SVL 7". Eating mango, nasturtium leaves, flowers, green beans, assorted
leafy greens, and occasional tortoise chow, daily. Pooping daily, normal
feces and urates.
Starting shed. Sheds without problems.
SVL 7.5". On third shed. Comfortably free roaming (no more serious
hiding); thermoregulates well in ig room, den, living room and sometimes
bedroom; goes into bathroom and climbs into and out of the tub on his
SVL: 9" STL: 21" Free roaming, now sleeping on top shelf sometimes.
Dealing with Rugwort in that he won't run from him, but isn't real comfortable
in his presence yet. Doesn't cower from Sluggo anymore when he sees him.
With cooler weather/rainy/overcast days, he isn't coming into the den
every morning, though he will sometimes still go into the bathroom for
a bath. Has taken showers with me, hanging on the towels over the curtain
rod, coming into the tub when I'm nearly done.
SVL: 9.75" STL: 24.25. More than comfortable with Rugwort now - intimidates
the hell out of him. He is scared of Sluggo, but that probably has more
to do with the fact that Sluggo looks so odd and Sluggo charged him a
couple of times a couple of weeks ago. After getting a mouse and an evening
out, Sluggo has retired and not bothered Mikey again. Have to see what
happens next time Sluggo emerges from brumation. Mike loves mice - always
looking for one when he's eating, and will stop feeding if I open the
freezer. He has gone after one of Sluggo's adult mice (when Sluggo wasn't
around) grabbing and shaking it, entrails flying all over. The mouse was
too big (even minus entrails) so I cut it in half medially. He ate the
head but left the hind. Very comfortable being handled and petted by other
people. Now that the book is over, I need to start spending more time
with him. Looking into getting a soft carrier so that when the weather
warms up I can take him with me.
Took Mike on an outing yesterday with some other people. Still have not
found a soft carrier, so I appropriated a friend's soft leather trunk-like
oversized purse. A towel inside and hot water bottle underneath, and he
was quite comfortable. In car, he sat on the arm of the passenger in the
back seat, taking avid interest in watching us and the traffic and scenery
flow by. One of our stops was a winery. When the tasting room had emptied
out, save for us, I opened the zipper on the shoulder bag. Mikey emerged
to rest, with his chest and forearms on my hand. He watched the activity
with interest, sitting quietly. When he was spotted, he became the center
of attention, with other employees coming into see him and photograph
him. He was completely relaxed, accepting petting and close inspection
with ease. On the way home, again laying on the passenger's arm, he decided
that it was time for a nap. As related by the passenger, Mikey looked
down into the opening of his temporary travel bag, looked up at the passenger,
and dove down into bag, circling around the towel and promptly going to
sleep. The following morning, he was alert, relaxed, and ate well.
By a happy convergence of events, I made use of some steep discounts on
a soft Sherpa Lite bag I found at Petstore.com. When I came, I set it
up, unzipped the top, and put Mike inside. He sat happily inside, looking
at me through the mesh sides. I zipped up the top and carried him around
a bit - no problem. The problem came when I unzipped the end and he wouldn't
come out, glaring at my not so subtle hint ("Out you go, Mike!".
So, knowing when I'm beat, I put the carrier with the unzipped end pointing
towards his heating pad on his basking area. When I went to check on him
20 minutes later, he had turned around in the carrier and was bird-watching
through the mesh out the windows. After another 10 minutes or so, I nudged
him out. During this interval, I had to deal with a green iguana gone
brown and clearly not happy with the perceived special treatment Mike
got. So, I put Rugwort in the bag and left him in the room where he could
make sure that Mike saw him in the bag. A half hour or so later, his hurt
feelings assuaged and point made, he exited the bag and returned to his
SVL 10"; STL 25". Just as green iguanas bliss out when having
their heads rubbed, Mike loves his chest rubbed. He will lift his head,
neck and chest up off the surface, facilitating your reach by raising
up his leg.
Sleeping with Rugwort occasionally now. On several nights, he has gone
over to Rugwort and inserted himself between Rugwort and the wall, spending
the night there. Rugwort normally chooses to spend the first part of the
night on the east heat pad or near it on the south shelf, moving to the
west one sometime during the night. Thus far, Mikey remains in the same
place he fell asleep in on the south shelf.
