Different Skinks

Good evening ME visitors. I’m here to announce some new skink additions to the ME family.

Before I do I’m sure everyone is wondering what’s happening with the 2016 baby season. All I’m going to say right now is that you probably want to be on the ME Mailing List in the next few days… Hint hint.

Anyways, as some may recall, last year around this time I picked up a couple of interesting tiny skinks – Chinese Swamp Skinks. Amazingly, these two adorable critters have managed to do well all year and have just been upgraded to a fancy new tank with a big water feature.
New tank (pre-water):
Tiny skink! They’re so small:

Now this year, at the same expo, I found another new species of skink to take home. This time the skinks are much larger, though again they are basically unknown in the reptile hobby. There’s different common names used, but I’m currently calling them Banded Sheen Skinks.

About the Banded Sheen Skink:
Their scientific name (if I’ve guessed the subspecies correctly) is Eugongylus albofasciolatus. They originate from around the Solomon Islands, and are quite long but very slender. They seem to have no natural fear of humans and have shown a voracious appetite for insects so far. They like to dig tunnels and burrow through the dirt, but I’ve also caught them climbing the branches of the tank a few times.

I picked up two (possible) pairs of these new skink – a smaller juvenile pair and a larger adult pair. Because I do not know how social this species is the pairs have been split up, with the larger pair on one side of a tank, and the smaller pair on the other side.

And of course I come bearing pictures of the new additions.
Split tank with deep substrate and climbing branches (hammocks added after):
One of the juveniles. Check out the rainbow sheen on it’s tail:
The juveniles checking out their new home:
Adult (assumed) female:
They’re very long!
Adult (assumed) male:
They are good climbers, but amazing diggers:
The adults conferring about the crazy lady they now have to deal with:

That’s all for right now. It’s only been two weeks with these guys so far, so we’ll see how it goes. I promised them if they live more than a month (they’re WC – it’s never a sure thing) I’ll give them awesome new names.

I hope you enjoyed this quick update. And again, but sure to join the ME Mailing List if you want to know about the 2016 babies and be the first to find out when they’re available for purchase.

Many thanks,

Posted in ME News | Comments Off on Different Skinks

2016 So Far

Greetings and salutations.

And apologies that this update was so long in coming.

The 2016 breeding and baby season has not gone precisely as planned. There have definitely been ups and downs, but it’s not over quite yet (I think). I’ll try to summarize all the 2016 happenings here at ME so far. This post is a bit of a downer; I promise the next post will have adorable baby pictures.

To start with 2016 looked extremely promising. I have a large number of blue tongue skinks and fat tail geckos at this point, and almost all were finally of breeding age. I also have quite a number of additional blue tongues here on breeding loan. Unfortunately this years weather didn’t seem to agree with the skinks, and the brumation/breeding seasons were a bit wonky. Most of my females never seemed to come into season, and the majority of the males were more aggressive than interested in making babies. Still, we managed several lockups: a merauke, an IJ, a caramel northern, and 3 classic northerns. But with the wonky weather and behaviours I wasn’t holding my breath. And the fat tails were even worse – there was basically no action during pairings and not a single egg has been laid so far this year.

After breeding season things looked promising with several of the girls. Maybe it wouldn’t be a massive influx of babies, but having a few litters seemed probable.

Unfortunately on June 10 my baby season started out with heartbreak – my beautiful caramel northern mama, Trouble, had passed away from a prolapse after giving birth. To make matters worth she’d only had 2 babies, and neither seemed really healthy. Sure enough one of the two passed away after about a week. If there is any silver lining it is that her other baby managed to pull through. He will never be a breeding blue tongue (for healthy reasons), but he’s come a long way and is basically a normal baby blue tongue now. His recovery and adorable feisty attitude have brought me many smiles.

Five days later, on June 15, my big classic girl Evita gave birth to 15 adorable babies. Thankfully this time mama was in good health and most of her litter were perfect little babies. But again, there were 2 weak babies I was worried about. And to make matters worse a third baby, which had seemed healthy to start, suddenly fell ill and passed away the next day. And again, one of the two weak babies sadly passed away as well. Thankfully the less weak baby bounced back quickly and seems to be no different from it’s healthy siblings. The healthy siblings which are trying to eat me out of house and home and constantly begging for more food and attention (and food), lol.

So as of right now there are 14 beautiful baby blue tongues here who will soon be looking for their forever homes. And baby season (probably) isn’t over here at ME yet. There are still a few females (1 IJ, 2 classic northerns) who seem promising. I admit I’m getting a bit impatient though – they may go for xrays next week to give me a proper answer on whether they’re expecting or just loading up on the extra food that preggos have access to. If I take them in I will try to get pictures of the xrays to post – it’s always fun to try to count the babies.

