Diapause and Candleing

I have a clutch of Veiled eggs, as some of you may know, that have been in 'incubation' since May 07, so they're still pretty new eggs. I know that usually if you candle eggs, you can see a vessel, veins, or anything. I candled these eggs today, all 57 of them, and nothing but yellow. The eggs are not calcified very well, the shells have splotchy yellow coloration, and they have a bit of a rubbery texture still. So I was doing some reading, on various recommended sites, and came across diapause. Now I understand that it's a period of inactivity, or slowed-paused development, but how does this apply to chameleon eggs. Here's what I was reading on AdCham: (http://www.adcham.com/html/taxonomy/species/fpardalis.html)

" If the temperature is kept at 65-78ºF hatching can occur in 6-9 months. The eggs are laid before vascularization and a 3-6 month diapause (no embryo development-dormant) is associated with this species. If incubation temperatures are too high in the early stages of incubation, diapause is extended. It is recommended that temperatures in the mid-high 60's to low 70's be used in the first couple of months with a gradual warming if one wishes to break diapause. Candling of the eggs can determine if the eggs are in diapause (yellow light) or are undergoing vascularization (pink color-blood islets). Eggs incubated at over 80ºF in early incubation can remain in diapause for over 12 months in some cases."

Now from what I understand, eggs can go through a stage of no development for 3-6 months? Is that correct? I'm not throwing the eggs out, by any means. But they seem so dead, compared to let's say, agamid and colubrid eggs. I've been reading alot about this 'diapause', but it's kind of unclear for me. If someone could clear this up for me, that would be wonderful. I'm going to candle them once every couple months, and see if anything develops, but I'm just very uncertain about all this.

Thanks so much in advance.
Jaz

*EDIT* Just found another article on http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/...ve&db=PubMed&list_uids=15286942&dopt=Abstract, which states the following:

Department of Biology, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia 24061, USA. [email protected]

The development of lizard embryos is typically initiated at fertilization and continues until birth or hatching. In contrast, embryonic development of some chameleons is arrested at the gastrula stage, and embryos remain at this stage for months after the eggs are laid. Our research tested the hypothesis that increased temperature, moisture, or both, are associated with the resumption of development by diapausing embryos of Chamaeleo calyptratus, the veiled chameleon. After 40 days of incubation at 25 degrees C in a relatively dry substrate, eggs were subjected to: 1) no change in temperature or moisture, 2) no change in temperature but change from a dry to a wet substrate, 3) change to a warmer temperature but no change in substrate moisture, or 4) an increase in both temperature and substrate moisture. Overall, embryos initiated development after 50-60 days to 80 or more days of incubation. Neither substrate moisture nor water uptake by eggs was related to the interval when development resumed. In contrast, development was initiated about 10 days earlier for eggs in the high temperature treatment compared to eggs in the low temperature treatment. Our results suggest that neither water availability nor water uptake by eggs affect the length of diapause but that an increase in ambient temperature initiates development of diapausing embryos of C. calyptratus.

Now, this made a bit more sense, but I'm still in the dark as to if you should be seeing anything when candling. Is this yellowness in the egg normal for the diapause stage?

Thanks
 
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Fate X

New Member
you will know when the eggs are good after a few clutches good eggs have a certain look to them.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
Can you post a picture of the eggs please?

Have the eggs started to grow at all? What temperature are you keeping them at?

Veiled eggs should remain rubbery....and if they are fertile will grow from about the size of a jelly bean to that of a grape by the time they have been in incubation for several months. The eggs should be quite white until the last few weeks when they start to get "windows" in them.

I have never candled chameleon eggs...don't know why I haven't because I have candled lots of other lizard eggs and turtle eggs. Its interesting to see the babies moving around inside the eggs!

More reading...
http://64.233.167.104/search?q=cach...ND+eggs+AND+diapause&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=ca
 
you will know when the eggs are good after a few clutches good eggs have a certain look to them.
Hmm, aren't you the same person that wasn't sure if your eggs were sweating or dying?

Thanks Kinyonga for that link. I'll take a picture of the majority of the eggs tonight, and throw it up here. My best guess is that the eggs weren't properly calcified, but that's the best that I can come up with. They have grown, some more than others, but barely. They're still quite new. I'm finding this fascinating though, this is so different from so many different reptiles. I figured it would be the same as breeding agamids, but wow. I'm amazed. This process in a whole is so much more fascinating, and it seems like all I'm doing is learning, lol. Which is good of course, but wow, was I ever surprised.

As for temperature, it's been in the high 60's, low 70's, I keep them at room temperature, just in a closet. I've read that there's higher hatch rates with a fluctuating day and night temp.

