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Dying Anoles

Discussion in 'Anoles' started by jj silva, Apr 12, 2018.

  1. jj silva

    jj silva Member

    Hello, my name is JJ Silva. I was interested in reptiles ever since i was around 7 or 8 years old. I am 15 now and I adopted two green anoles of an unknown age.

    They were doing well for about seven or eight months in their converted 20 gallon long paludarium. In it I had a couple basking spots and an artificial green plant, as well as a tiny waterfall section separated by coconut husk substrate. When I adopted them from PetCo, they were approximately six to seven inches long, including their tails. Their ribs were sticking out and I rescued them, although it wasn't much of a rescue if I paid the full price of seven dollars each for the pair, which I assume was a male and female judging by the shape of their heads and mating signs.

    The male would always stay towards the top and as soon as the female would make her way up, he would flare and run away. However, I slowly observed that the table turned, and the female would occasionally flare at the male.

    After I attempted feeding them small sized mealworms, the male would not eat. I kind of blew it off because I thought that he may not be hungry, until it was weeks at a time where he wouldn't eat, but only drink the water I would spray on the glass twice a day: once before school and once I came home after.

    The male started to get extremely sluggish and had difficulty opening his eyes. I grew panicky, and started regularly giving him eye drops and baby food, until he passed away about a week ago. I observed that there appeared to be burn marks behind his eyes.

    The female would still eat, but later I realized that she wouldn't eat but drink as well. This went on for about three days, until I was faced again this morning. I regularly check up on them. I looked into the paludarium and saw that she was at the top basking. I brushed my teeth and by the time I came back out, she was wasn't there anymore and before I sprayed the cage I looked for her, only to see that she was on her back in the leaves. I went to poke her because she did not like being handled, and her hand twitched. I didn't want to have a burial (because I give my pets a funeral after they pass) just in case she was still breathing. I came home and she was not breathing in the same spot she was seen. I grabbed her and examined the body, and saw that she had the same burn marks behind her eyes as the male did.

    They have a 60 watt UVB and heat bulb, a standard Target desk lamp, the basking spot was about 90 degrees, and I maintenanced the paludarium once every two weeks. They have clean water. I'm 15, I don't smoke or vape, and I don't put anything foreign in there. The only things I can suspect are that there's a candle that I light every day in close proximity of it, or they had a parasite in their eyes from infected mealworms. I am very intrigued to find out what caused their deaths.

    Does anybody know what could have caused this? Were there symptoms before I should have noticed? Is there any way to prevent this from happening again if I adopt any more reptiles?

    Thanks in advance,
    JJ Silva
  2. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi do you have a few photos of the whole enclosure including a top view, and can you say how you measured the ambient (air) and basking surface temps plus the humidity range?
  3. Atroxus

    Atroxus Well-Known Member

    I am sorry to hear that your anoles died. :( Hopefully the guys/gals here will be able to help you get an idea what the cause was though.
  4. jj silva

    jj silva Member

    IMG_1737[1].JPG IMG_2069[1].JPG
    sorry but i dont have anymore pictures of it, I already gave it away to my uncle who couldn't afford one and wanted to get into the reptile world as well. I hope the few that I have taken already are sufficient. As for the air and humidity, I had a thermometer and hydrometer in the tank, but it was registering at around 90 degrees in the basking spot and 70 to 80 percent humidity IMG_1737[1].JPG IMG_2069[1].JPG IMG_2066[1].JPG IMG_2072[1].JPG IMG_2917[1].PNG IMG_2918[1].PNG IMG_2919[1].PNG . IMG_1737[1].JPG
  5. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Thanks for the photos and more details. I get the impression it has a screen top which would have made it extremely difficult to stabilise both the temp and humidity ranges, if the hygrometer was analogue it`s likely to have been quite inaccurate (as much as 15% +) meaning you had no way of knowing what the actual conditions were.
    A digital hygrometer is normally more accurate and quite cheap at around $13 or so, but you would also have needed an IR (infra-red) "Temp-gun" to measure the basking surface.
    I think if what I`ve suggested was the case, it`s the likeliest reason for the deaths.
    To create a "self contained" environment the enclosure should be covered as completely as possible (including the whole top) to prevent loss of heat and humidity, if the tank doesn`t have a solid lid you can temporarily use kitchen foil/similar to cover it.
  6. iRene

    iRene Elite Member

    When they are stressed anoles will develop black spots behind the eyes. That may explain the burn.
  7. jj silva

    jj silva Member

    Yes I did have glass on the top, which cracked after having the heat right on it. I moved it up a bit and that seemed to work out quite well.
  8. jj silva

    jj silva Member

    So would it be safe to say that they died from the amount of stress they were under? How would I fix this for next time?
  9. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    I would say they died because the conditions didn`t support them, mostly in terms of the temps and humidity. If you intend to start again you`ll need to invest in a digital hygrometer, an IR Temp-gun and also cover any screen as completely as possible, otherwise you`ll lose much heat and humidity and the same thing is likely to happen again.
  10. jj silva

    jj silva Member

    Okay thank you so much!

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