Since switching the females to new males a few days ago it’s been more of the same; a lot of chasing but no observed copulation. That is, until last night last night when I woke up around 4:30am to get a drink of water and found one of the pairs in a love tussle. It is a nice hope that the deed is being done in the wee hours of the night where it is dark and secretive. No one has ever, to my knowledge, seen Gila copulate in the wild as the act is normally performed in a shelter out of sight of prying eyes or opportunistic predators. My terrariums are fairly spartan with only a piece of wood, water bowl, and aspen shavings as I like to see the animals (Gilas will hide most of the time if given the opportunity) as well as monitor their health. Perhaps in future years I can provide a hiding area during breeding season but if this set up works I’ll likely stick with it. Maybe I should set up some CCTV cameras on the cages to see what happens when? Now that I have officially observed copulation my confidence level that I will at least get eggs has risen dramatically. Now, whether or not the eggs will be fertile or viable to full term is a whole different story!
Thought I would share this article about a construction crew that unearthed a Gila monster nest in Tucson, Arizona, which shed some much needed light on when Gilas hatch in the wild. This discovery launched a scientific paper which is also linked for your reading pleasure.
Over the years, the goatsby.com domain has usually been about Gila monsters. Now a work in progress, I hope to share some thoughts and insights into these amazing animals after having kept them for over 20 years. Keep checking back as the site will be updated soon!