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Old 10-22-2019, 07:50 PM   #1
Russian legless lizard

I brought home a Russian legless lizard from an expo for an acquaintance who’s husband has now said NO. I know nothing about lizards. I keep snakes. Can anyone give me solid advice? Is there a reliable care sheet out there? I’m finding conflicting info. Doesn’t need UVB- yes it does. Doesn’t need calcium powder-yes it does. Crazy temps all over the place... aspen bedding? What furnishings? It’s about 14inches long including the tail. What does it eat, how much and how often. Please help.
Old 10-22-2019, 10:17 PM   #2
A 20L enclosure should be considered the minimum, but bigger is better with this species. Hides, basking rock, climbing branches. The daytime hot spot should be around 85, with the cool end going down to about 70. A ten degree night drop is appropriate. As you have found, there is debate as to whether or not this species requires UVB. I provided UVB for mine, can't hurt. I did a 12 hour light cycle. Insects and earthworms should make up the main component of the diet (with calcium supplementation). Mice can be offered occasionally, either whole pinkies/fuzzies or chopped adults. Fresh water should always be available. Peat moss or coconut fiber are good choices for substrate because they allow burrowing and help hold humidity. I did not spray, just occasionally dampened the substrate. Sheltopusiks will brumate in the wild, but I never attempted this. If you have any other questions, just let me know.
Old 10-22-2019, 10:21 PM   #3
I realize I forgot to address your question of how much food, how often. I provided mine with as many live bugs as it could eat in 5 minutes, once a day, rotating between crickets, superworms and earthworms. Rodents were only an occasional treat.
Old 10-23-2019, 04:31 AM   #4
Russian Legless Lizard

Thank you very much.
Old 10-23-2019, 08:56 PM   #5
One thing I forgot to add: Sheltopusiks are really bad nose-rubbers. Their enclosure should have no screen or sharp/rough edges, or they will wind up bloody and scarred.
Old 10-23-2019, 09:07 PM   #6
Okay. I’ll make sure. I’ve got a pvc cage with a RHP that I can get him into this weekend. Do I need a special calcium powder or can I use a human calcium supplement?
Old 10-23-2019, 09:23 PM   #7
No, use a calcium supplement made for insectivorous lizards. No D3. Zoomed Repti Calcium without D3 is a good choice. It's only a few bucks for a small container that will last a long time. The best way to use it is to put the live insects in a ziplock bag with a small amount of powder and "shake & bake." Only do this to insects that you are about to feed off right away. If you are feeding earthworms, just dip half of the worm in powder and its natural mucous with make the powder stick.
Old 10-24-2019, 04:39 PM   #8
You should probably collect a fecal sample and have it tested for internal parasites. 99% of sheltopusiks are wild caught and many of them are sold without having been treated for parasites. In the mean time, maintain strict quarantine so that none of your snakes are exposed.

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