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Alligator Lizards Cannibalistic?

Discussion in 'Alligator Lizards' started by orgetorix, Jul 21, 2017.

  1. orgetorix

    orgetorix New Member

    Hello, a few weeks back, I found a pretty large (6"+ body only) alligator lizard in my garage. I scooped it up and placed it into an empty enclosure I had. It's set up with a potting soil substrate w/ leaf litter on top and a hide.

    Almost immediately (within an hour) the lizard had buried itself and I hadn't seen it for several days. Since then, I'd estimate that it spends roughly 25% of it's time out and about, 25% in the hide and 50% underground.

    I recently returned home from work to find that it ha freshly shed and was on top of the hide, basking... also in the enclosure were at least 3 babies. I tried to capture them but they were quite fast and delicate so I gave up the chase. It has been two days now and I have yet to see them again. They blend in quite well with the substrate so unless they move it can be tough.

    My concern is that the mother went through all the work of having those babies just to immediately eat them. What are the chances of this?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi, I`ve never kept the species but it wouldn`t make much sense in an evolutionary way if mothers regularly preyed on their own young (unless they didn`t want more kids)! I think it`s likely the hatchlings are still close by and still alive. If you were disturbing them it`s perfectly natural for them to stay hidden.
     
  3. orgetorix

    orgetorix New Member

    Thanks for the reply. It's very possible that they are still there. I guess my concern was based off the fact that in the wild they probably would't be in such close proximity to their offspring.
     
  4. AmityReptiles

    AmityReptiles Well Established Member

    This rarely happens, and the reason is not strictly known.
    Some venture that it is the mother thinking the conditions won't support the young and they will die, so she eats them for energy to mate and produce more offspring for hopefully a more opportune time.
    But it hasn't been proven, and sometimes it appears to happen in good conditions as well.
    I wish I knew more about this particular species, but I think it likely (especially if she is well fed and well supported) that they simply are hidden or escaped at some point.
     
  5. orgetorix

    orgetorix New Member

    Thanks for everyone's help. I did some poking around and did find 4 babies this weekend. They all appear healthy and happy and even chased down some baby crickets.

    Any idea an average clutch size is?
     

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