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Do Leopard Geckos have periods? This is just but one of the common questions that most lizard keepers ask. When it comes to keeping Leopard geckos, it does not matter whether you are a novice or an expert, there is always something new that you will learn about your little friend.
As such, having a Leo can be fun and interesting, but it is also somewhat stressful because you will be required to understand every behavior that your pet displays.
You should particularly have a deeper understanding of the reproductive cycle of female Leopard geckos.
A lot of changes take place during the breeding season, so all gecko parents should know all the dos and don’ts when breeding Leopard geckos.
Before we go any further, let us tackle the aforementioned question—do Leopard geckos have periods?
Like most species in the animal kingdom, female Leopard geckos don’t have periods, and neither do they go into heat. However, they produce ova at specific times of the year, thereby allowing them to reproduce. For breeding to take place, you need to provide your pet with the right conditions as this will make the process less stressful for the lizard.
If you are thinking of breeding your Leopard geckos, there are several things that you need to put into consideration.
If you are familiar with Leopard gecko behavior, then you must be aware that Leos can be territorial in certain situations.
With that being said, ensure that you have enough space to house all the hatchlings. Also, mature male Leopard geckos should not be kept in the same enclosure as they will fight for dominance.
What Are the Signs of Ovulation in Leopard Geckos?
Two common observable changes can help you know if your Leopard gecko is ovulating. However, there are other signs that you can look out for if you suspect that your Leopard gecko is ovulating.
Most of the changes are behavior-related, while some are physiological, so you should pay close attention to your lizard during this period.
Loss of Appetite
During ovulation, Leopard geckos may consume small amounts of food in each feeding session, but this does not mean that you should stop feeding them.
You should provide the gecko with calcium-rich foods since they aid in egg formation.
Reddish/Pinkish Pigment underneath the Underbellies
Ovulating females often have pinkish/reddish coloration in their underbellies. This indicates increased blood supply to the developing eggs.
In most cases, you can see the eggs through the Leopard gecko’s skin. Nevertheless, you need to be keen since body fat can easily be mistaken for eggs.
According to experts, body fats in Leopard geckos are placed next to each other, while the eggs are somewhat staggered.
When Do Leopard Geckos Breed?
In the wild, Leopard geckos breed on their own in that the male seeks a sexually mature female and mates with her.
When in captivity, however, it is your responsibility to ensure that the female Leopard gecko finds a mate at the right time.
According to Reptiles Magazine, female Leopard geckos reach sexual maturity when they are between 9 to 10 months old. At this stage, all their reproductive organs are fully developed, meaning they can be bred.
Nonetheless, most gecko experts prefer using weight when determining sexual maturity in female Leopard geckos.
Females who weigh 40g to 60 grams can be successfully bred without putting the life of the lizard at risk.
Males, on the other hand, can start breeding when they are at least 12 months old. During the breeding season, one male should be paired with two female Leopard geckos.
As stated earlier, sexually mature males should never be kept in the same vivarium, especially during the breeding season because they can engage in bloody duels that can lead to death.
One thing that all pet parents should keep in mind is that breeding is a delicate process in Leopard geckos, so you need to be cautious when pairing a male with a female.
Determining Sexes in Leopard Geckos
Breeding can only occur when a male Leopard gecko mates with a sexually mature female. As such, you need to distinguish males from females before pairing your lizards.
However, this can be challenging because female and male Leopard geckos look almost alike. The best way that you distinguish your Leopard geckos is by comparing the pre-anal pores.
In males, the pre-anal pores are quite conspicuous, so you can easily see them when you flip the lizard over.
The pores are not as visible in females. In addition to this, male Leopard geckos have two hemipenal bulges while females don’t.
You should only pair healthy Leopard geckos during breeding since this will help you avoid possible complications, especially to the female.
Choosing Healthy Leopard geckos For Breeding
If you are planning on breeding your Leopard geckos, you should consider pairing a healthy male and female.
Here are some of the things that can help you know whether the pair in question is in good health condition:
Check the oral cavity
Healthy Leopard geckos have pink coloration inside their mouths. Also, the mouth should be clean with no swellings. You can also check the nasal cavity and the eyes for any discharge.
Check the tail
Leopard geckos with large thick tails are highly preferred. A large tail indicates that the lizard has good fat reserves.
Healthy female Leopard geckos should weigh between 40-60 grams, while males should be between 60-90 grams.
A healthy Leopard gecko should have brightly colored skin.
Leopard geckos don’t have periods, but they do ovulate once they have reached sexual maturity.
If you intend to breed your Leopard geckos, you should consider pairing sexually mature females with males during ovulation as this will increase the chances of reproduction.
However, the fact that your gecko has reached sexual maturity does not mean you should breed them. You need to consider if they are healthy and in top-class condition.