1-The Angel Island chuckwalla (Sauromalus hispidus)
SAUROMALUS hispidus in the hive
The Angel Island chuckwalla (Sauromalus hispidus), also known as the spiny chuckwalla, is a species of chuckwalla lizard belonging to the family Iguanidae endemic to Isla Ángel de la Guarda (Guardian Angel Island) in the Gulf of California. The species was transported to other islands by a tribe of the Seri as a potential food source.
Angel Island chuckwalla
Near Threatened (IUCN 3.1)
Taxonomy and etymology :
The generic name, sauromalus, is a combination of two Ancient Greek words:σαῦρος (sauros) meaning "lizard" and ομαλυς (omalus) meaning "flat". Its specific name hispidus is Latin for "coarse" or "thorny" in reference to the spines on the chuckwalla's tail.
The common name chuckwalla derives from the Shoshone word tcaxxwal or Cahuilla caxwal, transcribed by Spaniards as chacahuala.
The Angel Island chuckwalla is the second-largest species of chuckwalla, reaching 44 cm (17 in) in body length and 64 cm (25 in) overall length, and weighing up to 1.4 kg (3.1 lb). It is considered a gigantic species as it is two to three times the size of its mainland counterparts. Its body color is a dark brown color with transverse black bands which fade into a solid darker brown to black color as the animal ages.
Distribution and habitat :
The Angel Island chuckwalla is endemic to Isla Ángel de la Guarda and 10 smaller islands in the Gulf of California.
Behavior and reproduction :
Harmless to humans, these lizards are known to run from potential threats. When disturbed, the chuckwalla inflates its lungs, distends its body, and wedges itself into a tight rock crevice.
Males are seasonally and conditionally territorial; an abundance of resources tends to create a hierarchy based on size, with one large male dominating the area's smaller males. Chuckwallas defend their territory and communicate with one another using a combination of color and physical displays, namely "push ups", head-hobbing, and gaping of the mouth.
Angel Island chuckwallas are diurnal animals, and as they are exothermic, spend much of their mornings and winter days basking.These lizards are well adapted to desert conditions; they are active at temperatures up to 102 °F (39 °C).
Mating occurs from April to July, with five to 16 eggs laid between June and August. The eggs hatch in late September. Chuckwallas may live for 25 years or more.
Chuckwallas prefer dwelling in lava flows and rocky areas with nooks and crannies available for a retreat when threatened. These areas
are typically vegetated by creosote bush and cholla cacti which form the staple of their diet as the chuckwalla is primarily herbivorous. Chuckwallas also feed on leaves, fruit, and flowers of annuals, perennial plants, and even weeds; insects represent a supplementary prey if eaten at all.
Human contact :
The Comca’ac considered this species of chuckwalla an important food item. So much so, a few lizards were cross-bred with San Esteban chuckwallas and translocated to most of the islands in Bahia de los Angeles: Isla San Lorenzo Norte, Isla San Lorenzo Sur, and Tiburón Island by the Seri people for use as a food source in times of need. This was before the founding of America and most of these populations appear to have died out, but the process was repeated by herpeticulturalists in the early 2000s as a way of legally producing a San Esteban-like chuckwalla that the average reptile enthusiast could keep. The crosses are fertile and seem to have the best traits of both species - the brighter coloration of the San Esteban chuckwalla with the calmer temperament of the Angel Island chuckwalla.
For the external links , refrences click here to read the full wikipedia article
Angel Island & Common Chuckwallas(척왈라)
Other websites :
Care Articles :
- SAUROMALUS HISPIDUS
courtesy to : www.agamen.nl/Engels/iguana/sauromalushispidus.html
The distribution of the Sauromalus hispidus,also called Angel Island Chuckwalla is on the Island “Isla Ángel de la Guarda” (Baja California, Mexico) and the surrounding Islands, San Lorenzo Norte en Sur Islands in the Gulf of California.