Thanks again Kinyonga, you've been of great help through this. And I thought I researched, lol. I read for months it seemed, but maybe the wrong chapters! Well, there went comparing my cham eggs to the rest of the eggs!
 

Fate X

New Member
yeah but when she laid these eggs i felt that they were good and yes i wasnt sure if they were sweating or dying ive never taken them to the hatching process yet i think this time im gonna get results.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
I incubate my veiled eggs at about 78F. I say "about" because they are not in a real incubator...so they are somewhat subject to fluctuations in the room during the day and the night. I have close to 100% hatch rate of fertile eggs incubating them the way I do. At the age of two months generally 95% of them are still alive.

My incubator consists of a human heating pad. I have built a wooden rectangle/frame to fit over it with screen in the middle of the rectangle to support the egg containers. The frame can be raised and the heating pad adjusted to achieve the appropriate temperature in the containers that I incubate the eggs in. This is kept in the dark in the basement.

Looking forward to seeing the picture. I'm hoping that I will be able to tell if the eggs are fertile/good or not.
 

boothy

New Member
NEVER EVER touch a egg that has been put into its tupperwear container, always leave them, the more you touch and move them around less eggs will hatch because you can easily tear the major vein that feeds the baby , ALWAYS WAIT until the egg has molded , then you know its bad and can just take it out with a spoon dont pinch it cause then you might drop some mold and then its all over your eggs , soo dont worry soo much about your eggs they hatch if they hatch and they hatch when they hatch lol ahah tounge twister for yea
 

Fate X

New Member
I incubate my veiled eggs at about 78F. I say "about" because they are not in a real incubator...so they are somewhat subject to fluctuations in the room during the day and the night. I have close to 100% hatch rate of fertile eggs incubating them the way I do. At the age of two months generally 95% of them are still alive.

My incubator consists of a human heating pad. I have built a wooden rectangle/frame to fit over it with screen in the middle of the rectangle to support the egg containers. The frame can be raised and the heating pad adjusted to achieve the appropriate temperature in the containers that I incubate the eggs in. This is kept in the dark in the basement.

Looking forward to seeing the picture. I'm hoping that I will be able to tell if the eggs are fertile/good or not.

i always thought the bASEment would be too damp.
 
NEVER EVER touch a egg that has been put into its tupperwear container, always leave them, the more you touch and move them around less eggs will hatch because you can easily tear the major vein that feeds the baby , ALWAYS WAIT until the egg has molded , then you know its bad and can just take it out with a spoon dont pinch it cause then you might drop some mold and then its all over your eggs , soo dont worry soo much about your eggs they hatch if they hatch and they hatch when they hatch lol ahah tounge twister for yea
We're actually talking about embryonic diapause, meaning no veins have developed yet. You don't have to touch the eggs to candle them either. I've been working with reptile eggs long enough to know to "NEVER EVER". I felt an egg, ONE egg, didn't move it or pick it up. AND STOP TYPING IN CAPS AT ME, lol. Embryonic diapause is not common in all reptile eggs, hense the discussion about it. And you don't have to throw eggs away when they mold, btw. Athletes foot powder can save the egg, if it hasn't died.

Kinyonga, I'll post that picture for you later, it's been a long day, and I still have to take the damn picture, lol.


Not to sound rude, BUT, I would prefer responses from people with experience with this, so thanks FateX. Oh, and how do you figure that the basement would be too damp? We're not trying to dry the eggs out....
 

Chameleon Company

Avid Member
Puri

Just a couple of thoughts. First off, the comment (made by another poster) about being careful removing molded eggs so as not to sprinkle mold on other remaining good eggs is unadulterated and complete hogwash. Good eggs do not mold, regardless of what the egg next to them is doing. Whether or not you remove bad eggs is up to you, but they do not affect good eggs adjacent to them,

Second. Diapause is completely temperature controlled, not moisture regulated. It is a mechanism by which the eggs of species with longer incubations, like chameleons, can be timed to hatch in the spring of whatever climate they exist in, thus giving itty-bitty chameleons the best shot at food, cover, and survival. The warming of the ground as the climate emerges from Winter (an 8-10 degree F change in Madagascar) triggers embryonic development that has otherwise been dormant, such that the egg will hatch 2-4 months after warm-up begins (varies with species). With a temperature fluctuation, panther chameleon eggs can be induced to hatch 6-7 months after being laid. Without a diapause (kept at uniform temperature throughout), it can range to an 8-11 month incubation, sometimes longer. Veileds react to a fluctuation similarly.

You are also over-managing your eggs by candling them. Only your curiosity is being satisfied, and that can be done with just a few eggs. Patience is one of the hallmarks of successful chameleon keeping. Work on it.
 
