Breeding

An important condition for the animals to be in the garden is the presence of enough suitable egg laying sites. The green lizards in my garden wake up in March, the males sometimes already at the end of February, when the weather is mild. It depends on the temperature in their hibernation spot. The first animals grow active when ground temperature reaches 10įC. Males always before females. From mid-April you can see them copulate. Every year the females in our garden lay their eggs around June 1st. Usually they do it in a sandy and easily to dig part of the garden that is sunny nearly all day. But they also use flower pots that are dug in and sitting in full sun. For all these places it is important that: it is somewhat damp, easy to dig and exposed to the sun during most of the day. The eggs are nearly always laid right after sunset. Every year I see the heavily pregnant females do test drillings all over the garden. Since the number of suitable egg laying sites is limited, because of dense vegetation, hard ground or shadow, itís is fairly easy to find the eggs. Regularly, a female digs under a terrace tile to lay her eggs (see pictures).

eitjes

I dig up the eggs and place them in an incubator at a temperature of about 24įC. After a little more than 50 days the young hatch. In my garden every adult green lizard lays 12 to 19 eggs. Catching a heavily pregnant female to gather eggs is not a good option, it causes a lot of stress and loss of eggs; donít ever do it! I strongly advise against putting a new heavily pregnant female in the garden, she needs plenty of time to find a suitable egg laying site.

Artificially incubating eggs is a choice you can make. If I donít dig up nests I sometimes find juveniles at the end of September or early October in the garden. A fellow keeper of lizards who has had green lizards (and other Mediterranean lizards) in his garden for many years, reported in 2001 that he found 24 juveniles in his garden in early October. He also has a number of glass cages in his garden in which the temperature is on average higher. The animals can freely walk in and out of them and they probably also use these cages to lay eggs. It is highly recommended to generously feed the juveniles indoors for several weeks before hibernation. The first hibernation of my juveniles happens under regulated circumstances, in the fridge or in a frost free garden shed (see: ĎHibernatingí).

The breeding of the Italian newt happens almost unnoticed. All through springtime they are active in the pond, usually already in February. During all seasons I find larvae in the pond and regularly I find juveniles under wood or stones in the garden.

The green toads so far havenít reproduced yet. They probably donít think my overgrown pond attractive. Next season Iím going to adapt the pond, with an open sandy bank.

The tortoises have a sandy mound, which is well directed towards the sun. Since I have only held tortoises in the garden for a year, I still have to wait for the results.