As for me personally, I graduated college and started a new job, which is going stupendously. Life is extremely busy, so it has been a struggle to provide the weak babies with constant care while still looking after all the healthy babies. Not to mention the dozens of adult animals who don’t care that I’m busy – they still want food. I am extremely thankful that my family has stepped up to help me out with the babies. And now that all the babies are healthy and happy they’ll be heading out to new homes soon, and I will hopefully regain a few more brain cells (at least until more babies appear).

I hope this post wasn’t too depressing to read; again, I promise the next one will pictures of all the cute new babies here who will soon be looking for their forever homes.

And if you haven’t done so already please consider joining my mailing list: CLICK HERE. I’m not able to get to most individual emails yet, but the mailing list is where I will be announcing births and, more importantly, announcing when the babies are available for purchase.

More information on the babies will come next post along with the pictures. Thank you for your patience so far.

Many thanks,

Posted in ME News | Comments Off on 2016 So Far

Introducing the Burn Babies

In October I received a call from a local reptile friend asking if I was interested in providing a home for a skink. He works at a chain petstore and they had received a baby blue tongue from their supplier with some ugly burns on his head. My friend had already started treating it, but the skink was deemed unsellable.

I agreed and the little guy came home with me (along with mite spray). In addition to his burnt head the poor baby had multiple scars and damaged scales on his neck, back, legs, and tail. We decided to call him Flambé (or Flambaby since he was so tiny compared to everyone else at ME). I took some pictures of his first day in his quarantine bin:

Flambaby 1
Flambaby 2Flambaby 3

Fast forward a week or so and I receive another call. The pet store had received a replacement blue tongue… with all the same problems. He came home with me too and was named Sauté. Now I had a matched set of burn babies.

Thankfully the two have done great since arriving, and while they will always have some scarring their injuries have healed very well. They love food of any kind, and are both quite outgoing and curious. Just look at their adorable faces now 🙂

Flambe 1Flambe 2
Flambe 3
Flambe 4Flambe 5
Flambe 6

Saute 2
Saute 3Saute 1
Saute 7
Saute 6Saute 8

Posted in ME News | Comments Off on Introducing the Burn Babies

Breeding Season Approaches!

It’s just about time to start trying to pair up the fall-breeding species here at ME, and brumation is starting for most of the other animals. We had no babies here in 2015, but could be overrun this year if all goes well. Fingers are crossed!

Possible babies in 2016 include:
-Northern & Caramel Northern blue tongue skinks
-Merauke blue tongue skinks
-Irian Jaya blue tongue skinks
-Silver & Yellow Tanimbar blue tongue skinks
-Classic, amelanistic, caramel albino, patternless, whiteout, zero/stinger, & super zero/stinger African fat tail geckos
-California kingsnakes
-Chinese water skinks (not actually expected this year)

As an additional note, I am changes back the contact e-mail to my person e-mail (MelanieJPratt@gmail.com) for now. The alternate e-mail unfortunately did not work out as planned, but I’m thankful for the break it gave me and I’m ready to jump back in 🙂

Posted in ME News | Comments Off on Breeding Season Approaches!

New Additions for October 2015

We recently added a few new critters to the menagerie here at ME!

The first is a rather large lizard – a Columbian Gold Tegu (Tupinambis teguixin). He’s about three years old, has been with me for two weeks, and has so far been incredibly sweet, if a bit shy. I have always wanted to work with monitors and am so excited to be able to give him a new home!

Columbian Gold Tegu Oct 2015

Columbian Gold Tegu Oct 2015

And the most recent additions are tiny lizards – a pair of Chinese Water Skinks (Tropidophorus sinicus). They came home with me from the Manitoba Reptile Breeders Expo the past weekend. These guys are live-bearers, just like the Blue Tongues!

Chinese Water Skinks Oct 2015

Chinese Water Skinks Oct 2015

Posted in ME News | Comments Off on New Additions for October 2015

Website Update

There’s been a few changes here at ME and that’s been reflected in an update to the ME website.

The biggest change here is that I’ve hired someone to assist me with customer e-mails!
For the past several years I have been using my personal e-mail and phone number for ME business. However ME has become more popular and it’s gotten to the point where I often get 6+ e-mails and phone calls a day. ME is a hobby to me (I’m a full time student right now), so I’ve been struggling to keep up with all these messages.
Thankfully the cavalry has arrived in the form of my younger sister, Kortny, who’s already ME’s resident gecko-expert. She has agreed to take on the majority of the e-mails 😀
We’re currently working on migrating everything over for the e-mails, but please start using our new e-mail – Contact@MelsExotics.ca – for all ME business.

