Leopard geckos are a fantastic lizard for beginners and novices alike, they even made it onto our list of 8 Best Lizard Pets! Easy to look after and handle, a lot of lizard lovers are choosing to breed them. But before you do, let’s take a look at what’s involved in leopard gecko breeding!
Leopard Gecko Breeding Background
Before deciding if we are ready to breed leopard geckos, it is important to know all about the babies, the process, and the care. They are considered one of the easiest reptiles to breed, however, breeders still need to be clued up and prepared. You must make sure your leopard gecko babies and parents are safe, happy, and healthy!
When is leopard gecko breeding season?
When leopard geckos are living north of the equator, their breeding season is pretty long. It starts around January and can last until September if the conditions are right. This is a long time for your geckos to breed, so a lot of opportunities for little gecko babies!
How many babies do leopard geckos have?
Female leopard geckos will lay their eggs 16 to 22 days after mating with the male and will produce 1 or 2 eggs each time. Over the course of the leopard gecko breeding season, your females might have up to 16 babies! Female leopard geckos are able to have over 100 babies in their lifetime.
What will I need to breed my leopard geckos?
When you choose to breed your geckos, you will have to purchase special items for the eggs and the babies. You will of course need a male and female leopard gecko and terrariums for both of them. Females can be kept together and bred with the same male, but don’t put more than four females in the same terrarium.
You will also need enough enclosures for the potential babies. They can be put in plastic containers when they first come out of their shells. Make sure you have enough food, calcium, water dishes, and paper towels for all the babies that your leopard geckos might have.
A must for all reptile lovers and breeders is a gram scale. This is really useful to weigh both your adult geckos to see if they are ready to breed, and the babies to keep a track of their growth. This one from Amazon is perfect as it is portable, precise, and has readabilities of 0.01g. It also only costs $11.99! Perfect to weigh your cute gecko babies!
You will need a lay box in your terrarium. This is a place for the females to go and lay their eggs in privacy. A little plastic box or Tupperware container is perfect for this job! It will need to be about six inches in diameter or width and 4 inches tall. It needs a hole in the top big enough from the geckos to come in and out.
You need to fill the lay box with a moist substrate. Moss is perfect for a lay box, but other substrates also work! Place the lay box inside your terrarium. It is okay to have one lay box for multiple female geckos as they will all lay their eggs in the same box.
Finally, you will need a place for your eggs to be incubated! Any plastic container is perfect for incubation but you should get some hatching specific substrate. Getting substrate explicitly for hatching ensures the incubation environment will be perfect.
How will I know my leopard geckos are ready for breeding?
In order to have healthy lizard babies, you need healthy lizard parents! Female leopard geckos become sexually mature at around ten months and must weigh about 45g before they can be bred.
The breeding process can be really tough on the females, so it is important that before you introduce the male, your female is in the best possible shape! You must be feeding your geckos crickets at least every other day. You might also want to put a dish of mealworms in the enclosure so they can snack on them whenever they like.
Providing your leopard geckos with a variety of food on the run up to breeding seasons means that they’ll be as healthy as can be! This puts your geckos in the best possible position to have healthy babies.
You should also provide your geckos with a constant source of pure calcium powder. This can be done by dusting all the insects you feed them.
It is really important that you prepare both your male and female geckos for breeding and you should never breed geckos that are too young, too old, or in ill health. If your female gecko is not healthy and strong, breeding may be fatal for her.
How to Breed Leopard Geckos
If you have everything you need and your geckos are healthy, you are prepared to breed your leopard geckos! Let’s look at the different steps of the process so you are as clued up as possible!
Step 1: Introduce the Male and Female
Once breeding season has begun, it is time to put the male in with the female. When doing this you must pay attention to how they interact at first. Normally they will get on fine, but sometimes male geckos can be overly aggressive to the females. The odd bite is normal, but anything more aggressive than that is an issue and you should remove the male.
Your male will rattle his tail before breeding. The female will stand still and let the male copulate with her. Mating will only take a few minutes and will often happen at night, so you might not know if they have bred or not.
When copulation has occurred, you might want to place the male in a separate terrarium.
Step 2: Look Out For Eggs
When your leopard geckos have bred, wait for a few weeks then start checking the lay box. It is important that you get the eggs as soon as possible as they might dry out if left for too long.
You can normally tell when the gecko has laid the eggs as the moss in the lay box will be disrupted. Be really careful when retrieving the eggs and do not roll the eggs over. Doing this runs the risk of harming the babies.
Step 3: Incubation
After carefully removing the eggs, put them in the incubation box. This should be a small plastic container with a few inches of special hatching substrate that is damp and warm. The container should have a lid with five to ten holes for ventilation.
Be extremely careful as you move the eggs and place them in the substrate in their original position with the upper side facing up. Bury the eggs halfway into the substrate to keep them cosy. Make sure there is at least half an inch between each egg.
The temperature of the eggs will affect the likelihood of the geckos hatching healthy. It also affects what sex the geckos will be! If you incubate the eggs at 80℉ then the geckos will probably all be female. At around 90℉ the geckos will most likely all be male. If you are wanting a mix of sexes, incubate the eggs at around 85℉.
Do not let the temperature fall below 74℉ as this can be fatal for the geckos. Remember to keep an eye out on your eggs to make sure they are moist but that there’s no bacteria or mold growth.
Step 4: Baby Leopard Geckos!
After about six weeks of incubation, your leopard geckos will hatch! It is best to keep your hatchlings in a plastic box at first with paper towels as a substrate.
They will begin eating when they are three days old. At this time of their lives, mealworms are your best choice to make sure your baby leopard geckos will grow up strong and healthy.
Make sure they have access to water, heat at around 90℉, and shelter. When they grow to about seven inches they can be put with their siblings!
When it comes to breeding lizards, leopard geckos are a great starting point and can be extremely rewarding when you see your babies hatch and grow!
Now you know how many babies leopard geckos have when the leopard gecko breeding season is, and what every step of the journey is. It takes time, dedication, and hard work but it will be worth it when you have a new generation of leopard geckos.
As long as both geckos are in tip-top health and you have everything that you need for the babies, go ahead and breed your leopard geckos!
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