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 Baby Fence w/ one eye closed - input?

Hey! I’m new to this site but in looking around online felt that most discussion about fence lizard care came back here. A little background on my baby lizard: It’s a prairie fence lizard (Sceloperus consobrinus), about a month old and ~1.5" long with tail, probably about 1" SVL. I got it through work--I worked at a university doing research on fence lizard cognition, and we used wild-caught lizards in a semi-natural environment (large outdoor enclosures with little interference except to put in shade/shelter/substrate at the beginning). Some were gravid females, and laid eggs. We didn’t interfere and let nature run its course, so three months later, the three that managed to make it hatched. Because we ran experiments for several hours daily, I’m reasonably sure we caught the baby within hours of it hatching. It’s been kept inside since and we’ve noticed no mites or other parasites in that time.

For about 3 weeks it was held in a temp and humidity controlled room at the university in which we’d kept other fence lizards for prolonged periods (basically optimal indoor environment). It was fed dusted fruit flies every other day and has been active and eating the whole 3 weeks. I was allowed to take it back home with me and it now lives in a 10-gallon tank (to be moved to a 30-gallon when it’s bigger) with paper towel substrate (again, to be changed when it gets bigger) and still fed dusted fruit flies, now daily since it seems a hungry little guy. It has a heat lamp and UVB lamp with the highest/hottest point in the tank being around 90F (on a gradient), a small water bowl with just a bit of water in it (truly a tiny lizard!) to keep humidity up and in case it wants to soak, and some ceramic pot pieces for cover. I spray twice a day to make sure humidity stays around 60%.

So, the issue: the baby has one eye almost constantly closed. I’ve seen it crack open a few times, but only briefly. Even when hunting flies (which it does readily even with me watching), it keeps the one eye closed. Sometimes I have to flick flies into its line of vision on the left side for it to notice them and pounce. It seems energetic and healthy otherwise, but I’m a little concerned--should I be? Here are some pictures of both eyes, the left one open (sorry for the shadows) and the right one closed as it usually is. He’s tiny and quick, so getting a closer look has been nearly impossible, but from what I can see in the photos I take it doesn’t seem crusty or weepy. Any ideas?

08/27/17  07:26pm


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  Message To: Pineapple   In reference to Message Id: 2321144

 Baby Fence w/ one eye closed - input?

Very cute lizard! I can’t give you any specific reasons why a baby lizard might do it, other than some mild stress. My male baby did that when he was younger, and I always assumed he just didn’t want to see me. But after a few weeks of captivity, and terrarium upgrades, he opens his eyes a lot more and is very active. Your lizard seems healthy if it’s being active though. I’d just take it as a sign of mild discomfort, and that he needs some time to adjust to being in captivity (even though it’s been in captivity it’s whole life lol). Mine was caught as a hatchling, and still took around 2 or 3 weeks to get comfortable. But now he’s very active and seems very healthy. I’m no scientist or anything, so I’d recommend further research in this lol.

08/28/17  07:22am

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