Found Mike on the west shelf this morning.
At this morning's feeding, when determined staring did not produce the
desired results (mouses), Mike deliberately places his vent over the chunk
of green pepper placed out for the tortoises to gnaw on, and proceeded
to do the poopy dance while continuing to stare fixedly at me.
SVL 10.5"; 26" STL. He's now up on the shelves every night,
sometimes sleeping with Rugwort, sometimes on his own. With the advent
of sunny days, he's spending some time each morning clambering through
the living room before his morning bath and breakfast.
SVL 11"; 28.76" STL. A significant behavioral change over the
past month. No longer does he dart when I reach out to pet him or lean
close. He is starting to lean himself - upwards in anticipating of getting
his neck and chest rubbed. About the only problem is that not only does
he try to steal the small adult mice (3" SVL) I put down for the
blue-tongue skink, he now downs them without dismembering and eviscerating
them. As a result he is getting animal protein far less frequently than
he'd like. He is good about eating the greens and vegetable/fruit flower,
and goes as crazy for nasturtium flowers as he does for mousies. Interestingly
enough, his enthusiasm for nasturtiums has resulted in a bit of flower-feeding
competition with Rugwort, the green iguana. Rugwort, who before was just
as likely to pass on the flowers as he was to eat them, will now grab
them to make sure I don't give Mikey his flowers as well.
At this point, Mike
is a bare quarter of an inch shorter SVL than is Rugwort, though Rugwort
still outmasses him, and his head is larger overall than is Mike's. There
is some competition for the same basking or sleeping spot, even though
there are multiple, identical areas available to them. After an initial
scrabbling of claws and shifting of bodies, they both settle down, often
sleeping adjacent or in contact with one another, other times sleeping
like bookends at opposite ends of the L-shaped shelf, each with his head
on the "pillow" formed by the roll of cloth stapled to the ends
of the shelf which form the climber to the floor 6 feet below.
SVL 11.5 in., 29" STL. Just two days after the first anniversary
of his arrival, I marvel at how far he has come, both in growth as well
as his attitude and behavior. Now, instead of perceiving me as a pain-in-the-neck
and potential predator, I am only occasionally an annoyance and regular
provider of food, and especially welcomed when I come bearing nasturtiums
and mice. He appears to enjoy being petted, adopting the same raised position
that Rugwort does as the petting progresses, though in Mikey's case, it
is to facilitate my access to stroking his dewlap and chest. He rarely
runs when encountered outside of the iguana room, and never now when I
approach him in the room when he is in one of his basking, lounging or
SVL 13 in., 33.75" STL. Well, Mikey keeps a-growing and maturing.
Much calmer than he was, and much bigger than he was, he's a very handsome
lizard. His tail has developed rings of very pale scales that also jut
out caudally so it is developing into a very fine weapon, not to speak
of shredding human skin quite effectively. I've taken him to several softball
games on warmer evenings. He is quite alert, watching the action on the
field. He does object when the next teams scheduled to play start arriving
and begin talking noisily, the only time during the 1.5-2 hour stretch
that he gets the least bit antsy.
He is now almost two
inches SVL longer than Rugwort (who measures, overall, only 22.5 inches).
They still face each other off when one wants to pass the other on the
L-shelf, but otherwise are getting along okay. They come down to eat at
different times and have adopted different favorite basking and lounging
areas that they use throughout the day.
Mike is still short
enough that he can swim in the bathtub, which he does whenever I move
him towards the deeper (drain) end - he turns, ducks under the water and
swims to the other end. Incredibly beautiful to watch.
Just a quick update on the occasion of Mikey's 4th hatchday. He grew
another quarter inch in his tail over the past month, now 13"
SVL and 34" STL. He's doing just great, though he did bob at
me twice in the past week - for the first time since he tamed! Both
times I was working with or talking to Rugwort, so the competition
between the two remains strong.
