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Leopard geckos are pretty simple to breed, even for beginners. However, it requires more than coupling a female and male and allowing nature to take its course. They breed under specific conditions, and you’ll want to ensure that your surroundings and setup are suitable.
You can breed a female and male leopard gecko by mating them. The female will then lay and hatch the eggs into baby geckos. The level at which you keep the egg temperature dictates the sexes of the hatched leopard gecko.
Leopard gecko breeding should be easy if you follow our tips and guidelines below. Continue reading this post to get an insight into everything required to breed your leopard geckos successfully.
How Do You Breed Leopard Geckos at Home?
Leopard geckos are an ideal subject for those interested in breeding their domestic lizards. We will cover the fundamentals of breeding leopard geckos, including sex determination, egg incubation, and neonatal care.
Sexing a Leopard Gecko
First, you’ll need at least one pair of leopard geckos, male and female, to breed them successfully. The gender of your leopard gecko may be a puzzle to you as a new owner. You’ll have to learn to tell if your leopard geckos are male or female so that you don’t mistakenly get leopard geckos of the same gender.
When attempting to distinguish between male and female leopard geckos, there are two key factors that you should take into consideration.
Leopard geckos may be sexed by looking at the underside of their tails. To examine either of them, you’ll need to start by gently turning your leopard gecko over onto its back. Another option is to position the leopard gecko in a clear-bottomed container and raise it over your head.
You will find substantial femoral pores on the hind limbs and noticeable preanal pores in the shape of a “V” in male leopard geckos. Pores and bulges aren’t apparent in the female leopard gecko.
The base of the tail has two bulges on either side. They are triggered by the lizard’s hemipenes – stored at the base of the tail when not in use. Waxy secretions are common in the pores of male geckos.
Conditioning for Pre-breeding
You are now equipped with a matched pair of leopard geckos and are ready to begin your breeding program. However, the initial phase in this procedure does not include mating the lizards at all, and it would be best if you first guaranteed their physical health conditions are optimal.
Breeding may be strenuous on the animals involved; thus, the animals must begin in peak condition. It’s especially true for the female, whose body will have to deal with the physical pain of the breeding process and the needs of egg deposition throughout the season.
You’ll need to dedicate one to three months heavily feeding the leopard geckos. You don’t want them to be overweight but have full and plumpy tails. You’ll also want to ensure the female is getting enough calcium supplements.
However, before you begin this procedure phase, have your veterinarian evaluate and test your chosen breeders for diseases or parasites. You will have more time to address such concerns before mating your pets this way.
Cycling for the right mating season
Cycling is synchronizing and preparing your pets for the mating season. It entails intentionally inducing a “dry season” or “winter” for one to two months, followed by the restoration of typical “summer” or “spring” temperatures, day lengths, and humidity levels. Pairings can then begin.
You must quit feeding leopard geckos for around one week to let their digestive systems clear and then lower their temperatures towards the low-70s. If possible, you can lower the amount of sunlight your reptiles experience each day and ensure that they have access to water all the time.
Once the cycle time is complete, slowly restore usual conditions over several days and resume heavy feeding of the lizards.
On the other hand, leopard gecko breeders do not necessarily employ a cycle period, and some keepers maintain fairly steady temperatures throughout the year and have favorable results. Therefore, all that remains is for you to pick which method to choose.
Pairing the right male and female
As soon as you’ve completed the cycle phase and given your lizards a few days to adjust to stable conditions, you may begin pairing them up to mate. There are several ways you can use to accomplish this. Make sure that your strategy makes sense in light of the particulars of your case.
You can pair the leopard geckos for short times (ranging from a few hours to an entire day) before separating them again for a few days for rest and recovery. To guarantee that all of the eggs laid by the female gecko are fertile, you can repeat this process several times throughout the mating season.
Some breeders leave their leopard geckos in the same cage throughout the breeding season. However, we strongly advise against that, as it can give geckos severe stress and even lead to fights.
You should include a deposition container to the female leopard gecko’s habitat within a week following the first pairings. To let the lizard inside the container, create a two-inch-diameter hole in the lid of a small plastic container. You’ll need to fill the container with vermiculite or potting soil that is slightly damp but not soaked.
When the female gecko is ready, she will crawl inside the container and lay two rather large eggs. Bury the eggs and leave the room to take water and relax. Every two or three weeks for the rest of the breeding season, she’ll produce a new clutch.
When monitoring the female leopard gecko after each clutch is a valuable practice. Always have water and calcium supplement powder readily available for your gecko, and give it a heavy meal to replenish the fat supply.
