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Dec 1, 2008

Rio Fuerte Beaded Lizards

Rio Fuerte Beaded Lizards from ZSL - London Zoo

Conservation Breeding of the Rio Fuerte beaded lizards (Heloderma horridum exasperatum) - a threatened lizard from Guatemala

One of the most misunderstood and mis-managed species of lizard, the Beaded lizard (CITES Appendix II) is not a commonly bred species in captivity, and has seldom been bred in Europe.

Three years ago the husbandry of this species was changed dramatically at ZSL London Zoo. Changes included a transformation of the on-show housing to more closely replicate the wild environment of this species. New temperature and humidity cycles were introduced and more varied and natural substrates were employed. In addition, the diet, which had previously been dominated by rodents, has been diversified.

These changes have resulted in much improved fertility and hatching in this species. The Guatemalan beaded lizard (H.H. charlesbogerti) was only discovered in 1988 (Jonathan A. Campbell and Jay P. Vannini; Journal of Herpetology, Vol. 22, No. 4, (Dec., 1988), pp. 457-468).

With fewer than 170 individuals left in the wild, It is threatened with extinction due to loss of its habitat, collection by local and foreign collectors, the effects of hurricanes, and persecution by local people who are afraid of it because it is venomous. 

Developed by:  ZSL - London Zoo 

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