her chasing and biting again and again, she has caused some serious wounds in doing so. Picasso another of my captive produced males who had mated with her prior, she nested, 100% hatch and after about two weeks after nesting she turned into a mental case who would chase and try to bite Picasso any chance she got, I will state this is normal behavior from a “nest guarding” female and the time from laying until she is in all out hate the world mode can differ. She was removed from that main enclosure and put into a grow-out enclosure, a few months later she was re-introduced and all was good, Picasso again mated with her and that clutch is currently incubating.
She again went into this “crazy mode” of trying to kill anything around her which was Picasso but this was many months after nesting so this type of behaviour is seen in only one other female under my care so its not common , the sad bit is Picasso is just as big as her and has defended himself in the past and she tended to calm down after he stood up to her. It’s when the male reacts in a non aggressive way by running away that she is on full commando mode and will chase and bite him. During this period I had fallen ill and could not do anything so she had about a week of beating up Picasso, poor guy who is fully recovered now but looks rough. So, when I was able too I moved her back into the grow-out cage where she was housed for a few months. She fed ok but had days where she refused food and I thought she was not happy in this enclosure.
I decided to move her into the main enclosure with Igor who she would not dare mess with but with other animals she would and has chased about. But whats interesting is she went right into digging, like she was nesting, she did not look gravid but I have seen this with her in the past, not looking gravid but laying eggs but these events where always after mating so I was expecting eggs. A few weeks went by, she was back feeding very aggressively and she would go back to this nest site and dig from time to time. Another female also housed here had just got done with a cycle and who I believe is gravid now and thats who Igor gave all his attention too. Anak Igor did not attract Igor at all at this time. Couple weeks go by and I could see signs of what I thought was Anak Igor starting a cycle and sure enough Igor got interested, spending a few nights together in the pond where I believe they mated. I thought great she is into a proper cycle but much to my surprise she broke away from Igor and went back to nesting.
She had a “nesting” egg laying type of day where she started to dig early afternoon and went on into the night and in the morning I observed that she was back filling and covering where she appeared had nested, she even looked a bit deflated. I thought she was messing with me to be honest but I couldn’t not check the nest so I went into egg search, no easy task as this nest site is about three feet down and on a ledge and about five feet off the ground, my chest still hurts from trying to get my hand down into the space against these rocks. I dug and dug and dug and found nothing. Upset and exhausted I just left the spot as I finished. Within ten minutes she came back and backfilled it again after I was done. I thought WTF, she is really committed to screwing with me. She remained around the nest site and a day later up comes Igor, (CCTV Photo Above) obviously smelling something, I thought eggs and I decide to let him do the digging and I would keep a close eye on him, he started to dig into her nest spot which did not make her happy, she is smart enough not to bite him but she did try to disturb him and his digging, I watched from my CCTV cam saying to my wife if Igor comes out with an egg in his mouth I will need to try to get there very quickly and figure out how to move this giant lizard up on a ledge from a now food source he has found. So, I watched and he dug and Anak Igor protested, she even covered with dirt where he had dug. He was getting aggressive in his digging and I could tell he smelled something but every time he came up for air and a look around he had found nothing. He gave up but came back a second time and dug again and the same results. I never seen a feeding reaction and no eggs.
My conclusion is or my speculation is either this female has nested so well both Igor and I cannot find her eggs or she has had some kind of false nesting. What is really intriguing is that there must be a scent in the nest spot to attract Igor up to it, this is not a spot he frequents too often and he especially does not dig here ever. As I said he dug pretty aggressively, I could hear the dirt falling down into the pond and I thought wasting all that dirt, still Igor came up with nothing and gave up after two tries, I would not expect him to give up if there where eggs in that nest. Funny thing too is right after Igor moved off the nest she went right back to backfilling and guarding type behavior again. I am VERY happy I made very natural nesting site throughout my enclosures but man its a real bitch to reach/find and carefully remove the clutch, these females go to great lengths to safe guard there offspring and I have the greatest respect but boy do I miss the days of breeding Bengal Monitors where I just had to reach into the enclosure and remove the eggs. No easy task to find well made nest in my enclosures! I will add everything in my body is telling me she laid eggs when I look at her, she is feeding like crazy and body reduction is easy to see and she is now in full on psycho bitch mode, its this time where its very dangerous for the other females but to be honest she has only targeted the two male Axanthics for her hatred or her "postpartum psychosis" thus far one of which is bigger then her.
I am very happy & proud to report since I got back into breeding Varanids in 2018 I have produced 86 (various) forms of Albino V. salvators and that includes the worlds first "Super form" or as I called them Snow-Blind, for a total of 23 heads to date. 54 "normal" HETS (various) forms have been produced as well for a total of 143 CB Biawak. Some VERY exciting pairings are taking place now so I am hopeful to produce some more high quality biawak
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