It is necessary to remove the eggs from the deposition chamber and place them in an incubator after the female leopard gecko lays her clutches of eggs. You must ensure that the incubator can maintain a steady temperature for the whole incubation period.
Set an incubation container to hold the eggs before digging them up. You may make ventilation holes on the side of the tub by drilling a few small holes. It would be best to use moist but not wet vermiculite to line the container’s bottom.
Mark the tops of the eggs with a pencil after gently removing them from the egg-deposition container. To prevent the death of developing embryos, place the eggs inside an incubation container in just the same orientation as before.
Put the egg incubation container in the incubator and adjust the temperature. Keep an eye on the eggs throughout the incubation phase but avoid touching them a lot.
Depending on the incubation temperature you select, the eggs should begin to hatch in one to three months if everything goes according to plan.
Correct incubation temperatures
The temperature at which you will incubate the gecko eggs is essential for egg incubation. In leopard geckos, you will see a phenomenon referred to as temperature-dependent sex determination (TDSD). It is possible to incubate eggs at different temperatures and generate a statistical mix of male and female reptiles.
Incubate the leopard gecko eggs at around 80 – 90 degrees Fahrenheit if you don’t mind which sex they hatch.
The top-level of this range (between 80 to 84 degrees) is best to generate female geckos, whereas the higher end (between 88 to 90 degrees) is best if you want to produce exclusively male geckos.
When incubation temperatures hover around 87 degrees, a balanced mix of males and females is often the result. Although these temperatures are not a 100 percent guarantee in producing the desired sex, they are often effective in achieving this goal.
You will be thrilled by leopard gecko babies hatching from their eggs one day if you’re fortunate. Set up a “nursery” set in the first week or two for the newborn geckos to live in as soon as they emerge from their eggs.
Nesting boxes vary widely among breeders, and some breeders even skip the “nursery” phase and place their hatchlings in adult enclosures that are a bit smaller. However, they all have a similar environment: a shallow water dish, paper towel substrate, and several hiding places.
It would be best to keep mature leopard gecko’s habitat at a temperature of roughly 80 percent. The enclosure should also have a little greater humidity level. It takes about a week after hatching for a leopard gecko to start eating again after it has shed its skin for the first time.
It is a suitable time to place your tiny hatchlings in their cages, which should have humidity and temperatures levels that are typical of leopard geckos. Also, you can begin feeding the juvenile leopard geckos insects.
What Material and Supplements Do You Need When Breeding Your Leopard Geckos?
When looking at the size and quantity of eggs she may lay in a single season, and you can see why the breeding process is so strenuous on the female leopard geckos. As a result, you must adequately prepare the breeding pair and provide them with all necessary supplies, vitamins, minerals, and their regular diet.
Breeding pairs may necessitate an increase in their food consumption. A shallow dish of mealworms should be accessible in the enclosure of a breeding gecko. Your gecko will benefit from eating a more comprehensive range of foods, especially as the mating season approaches.
You can add insects other than crickets and mealworms if they’re available—for instance, the calcium-rich larvae of a soldier fly.
The terrarium must always have pure calcium powder on hand. It would be best if you didn’t worry about geckos overdosing on calcium, as long as the supplement is pure calcium. Some sources recommend vitamin D3 and calcium.
You may overdose your gecko on vitamin D when you’re already giving through feeder dusting. Also, feeder insects should have a multivitamin powder sprinkled on them at least once in every other feeding.
It is also essential to gather all necessary equipment and supplies in place. They include the following:
- You can use moist sphagnum moss or eco-earth substrate will to construct a nest or egg-laying box that you will put within the main terrarium.
- Egg incubation materials and equipment. Incubators can be as simple as a plastic box or deli cup, complex as a commercialized incubation medium, or a homemade incubator.
- Water and food trays to keep the hatchlings hydrated and paper towels and cardboard boxes to keep them warm.
FAQs about Leopard Gecko
Conclusion on Leopard Gecko Breeding Step By Step Guide
One of the most superficial reptile species to breed is the leopard gecko. Be adventurous and give them a shot. It necessitates a significant investment of time, money, and effort, and it isn’t for everyone. However, raising leopard geckos may be lucrative if you’re up for the challenge.
It’s possible that if you follow the instructions above and have a little bit of luck, you’ll be looking down at a cage full of brand-new young leopard geckos in no time. You may get many more tactics and strategies from experienced leopard gecko breeders who are willing to share their wisdom.
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