The next most important update is there is now a list of some fantastic US blue tongue skink breeders available on the ME Links page.
For anyone looking for a blue tongue in the USA here are the people to contact:
Andrew Seike in California: http://seikereptiles.com/
Donna in Nevada: http://captivebred.com/
James in California: pch101@cox.net
Jeff in Arizona: http://www.btskinks.com/
Ray in Florida: http://www.thunderbayherps.com/
Zach in Oregon: http://bluetongueskinks.net/
Susann in Utah: susann@sfcn.org

Breeding season is almost here, both for the blue tongue skinks and fat tail geckos. For summer 2015 we’re hoping to get babies from:
Blue Tongue Skinks:
Classic Northerns, Caramel Northerns, Irian Jayas, Silver & Yellow Tanimbars, & Meraukes.
Fat Tail Geckos:
Amelanistic, Caramel Albino, Classic, Pattternless, Stripe, Whiteout, Zero/Stinger, & combinations of those.
As always we’ll be ecstatic with whatever babies we manage to get 🙂

Many pages on the website have received updates now. The collection pages and the ME Facebook page are still in desperate need of updates, so once we’ve migrated the e-mails fully that will be the next project 🙂

Thank you for your continued support!

Posted in ME News | Comments Off on Website Update

First Photos of 2015

Hello all. I know I’ve been quiet for a while, but I’m back today with a few new photos of the babies still living here at ME. I’ll also add the old Halloween photos that didn’t get posted.

Some of the babies pictured are staying with me as future breeders, some are on hold for customers, and one or two might be available (I’ll shoot out an e-mail to those who’ve already inquired about babies).

In addition to the photos, I’ll also say that ME is hoping for several litters of classic and caramel northern BTS next summer 🙂 The adult skinks are all still pretty alert, but I’ll keep my fingers crossed that the cool down in the building is enough that they’ll be breeding this spring. It’s also possible I could have litters of other subspecies (merauke, irian jaya, & tanimbar), but we’ll have to wait and see.

There’s some other changes coming for 2015, including a new e-mail for ME, a re-vamped Facebook page, and no more waiting lists. More information on all that to follow.

And on to the pictures!

IJ02 – Possibly Available (To experienced home only – he’s a grump)
IJ02 11/09

IJ03 – Staying at ME
IJ03 11/09

IJ04 – Staying at ME
IJ04 11/09

IJ05 – On Hold
IJ05 11/09
IJ05 11/09

IJ07 – Staying at ME (just coming out of a shed)
IJ07 11/09

IJ08 – Staying at ME (just going into a shed)

Wade – Staying at ME (birth defects)
Wade 11/09
Wade 11/09

Wilbur – On Hold
Wilbur 11/09

Jaeger – Possibly Available (just going into a shed)
Jaeger 11/09

Jasper – Already in His New Home 🙂
Jasper 11/09

Jean – Possibly Available
Jean 11/09

Jett – Possibly Available
Jett 11/09

Jonah – On Hold
Jonah 11/09

Jumanji – Already in His New Home 🙂
Jumanji 11/09
Jumanji 11/09

And if anyone recalls that fluffy little puppy I posted a while back – he’s grown:

Posted in ME News | Comments Off on First Photos of 2015

RIP Snoopy

Sadly, a week ago we had to say goodbye to Snoopy, ME’s canine-assistant and my best friend.

Snoopy has always been a part of my life with reptiles. She’s been there through ever new addition, every room upgrade, and every litter born here. She was the one to tell me when an animal had gotten out, and she stood guard over the babies during outdoor-time. I couldn’t have asked for a better helper, and I’m going to miss her terribly.

Snoopy was a goofball:

She had a passing interest in gardening:

Was always willing to help with chores like laundry and general tidying:

And was my #1 assistant when it came to DIY projects like building new tanks:
Tank buildConstruction

Most of all she was my cuddle buddy, and I miss her so, so much.

RIP sweet puppy.

(Don’t worry, there’s a much happier post in the works with some Halloween photos of the babies still living here 🙂 That should be up soon.)

Posted in ME News | Comments Off on RIP Snoopy

Quick Update on Fat Tail Geckos

My fat tail geckos have moved to my sisters home, and today I had her take photos of all 24 of them (there’s some new additions!). I’m working on naming all the newer geckos today.