Thanks for the reply Jim, it's appreciated. You just filled me in on the information I was looking for in the first place. I was very curious about the temperature controlling the diapause. Before all this noise about this came up, I figured that I could candle them the same way I could most eggs! I was so wrong. I candled the clutch once, yes out of curiosity, the eggs were untouched by the light itself, saw nothing and was instantly disappointed. Then upon some digging, I came across this.

So now I pose my question, would the natural heat rise of summer coming up be enough of a temperature change for them to start development in a few months? Or should I control this a bit better?

And yes, I think if I want to keep working with Chameleons, I had better develop some patience. :p

Thanks
 

Chameleon Company

Avid Member
Puri,

Believe me that the "patience" thing is something all have had to learn with chams ... LOL .

Let me say to you and others that failing to induce diapause does not seem to affect hatch rate, only incubation time. Whether or not the onset of warmer summer temps will create the necessary effect, I do not know, as it depends on what the actual temperature shift is where your eggs are housed, and how much time has elapsed, as development usually begins a couple of months after what would have been the diapause break anyway. It is our experience that eggs need first an 8-10 degree F cooling, into the upper 60's. which they are then held at for 7-9 weeks, and then a return to mid-upper 70's temps (an 8-10 degree warming), in order to stimulate development. Results seem to indicate that it doesn't matter if eggs are kept at a uniform temperature throughout the day, or if that temperature fluctuates a few degrees up and down during the course of a single day, so long as the mean is the desired temperature. Rest assured regardless that if your eggs are good, they will hatch without a diapause. I recommend always that some folks not worry about a diapause if their means of achieving it is some rube'd-up contraption that could easily malfunction and cook the eggs. The safest means is to have two areas of your house, such as a basement and upstairs closet, that may give you stable areas to achieve the fluctuation, rather than a box sitting on heat tape, etc. Good luck with all !
 
Awesome, thanks again Jim. Your knowledge has been more than helpful. Looks like I just have to sit back and take it easy with these guys, and just wait and hope for the best. Thanks! :D
 

boothy

New Member
thanks Jim i thought the mold would spread like wildfire if you droped it all over the container but now i know it doesnt thanks alot and sorry for giving info meaning good
 

Chameleon Company

Avid Member
Boothy. No problem. Many folks have the same misconception. While external influences can harm eggs in a captive situation, such as too much or too little moisture, temperature, crickets, the larva of some bugs, etc. its a cruel awakening for a hobbyist to see an egg going bad as indicated by mold and realize that the egg was no good, and cannot be saved. Providing the above parameters are managed properly, the die is cast while the eggs are developing in the female. However, mold can also be a symptom of too much moisture, combined with other decaying organic material depending on substrate, and that would be a matter to address. Many people also keep their eggs on the surface, thinking they need to monitor them for fear of "killer mold", while also creating an unnatural environment for the eggs, such as the increased likelihood of dehydration by being on the surface where the substrate dries out first. We bury all eggs about 2" in vermiculite. We can still check a few by just brushing it back when needed. If folks want to remove bad eggs as they become aware of them, I have no problem with such a choice. I would recommend that they do it in such a way as to still best preserve the normal environment of the egg, which would be buried with minimal disturbance to other eggs. Cheers :D
 

TreelionsUK

New Member
Very good advice there jim:) people hate waiting LOL i have had eggs take 14 months to hatch!! and the waiting was painful.
i sit back and relax now and check them every 2 months.
imagine what the wait is like for parsons chameleons:D
 
theres dirt on my basement floor and it seems damp.
...Okay? Fate, I really recommend that you take some of this information in, just soak it in. There's some really knowledgeable and experienced people trying to inform and lend a bit of a hand, so take advantage of it! Learn! From the sounds of that last post, you didn't read much of anything....

Treelions: My god, 14 months, how did you do it!? Was that for Veiled eggs? Cause that's insane. I don't think I could handle the incubation time for Parson's, lol.

Wow Jim, just a wealth. I never even took into consideration to mimic nature, with burying the eggs a bit, but it makes alot of sense to. Especially up here in Alberta, we are sooo dry most of the time. I'm surprised I haven't had to do more 'dampening'. I suppose it's too late to bury this clutch a bit, but I'll really keep that in mind and try it out for the next ones!
 

Fate X

New Member
whats stange about the eggs i got incubating is that the one tray has eggs that didnt start sweating yet and the other 3 trays has eggs that are sweating. all the eggs are in the same incubator.

some of them look dark inside , i think that its the baby chameleon.
i have a area ready for them in the same room as there parents or the room next to their parents.


how soon can you feed a baby veiled?
i plan on feeding them immediatly after they hatch.
 
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