Just a few months shy of his fourth birthday, Mike's now 15" SVL,
29.75" STL. The growth in the last two years has been amazing, as
used to it as I am with green iguanas. His jowls are rounding out and
he is leaving the tell-tale melted mozzarella cheese (seminal) deposits
when he defecates as well as whenever the mood strikes him. With the advent
of spring-like weather, he is starting to roam the house on most days,
climbing on everything he can. (His particular joy lately seems to be
climbing onto my bed and clearing off the contents of the top of my nightstand,
which led to the discovery that, while the $22 bottle of liquid prescription
medicine I keep up there may be child-proof, it is not Cyclura
proof, as it opened and spilled its nearly full contents on the floor
when he knocked it off.)
Mike will eat just about
anything in the food bowl, but always waits around before digging in,
often for a considerable amount of time if I am in the kitchen, just in
case there will be a worm, mouse, cooked chicken or other favored appetizer.
He is calmer overall, but still likely to fuss a bit when first picked
up. When approached in the ig room and often out of it, he no longer runs,
even when I reach up/down to touch him or pick him up.
When his face shows
signs of upcoming shed (rostral skin turns white), he even more calm when
being held. While he seems to be quieter during these periods, he still
actively thermoregulates, using 3-5 different spots regularly in the iguana
room, and while not as active outside the IR, still leaves it and cruises
through at least one other room each day.
Even though he is bigger
(longer, taller and heavier) than Rugwort, the green iguana, he still
insists on asserting himself, though generally restricting it to mornings
and late afternoons. Once Mikey is down for the night, Rugwort can clamber
all over him without reaction.
An interesting note
is that Mike is apparently afraid of Sluggo, the 22" STL blue-tongue
skink. When Sluggo comes in to bask, Mike goes into full threat mode no
matter how high above Sluggo he is (basking shelves range from 4-6 ft
above the floor), and will lunge at him when he is on the ground with
Sluggo and Sluggo approaches him. This has Sluggo rather confused as he
has never experienced such a reaction from any of the green iguanas, regardless
of their size. If fact, one of Sluggo's favorite resting places was to
worm his way under a large green iguana so that part of the iguana's weight
was resting - pushing - on Sluggo.
15.5" SVL; 39.5" STL; 8+ lbs. Spring for Mikey is like spring
for a lot of species: a time of restlessness, re-exploring areas not visited
since before winter set in, eating like crazy, and wanting to go outside.
I set up some planks over my tortoise pen and, using a couple of dog collars
and a leash, put Mike on them for sun, fresh air, and al fresco dining
on the geraniums and chards growing up out of the pen. Since softball
season is starting again, that means a few outings to the ball park on
heat-wave nights and some weekend tournaments.
Mike has also become
quite communicative about what he wants when it comes to his baths. He
pounds on the inside walls of the tub to make enough noise to summon me.
Once the water is up to his neck, he lays quietly until the water cools
off more than he likes or enough dribbles through the not-quite-tight
drain plug to lower it more than he likes. At that point, he splashes
around, jumping in and out of the tub, until I come in and top it all
off again with warm water. Unfortunately, with water and gas prices (and
conservation issues) being what they are, he is unhappy that he only gets
When he wants to go
outside and I don't respond fast enough to satisfy him (he gives me about
half an hour), he has discovered a new trick to catch my attention: he
climbs up on the leather couch and stares at me. If that doesn't work,
he poops on the couch and stalks off.
SVL: 16.5" STL: 42.5". Rather more time has elapse since my
last update than I'd realized, so I'll have to put something together
for his fourth birthday.
SVL: 17" STL: 44.5"; 4.5 kg. As is probably evident from his
continued growth, Mikey is prospering, eating (and pooping) prodigiously.
In the two and one-half years, he has settled into daily and seasonal
routines and habits. Despite his now greatly out weighing/massing/sizing
the blue-tongue skink, he remains apprehensive and goes into hatched mode
(lateral compression, standing on straightened legs, gular skin puffed
out) whenever Sluggo comes close. While he is tolerant of most things
humans do - and wear - he continues to be freaked out by Hawaiian shirts
of any color or pattern. When he spies them in the distance, he raises
up his forequarters and bobs. Come any closer, and he shies away, even
to the point of refusing belly rubs once the offensive shirt has been
removed and set aside. As the season slides from summer to fall, he once
again seems to be disappointed that I am not making the overcast rainy
days go away.