The climate is characterised as a semi-desert to desert climate with large temperature differences between day and at night time. The area is very dry. The habitat consists mostly of rocks, trees and cacti, but there are always places with sand nearby for the females to lay eggs. The Angel Island Chuckwalla is very territorial, and lives in small groups of 1 man and several females. From December to March, they will hibernate. Chuckwallas are diurnal animals, mostly found basking on the rocks during the day. They will retreat to their caves when they sense any danger or when the temperatures get too high. If there are several dry years in a row this can lead to great numbers of death among the hispidus. The Angel Island Chuckwalla also likes to climb the trees and cacti in search for the flowers and the fruits.
Sauromalus hispidus can have a total length of about 60 cm half of with is tail. An adult Angel Island Chuckwalla weighs about 1,5 kilo. They are sturdy, strong lizards with a big broad head and neck. The are great diggers and are often found in burrows. The have a dark brown almost black colour, and their body is covered with small spiny looking scales. This gives the Sauromalus hispidus his prehistoric appearance.
Chuckwallas are sun loving animals, and they are really active during the day, so it is recommended to provide a large enclosure with a minimum floor space of 250cm x 100cm. Kamiel keeps his hispidus in a cage with the dimensions : 290cm x 100cm x 75cm. The bigger the enclosure the easier it is to keep a temperature gradient that is good for these lizards. By making a back wall in the enclosure with several different levels you can create extra floor space. Play sand can be used as substrate, but also a clay sand mix with sand or peat. Provide a proper decorated dessert terrarium, you can use rocks or flagstones, etc, (make sure to secure them well so they can not fall and crush the animal) but also lighter material as stumps, branches and bark is used. provide adequate shelters (min. 1 per animal). Chuckwallas love narrow hides, keep this in mind when decorating your enclosure. As Chuckwallas are true sun lovers there can never be an excess of light in the cage. For the heating of my terrarium I use a 60 watt flood lamp, and a 100 Watt self ballasted ReptileUV UVB lamp. In order to create the right temperature gradient you must have more than 1 lamp. An average daily temperature should range between 30 ° C-32 ° C. Under the basking spot the temperature can go up to 55 ° C +, under the other spot 45 ° C. It’s important to have a temperature gradient in your enclosure, in other words make sure you have a hot spot for the animal to bask, and a cool end so your chuckwalla can regulate his own temperature. In the cooler places and in some shelters, the temp should be approximately 25 ° C to 29 ° C. A night temp of 15 ° to 20 ° is enough, so you probably do not have to worry about the night temps. During the summer months, I keep the lights on for approximately 12-14 hours a day. In winter times I slowly reduce this lighting to 6-8 hours of light a day. Very important in the chuckwalla enclosure is an UVB light bulb, I use a 100W self ballasted ReptileUV. Due to the UVB the animal will create D3 witch is important for its health. Besides that, lizards are able to see more colours than humans, some of witch are in the UVB spectrum.
My animals get a nice and fresh greens salad everyday. Main component of this salad is endive. Supplemented with paksoi, bean sprouts, various types of lettuce, chicory, alfalfa, grated carrots, dandelion (if any) grated pumpkin etc.. In the enclosure there also is a dish with bird seeds, red lentils and bee pollen, which are also eagerly taken. As a treat I give them a grasshopper once and a while. Especially when the female is pregnant, I give her slightly more animal protein. I supplement my greens every second feeding with a vitamin / calcium supplement. My Sauromalus hispidus always has a big appetite, and every day he’s waiting for me to fill his food bowl. He also is a messy eater, unlike some Uromastyx species who can very delicately pick something from your hand, the hispidus is likely to bite in your hand while eating. The humidity in the terrarium is low. One of the shelters can be kept slightly moist so that the animals can withdraw to it when they need. Normally, the animals will take the necessary moisture from the food (greens) offered. I do not have a water dish in the enclosure, and did not offer any water the last 2 years, but I do slightly mist the enclosure once a week. I always offer fresh greens daily. If your female is pregnant or the animal is sick you can offer a small and shallow dish with water.
