Northern Blue-Tongue Skink Babies — May 2021

First batch of babies caught me by surprise because it was none of the gravid females that seemed most primed. The mother, Elektra, is a young 3-year old that was produced by a breeder back East and is reputedly of Turner – White & Sunset stock. These are ‘lineage’ terms that I don’t take too seriously as they are very vague and tell us absolutely nothing about the lines of descent from the original Australian Tiliqua scincoides intermedia populations.

However, the family genealogical tree of any Northern — as far back as it goes — is always interesting as it can tell us which skinks are related, where they were bred, and maybe some interesting information on its predecessors and their predominant traits. Generally, I try to breed animals that are not closely related to each other just to avoid potential health issues that could show up with excessive inbreeding.

Elektra was a difficult mom because she essentially refused to eat during her entire gestation (pregnancy) and became overly thin. Last year on May 13th, she produced 8-live healthy babies; no infertile ova, no stillborn babies. This year, on May 16th, Elektra produced 10-live robust babies; no ova, no stillborn babies. Next year I am definitely NOT going to breed her so as to give her an extra year vacation for full recovery.

The amazing fact is that she seems able to produce healthy babies in record time. From her breeding on February 11, 2021 to her giving birth on May 16th the gestation was only 94 days! That is very rapid as most of my females are paced around 104 days for their gestation. This is the second year she has produced babies first, and she appears to be quite a sprinter in the pregnancy event! This year she was the last female to breed and yet the first to produce! Her sister, Selene, is also gravid and last year produced the second litter among all my females. Selene did not eat a lot the last 3-months but she ate some and is not excessively thin.

 

Here are Elektra’s babies the day after being born. All are active and already eating a mix of cat food and human baby food. The most likely father is Solaris who breed her on February 11th; a second male, Ares, was used as a backup (Solaris was an unproven male) and bred her on February 16th. Considering her amazingly short gestation, I think the first male is probably the father.

 

 

ELEKTRA babies — born May 16th, 2021

 

ELEKTRA with her May 2020 litter; from a year ago.

 

 

A second female, Tulsi, gave birth on May 18th, 2021 to 8 babies. This was a surprise because she did not look gravid, and I was not expecting any babies from her. This was her first litter. The father of this litter is Ataturk, a young male from a deep orange and black line. This was his first year breeding.

 

Ataturk breeding Tulsi on February 12th, 2021.

 

Tulsi produced 8 babies on May 18th, 2021. (Photo was taken May 21st — well before their first shed.)

 

 

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