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Old 21st December 2015   #6 (permalink)
taherman
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Default Re: Hemidactylium scutatum

You can create a simple enclosure for Hemidactylium over a bed of coarse gravel. Slope it up from one end, and add water until it forms a shallow pool at the low end (no more than ~1/4 of the enclosure with exposed standing water). Cover the high end with pine bark nuggets, oak leaves, etc. and place a band of sphagnum or other moss across the transition. Hemidactylium do spend most of their time in terrestrial forest habitats, not deep in wet Sphagnum. Sphagnum is the preferred nesting habitat in some populations, and this is when the species can most easily be found. However in my experience I believe this has biased the scientific literature and general understanding of this species' life history.

The species actually uses other moss genera throughout much of its range, and again I think early publications on NY and MI populations have biased the general consensus and understanding of the habits of Hemidactylium.

Maybe it is the perspective of the photo, but that image makes your salamander look rather oddly proportioned and very small for a 5 year old Hemidactylium. I have not known them to consume earthworms, aside from extremely small ones the size of white worms. It may only be feeding on the flies and other arthropods and be lacking somewhat in nutrition.

Hemidactylium are not exclusively nocturnal and I regularly see them active during daylight hours. I have kept and bred them in captivity for the past 10 years or so.

Hopefully this information is helpful. Feel free to contact me if you have any further questions.

Tim
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