|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.||
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.
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.
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
Towards the end of Winter
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.
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.