Fill the little plastic cups about halfway up with dampened vermiculite, which can be purchased in a hardware store. This material will serve as a substrate that holds the eggs as the embryos develop. Provide one cup for each egg to prevent the hatchlings from fighting.
Twist several air holes into the lids of each plastic cup using a knife. These holes will provide proper air circulation for the egg.
Set the heat lamp and bulb so that it is pointing down into the opening of the styrofoam box, which will serve as the incubator. You can use a tripod and clamp the heat lamp to it so that you can easily adjust the height of the lamp. Use a thermometer, which you can place in the styrofoam box, to measure the temperature. The proper temperature should be around 80 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Adjust the temperature by raising or lowering e height of the heat bulb or changing the bulb wattage.
Mark the top of each egg with a marker. This mark will be important when transferring the eggs into the vermiculite, as turning the eggs can suffocate and kill the embryo inside.
Move each egg into a cup of vermiculite, keeping the mark on top. Close the lids tightly and place each cup side-by-side at the bottom of the styrofoam box.
Let the eggs incubate for approximately a month and a half, leaving the heat lamp on at all times. Constantly monitor the temperature and adjust the heat (by moving the bulb toward or away from the eggs or changing the bulb wattage) to keep it constantly between 80 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Gently mist each egg once a day with warm water to keep them moist. After around 35 to 45 days, you should have hatchlings.
Things You Will Need
- Styrofoam box
- Plastic cups or bowls with clear lids (Tupperware cups will work)
- Heat lamp and 75-watt bulb
- Spray bottle
- Heat lamps are typically sold with clamps attached.
- Don't get discouraged if some eggs don't hatch or you lose a few hatchlings. Reptiles are extremely fragile animals and breeding them is sometimes just up to chance. Sometimes there is nothing you can do to prevent a hatchling or embryo from dying.