I have 24 fat tails now. 7 males, and 17 females. That means I’ll have 7 different breeding groups going, and hopefully lots of babies in 2015 😀
Possible 2015 Fat Tail Geckos:
– Amelanistic (Albino)
– Caramel-Albino
– Classic (Normal & Stripe)
– Patternless
– Starburst
– Stinger & Super-Stinger
– Whiteout
– Whiteout Caramel-Albino
– Whiteout Patternless
– Whiteout Starburst
– Whiteout Stinger
– Whiteout Zero
– Zero & Super-Zero

And courtesy of my sister Kortny: PICTURES!
(Some have bits of shed still attached, that’s being removed now)

GROUP 1) 1.2
Produces: Amelanistic

Mstari (1.0 Amelanistic):
Mstari Oct 2014
Mstari Oct 2014Mstari Oct 2014
Nalo (0.1 Amelanistic):
Nalo Oct 2014
Nalo Oct 2014Nalo Oct 2014
Nomalanga (0.1 Amelanistic):
Amel Oct 2014
Amel Oct 2014Amel Oct 2014

GROUP 2) 1.3
Produces: Caramel-Albino, Classic, Starburst, Whiteout, Whiteout Caramel-Albino, Whiteout Starburst

Abioye (1.0 Whiteout Caramel-Albino):
WO Caramel Oct 2014
WO Caramel Oct 2014WO Caramel Oct 2014
Fumnaya (0.1 Caramel-Albino):
Caramel Oct 2014
Caramel Oct 2014Caramel Oct 2014
Kanika (0.1 het-Caramel-Albino):
Kanika Oct 2014
Kanika Oct 2014Kanika Oct 2014
Rufaro (0.1 Starburst):
Starburst Oct 2014
Starburst Oct 2014Starburst Oct 2014

Group 3) 1.2
Produces: Classic, Starburst, Whiteout, Whiteout Starburst

Ajani (1.0 Whiteout):
Ajani Oct 2014
Ajani Oct 2014Ajani Oct 2014
Thema (0.1 Classic):
Thema Oct 2014
Thema Oct 2014Thema Oct 2014
Raziya (0.1 Starburst):
Starburst Oct 2014
Starburst Oct 2014Starburst Oct 2014

Group 4) 1.2
Produces: Caramel-Albino

Jubilani (1.0 Caramel-Albino):
Jubilani Oct 2014
Jubilani Oct 2014Jubilani Oct 2014
Furaha (0.1 Caramel-Albino):
Caramel Oct 2014
Caramel Oct 2014Caramel Oct 2014
Kanene (0.1 Caramel-Albino):
Kanene Oct 2014
Kanene Oct 2014Kanene Oct 2014

Group 5) 1.3
Produces: Classic, Patternless, Whiteout, Whiteout Patternless

Runako (1.0 Patternless):
Runako Oct 2014
Runako Oct 2014Runako Oct 2014
Afolabi (0.1 Whiteout Patternless):
WO Patternless Oct 2014
WO Patternless Oct 2014WO Patternless Oct 2014
Winda (0.1 Patternless):
Winda Oct 2014
Winda Oct 2014Winda Oct 2014
Serwa (0.1 het-Patternless):
Serwa Oct 2014
Serwa Oct 2014Serwa Oct 2014

Group 6) 1.3
Produces: Classic, Stinger, Super-Stinger, Super-Zero, Whiteout, Whiteout Stinger, Whiteout Zero, Zero

Jabari (1.0 Zero het-Super-Zero):
Zero Oct 2014
Zero Oct 2014Zero Oct 2014
Sanaa (0.1 Stinger het-Super-Stinger):
Stinger Oct 2014
Stinger Oct 2014Stinger Oct 2014
Lerato (0.1 Super-Stinger):
Super Oct 2014
Super Oct 2014Super Oct 2014
Dayo (0.1 Whiteout):
Whiteout Oct 2014
Whiteout Oct 2014Whiteout Oct 2014

Group 7) 1.2
Produces: Classic, Whiteout

Draak (1.0 Classic):
Draak Oct 2014
Draak Oct 2014Draak Oct 2014
Deka (0.1 Whiteout):
Whiteout Oct 2014
Whiteout Oct 2014Whiteout Oct 2014
Desta (0.1 Whiteout):
Whiteout Oct 2014
Whiteout Oct 2014Whiteout Oct 2014

Posted in ME News | Comments Off on Quick Update on Fat Tail Geckos

Back To School

Just a quick update on what’s been happening here. The critters are all doing well (and there’s a few new faces to introduce soon), the move is going well (I have some pictures of the new place, but my camera is currently there, while my computer is here), and now I’m back in college full time 🙂 I’m studying Civil Engineering Technology now. As someone who loves to design and build all manner of things (mostly animal related though) I think this is going to be a very interesting course for me.

There’s still several babies here waiting to leave for their new homes, but I currently have more people asking about babies than babies available. So until everyone who’s currently on the list has spoken, I’m considering myself sold out for 2014.

And just because I like posting pictures:

Posted in ME News | Comments Off on Back To School