theTurtleRoom Hatches another Geoemyda spengleri, now as part of the AZA Studbook
Late last night, as I prepared for lights out in my turtle room, I decided to check my incubation container which contained our Vietnamese Black Breasted Leaf Turtle (Geoemyda spengleri) eggs once last time for the day. Throughout the course of the incubation of this two egg clutch, our first for this species, I have checked the temperatures and/or the eggs themselves between once and five times daily. This time, as I peered under the lid, I noticed a piece of white paper in the sphagnum moss that was not there before. How did this bit of litter get into the container?
It turned out, of course, that the little “Trident” wrapper that was sitting in the incubator was not paper at all, but a piece of eggshell that had been broken off by a hatching turtle. You can most likely imagine my excitement, as this beautiful little spengleri marks the first successful hatching of an endangered species for Steve and I.
Compared to widely accepted information on the incubation of this species, our spengleri incubation protocol proved to be quite interesting. It is said by many, that temperatures above 80 degrees F will result in embryonic death of (Geoemyda spengleri). Our spengleri were incubated at fluctuating room temperatures. Consequently, temperatures varied greatly over the 73 days, with high and low temperatures between 87 and 71 degrees F respectively. While these highs should probably be avoided, since male Geoemyda spengleri are very rare in the US Studbook, TSD is not yet proven for this species. Some sources think gender in hatchlings in determined genetically, while others believe it is correlated to incubation temperatures, like so many other turtle species.
This little gem is the offspring of our US Studbook registered adults, and he/she will be getting his/her own studbook number soon. We are thrilled to work with the beautiful and endangered Geoemyda spengleri, and it is our pleasure to share our excitement with our viewers.
Please check out our Geoemyda spengleri project page for more info on this exciting species, and on our prolific breeding pair.