Autumn
Spring

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WINTER
                                                         
       During Winter as they would be unable to raise their body temperature to a level that would allow them to function properly, reptiles that come from countries that have a temperate climate similar to ours either hibernate fully or are not very active for the colder months. To hibernate fully they need to find a place [usually underground] that stays below five degrees C to enable their bodies to able to slow down enough for them to not need much energy. The Winter temperatures at the Reptile Park are not stable enough for complete hibernation so those species, mainly tortoises, that would naturally do so are kept semi active, they do not eat but will move around on sunny days. The same applies to New Zealand lizards as most species do not hibernate fully, some basking when conditions allow and  on occasions eating the fruit portion of their diet. Reptiles from tropical regions must be kept warm and fed throughout the year.

flies     Although the demand for food decreases dramatically during Winter we still maintain the cultures of insects [locusts, crickets and houseflies] bred at the Park for that purpose.We find it better than allowing them to die out and restart again as the weather gets warmer. For this we have a room kept at a warm temperature where they, like the houseflies pictured are bred even over Winter.                  locusts In New Zealand locusts breed for only 
one cycle naturally as opposed to several cycles in countries with warmer
climates. There they can reach vast
numbers creating swarms which at times destroy crops and grass.They are bred at the Park as they are an excellant food source for lizards.We provide them with heat to keep them breeding all year round.                                                              
FTortioises       Forest tortoises come  the  tropical and warmer parts of South America and remain active throughout the year. They are kept in heated quarters and allowed out on sunny days.
Iguana Iguanas also come from tropical South American countries and must be kept warm and fed over the Winter. Temperatures above 20d C at night and up to 35d C during the day are required  




           
Newts   Towards the end of Winter with
Spring approaching the fire-bellied newts are tarting to indulge in courtship behaviour. The males' tails have flattened sideways, they have developed a blue colouring, which will along a courtship dance and the release of chemicals into the water indicates to the females mating time has arrived. There is no physical mating, the deposits a packet of sperm on to the bottom and the female picks it up with her cloaca.

Newt eggs     Soon after mating the female fire bellied newts will begin to lay eggs, folding plants over and depositing the sticky jelly covered eggs singly to hold them together, thus  giving the eggs some protection. After a few weeks the developing young newts can be seen inside the egg capsules which they leave soon after. At this stage they cannot leave the water, similar to the tadpole stage of their amphibian cousins the frogs. At the base of the head they have feathery gills for underwater breathing which are lost when the newt matures and is able to leave the water and breath from the air.