Species Covered: Spectacled Caiman
Other species covered by this care sheet: Dwarf Caiman, Culverís Dwarf Caiman, Yacari Caiman, Piranha Caiman
Characteristics: Males tend to grow faster and they get larger. Average male can be 6 feet, female 4.5 feet. Life expectancy is 75 in the wild. Unknown in captivity.
Sexing: When the cloaca is large enough to put your pinky in, you can sex them. This usually doesn't happen until they are about 3 years old or about 3-4 feet. I donít recommend probing, because a slight miss can ruin your caiman's reproduction chances.
Mostly Active: Night. They are nocturnal by nature.
Land and Water Needs: Take the length of your largest caiman and use 2 x that amount for the width and 3 x that for the length of the water area. Have enough land area around it for them to bask and turn around comfortably.
Lighting and UVA or UVB: UVA and UVB for daytime and heat elements without light for night time, when they are kept indoors.
Temperature: 85-90 degrees for air and water
Chicken (not too much because the additives can affect their offspring and breeding). Live fish in the pond at times (not too much because the oil and scales can be detrimental if used in abundance). Dead fish, deer, steak, any raw meat, road kill, rabbits, bunnies or squirrels.
Supplements: Reptile calcium and vitamins on occasion. Especially if feeding them meat without bones for a while.
Maintenance: Clean the filters regularly and be prepared to refill the pond occasionally.
Breeding: Usually during the rainy season (spring). Mothers can lay between 20-40 eggs.
Other Information: No matter what you are told, they do not "only grow as large as their enclosure" and you can NEVER tame them. There is 250,000,000 years of killer survival instinct going on that has not had to make any real changes in all that time. If you're looking for a pet that will fetch your slippers, this is not the animal for you! And when it bites you, it will hurt.