Breeding leopard geckos has always been on most people’s bucket list and today I will help you accomplish it. Surprisingly, breeding leopard geckos is pretty easy as compared to other reptile pets.
It should not be an easy process as per se, but you can do it with the right information. Besides, this guide will also teach you how to pair the best leopard gecko morphs. I am sure you want to have geckos with awesome patterns and colors as well.
We’ll be covering how to take care of pregnant geckos, egg deposition, egg incubation, and leopard gecko breeding setups.
What Month Do Leopard Geckos Breed?
As is the case with most reptiles, leopard geckos also have a specific period when they can breed. A leopard gecko’s breeding season runs from January to September as long as the gecko has hit sexual maturity.
Female leopard geckos should reach sexual maturity once they reach 10 months of age. Giant species should be at least 55kgs
Ooh, also sexually mature leos should weigh more than 45 grams.
Male leopard geckos are known to reach sexual maturity pretty fast. We are talking about 6 to 8 months. Once male leos hit this stage, they’ll start getting a bit territorial. You might also notice a change in their temperament.
Sometimes the breeding season can differ depending on when the leopard gecko was hatched or even the morph.
Some owners might choose to breed leopard geckos outside the normal season, but it’s not advisable. Always stick to the recommended schedule.
How Do You Differentiate A Female from A Male Leopard Gecko
Distinguishing male and female leopard geckos is always a difficult task for beginners. Even experts get a bit confused especially when sexing young geckos.
Most of the features that we use to differentiate geckos normally start showing after sexual maturity. For instance, male leopard geckos will have visible femoral pores around the vent area. Besides, the pores tend to be more significant than in females.
The other dominant feature is the hemipenal bulges. Male leopard geckos have two bulges around below the vent. They actually resemble some kind of balls.
Signs That Your Leopard Gecko Is Ready To Mate
Most animals portray specific behavior when they are ready to mate. This also happens to leopard geckos. In fact, you should look for these signs when the breeding season starts.
Females will begin ovulating when they are ready to breed. Below are some signs that your leo is ovulating:
- Visible Eggs
- Slow Movements
- Swollen abdomen
- Lack of appetite
- Light-pinkish coloration around the belly
You ought to keep an eye out on your female leopard gecko. Check after every 2 or 3 days to identify whether your female is gravid.
As long as your female is gravid and has the right traits, then you can pair her with a male.
Pairing Your Leopard Geckos
Although this might be your first time breeding leopard geckos, you should still aim for the best results. You should pair your female leo with the best male gecko and vice versa.
Pick a female leo with the best features. I am talking about a female that has a fat tail, good weight, strong bones, and no diseases.
Breeding a leopard gecko that has diseases or deformities will not produce a good breed. Genes will always be passed to the hatchlings and I am pretty sure you want the best genes.
Most beginners do not have an idea of how genetics influence they physical appearance of leopard gecko babies. According to studies, babies will inherit their color and pattern mutations from their parents.
In fact, there is a 50% chance for a parent leo to pass his or her genes to the offspring.
Preparation for Breeding Leopard Geckos
Now that you have an idea of what you want to achieve, it is time to prepare for breeding. First off, you’ll be required to have some special supplies, which include:
- An Egg Laying Box
- An Egg Incubator
- Enough food supplies
- Food and water trays
- Extra calcium supplementation
- Hatchling racks.
With the above supplies, you’ll be ready to kick-start your breeding journey. Remember that leopard geckos can lay up to 10 fertile eggs in a breeding season. We always recommend beginners to start with only one female as they might be overwhelmed by the hatchlings.
How To breed Leopard Geckos Step By Step
As long as you have all the supplies, you can start the breeding process. You can do it on your own without necessarily needing help from experts. Below are some of the steps you should follow when breeding geckos:
Put the Male & Female Together
The first step for leopard gecko breeding should be to place the pair together. You can do place them in a normal enclosure or in a special tray. This is where the male will make advances and flirt with the female. Make sure the conditions are ideal and has the right temperatures.
If the male is interested in mating, he will start by shaking his fat tail. He will then approach the female and make a small dance as he tries to nimble on her body. These bites should not harm the female in any way. In fact, the bites are meant to stimulate the leopard gecko’s body.
As long as the female is willing to breed, she won’t resist the male’s advances. If the female is not ready to mate, she’ll become aggressive or run from the male.
During mating, the male leopard gecko will mount on the female and try to lock her into place. If this is successful, the female will raise her tail in order to allow the male gecko to slide his tail underneath.
Once the tail is in place, the male will insert one of this hemipenis into the female vent and pass his DNA. The mating action should last a minute or two.
If the mating is successful, separate the two leos as the male might stress out the gravid female.
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Now the female leopard geckos will be ready to lay fertile eggs and you should prepare a special place for her. An egg-laying box should be placed in her enclosure. Ensure you place moist substrate under the box or hide.
Breeders recommend owners to use peat moss or vermiculite as the substrate. Both substrates have good moisture retention and they are not harmful to leopard geckos.
Your leo should lay her eggs 16 to 20 days after mating. She will then proceed to lay a cluth of eggs every 14 to 21 days for about 5 months.
A health leo should lay an average of 10 – 13 eggs during the breeding season.