I have seen mating with my animals several times, but unfortunately the fertility rate of the eggs so far is very low. This might be due to the fact that my females are still young. So far breeding the hispidus seems a little more difficult than breeding the aters.
Incubation of the eggs
In 2012 Kamiel had his first clutch of 16 eggs, unfortunately only 6 eggs were fertile. After 80 days at 31-33 Celcius 4 eggs hatched. This year (2013) I found 18 eggs, but again only 3 this time were fertile. The are still in the incubator as we speak.
Raising the juveniles
Raising the juveniles is roughly the same as the care of the adult animals. The first 2 / 3 months are very important, if the will survive this period, they will probably grow into beautiful big animals. The young animals can be raised together the first 3 months, be careful to watch them closely for aggression, and make sure all animals are eating properly. The slightly weaker animals must be separated so that they can get extra attention. It is wise to give your juveniles the fresh droppings of the healthy adult animals they will eat from it witch will be good for the bacterial in their stomach and intestines. It is also said to be nutritious for them. In addition, they eat the same as the adult chucks. But I have a small dish of water in the enclosure of the young animals, and I spray it twice a week lightly, so they can lick the drops of the enclosure walls. By spraying around the water dish, you will trigger the small animals to drink from the static water in the cup.
The Sauromalus hispidus is a large and lively lizard and will adapt well to captivity if provided the optimal conditions. For this large lizard that means a large enclosure with a temperature gradient, UVB and a variety of fresh vegetables. Especially for the advanced hobbyist this animal is a beautiful challenge to keep and breed. To establish a healthy captive population we will need a lot more breeding results.
Desert Lizards Captive Husbandry and Propagation (door Randall L. Gray) Krieger Publishing Company Malabar Florida (ISBN 1-57524-160-9)
Sauromalus & Dipsosaurus Verzamelnummer (SDGL / verschillende auteurs)
Reptilia (The european herp magazine) nr. 48 The Genus Sauromalus with notes on keeping and breeding Sauromalus ater (auteur Harry Wölfel)
- Sauromalus hispidus (Chuckwalla)
Black Giant Chuckwalla
courtesy to : www.chuckwalla-reptiles-tirol.at/sauromalus-hispidus/
Sauromalus hispidus comes on the islands of Angel de la Guarda, Cabeza Caballo, Flecha, Granito, La Ventana, Mejia, Piojo, Pond, San Lorenzo Norte, San Lorenzo Sur and Smith in the Gulf of California, Mexico!
All these islands are located in the phytogeographical region "CENTRAL GULF COAST" which is dominated by xerophilic plants and where a seasonally hot and dry climate prevails (Grismer 1994b)
The main activity time is in the late spring and early summer, although animals were observed outside their caves in the middle of March (Grismer 2002)
During the hot summer months, the animals sun themselves only in the morning hours and shortly before sunset, while they are largely inactive throughout the day (Case 1982)
During the cold season, from the end of October to the beginning of March, the Chuckwallas (S.hispidus) only come out of the cave when the air temperature rises sufficiently on individual warm days.
The animals mainly eat leaves and seem to prefer them to fruits, seeds, flowers and stems;
In general more parts of herbs, bushes and trees are eaten than from cacti and grasses (Sylber 1988)
SAUROMALUS hispidus Male
SAUROMALUS hispidus Juvenile Group
SAUROMALUS hispidus Male femoral pores
SAUROMALUS hispidus Female (Gravid, Pregnant)
SAUROMALUS HISPIDUS (chuckwalla)
REPTILES CHUCKWALLA (SAUROMALUS HISPIDUS AND VARIUS
REPTILES/ SAUROMALUS HISPIDUS BABYS/ CHUCKWALLA
sauromalus hispidus eating an apple
Paarung von Sauromalus hispidus ( Chuckwalla)
CHUCKWALLA ; SAUROMALUS HISPIDUS KURZ VOR DER EIABLAGE
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