Humidity measuring in Gonatodes machelae habitat
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Autor:  svevs [ 31.01.2013, 18:50 ]
Betreff des Beitrags:  Humidity measuring in Gonatodes machelae habitat

Hello guys,

taking into consideration that the species Gonatodes machelae starts to be offered to European breeders now and then I would like to share my humidity measuring done on Isla de Margarita in Jan 2013.

The day/night temperatures are pretty stable on this Venezuelan island all the year round and they do not vary too much. The max day temperatures measured in period 14/01 - 19/01/2013 were 29 - 31°C and they fell down to 24 - 25°C at night. As the day temperatures did not exceed 30°C/31°C it means I did not register not a single day with unbearable heat as we know it from Mediterranean or North African countries.

From the breeder’s point of view I was rather wondering what is the daily humidity there. To my surprise numerous cloudlets were visible on the sky practically every morning, however, they usually disappeared before midday. The night or early morning short showers have occurred relatively often then. Nevertheless, measured humidity (regular morning and evening measuring in period 07/01 – 19/01/2013) was relatively stable 53% - 66%, too. Slightly elevated humidity I have measured either during the rain showers or just after them (70% - 72%). However, such elevated humidity fell down to normal values (less than 65%) pretty quickly.


Copey tree, National Park Cerro de Copey, Isla de Margarita, Venezuela


Autor:  Dendrophel [ 31.01.2013, 20:00 ]
Betreff des Beitrags:  Re: Humidity measuring in Gonatodes machelae habitat

Hello Radim!

Welcome back from your trip!
Thank you very much for your informations concerning the habitat of Gonatodes machelae. It is very interesting, that the humidity relative low. Did you also measured in the microhabitat of the geckos and at which altitute did you measured? Did you see some individuals?


Autor:  svevs [ 04.02.2013, 17:23 ]
Betreff des Beitrags:  Re: Humidity measuring in Gonatodes machelae habitat

Hi Dennis,

I measured air humidity twice a day near my accommodation (alt. approx 50 m) and it was organizationally impossible for me to collect similar set of air humidity measuring directly from Cerro El Copey. The National park was approx 15 - 20 km far (bee-line distance) from my hotel and because it can’t rely on local public transportation too much I had to use the service of Czech (!) taxi she-driver to reach it. I visited NP Cerro El Copey two times during my stay finally. The particular humidity values measured during my two separate NP visits (sunny days, alt. approx 650 m) were 65% resp. 73%.

I agree that measured humidity values seem to be surprisingly low. From my observations I can see some few reasons why it is probably so: a) Margarita is relatively small, to wind opened, island. Its western part has even pretty dry character b) the wind (only red flag flagged on the beach all the time) drains humidity of light rain showers soon c) the island hills with height up to 500 m are overgrown by brushwood and other low vegetation, the Cerro El Copey with brushwood and low piedmont forest then. The evergreen forests are present from the altitude 600 m and up. Moreover, in my opinion, these Cerro de Copey forests are not so thickly wooden forests as the ones I could visit in state Bolívar (Venezuelan mainland). The integral parts of the NP are also two villages….

OK, no doubt that the humidity in NP can also exceed 75% when raining or just after it. Nevertheless, I think that machelae should be fine in breeding with the humidity 75% (just after spray moistening) and 60 - 65% for the rest of the day, the daily temperatures 26 - 28°C dropping down to 23 - 24°C at night.

As for Gonatodes machelae I was not successful in his observation in the nature finally. What a pity that Luis could not join me on Margarita due to his busyness, the chance to see this species in the nature would be definitely higher. He commented later to me that is not so easy to find machelae in the park, but they are still there…. :-)

Looking to see you all in Hamm in March!

Autor:  Enton [ 04.02.2013, 21:38 ]
Betreff des Beitrags:  Re: Humidity measuring in Gonatodes machelae habitat

Hello Radim,
Very interesting text about you. Such destinations I would also like to visit. would love it if there were more pictures, would have great interest!

greats Benni

Autor:  svevs [ 18.02.2013, 21:31 ]
Betreff des Beitrags:  Re: Humidity measuring in Gonatodes machelae habitat

Dear Benni,

upon your request I add five more pictures from Isla de Margarita, Venezuela. I am going to prepare shorter information about my Venezuelan trip completed with some more pictures taken either on Margarita, Los Roques or Venezuelan mainland, too. Due to expected size of such information I will place it on my website in March/April. Of course, in case of interest the link can be provided later.

I agree that the very first trip to South or Central America is always a big experience for every Gonatodes or Sphaerodactylus breeder. Patient observer can see different lizards of all sizes practically everywhere, on the ground, under shrubs, on trunks or even on house walls (here especially near yard or road lighting lamps at night). I was stunning when I found one extremely big dead locust and got frightened when pretty big cockroach “landed” on my neck… ;)

Naturally, on Isla de Margarita, I preferred to visit NP Cerro El Copey to take a picture or catch a sight of Gonatodes machelae at least. Therefore I took a local taxi to get the NP entrance (blue road sign on the left side)

Different lizards were present in national park, one of them (Ameiva bifrontata?) was fearless lying on road curb

the other one (Tropidurus hispidus) was looking at me from tree trunk

but I was not successful as for beautiful Gonatodes machelae finally. Nevertheless, I could see the living conditions this Gonatodes species lives in. I could see the variability of local trees, shrubs, ground plants and the density of tree-tops there

and also leaves litter, the function of which in breeding tank we discussed here a certain time ago.


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