The leopard gecko or known as Eublepharis Macularis comes from the arid countries of India and Pakistan. The male of leopard gecko can reach a size around 10 to 12 inches long and female can reach a size around 7 to 10 inches long. The leopard gecko is also known that they can live more than 20 years. They also have beautiful colors and patterns that make the leopard gecko becomes one of the most popular lizard species which been kept worldwide. If you wonder about leopard gecko breeding, there are many things that you should know.
Leopard Gecko habitat
The geckos need an aquarium with 10 to 20 gallons capacity for their entire life from the babies to adults. The cage is recommended to be one foot tall and there should be a secured screed top to support the light. It will also keep any intruder like cats and other animals away from the geckos. If you want to, you can add some plants both artificial and live ones into the aquarium.
You will also need some pea gravel, newspaper, flat stones, artificial turf, or even no cover for the substrate. However, putting products from fine particles or sands could lead to intestinal impaction. They could consume those things though, especially the young geckos.
A hide box is necessary for this creature. You will need 6 to 7 inches of diameter contained vermiculite or moist peat moss. Those things will make their skin sheds and a place to lay their eggs properly. Make sure the temperature is between 86 and 90 F every time. The temperature of ambient air shall be at least 73 F. Some heat tapes or under-tank heating pads may help to provide the proper temperature for the leopard gecko.
Crickets are their basic meals and you need to feed them every day. If you do not want to bother giving them meals, you can keep the mealworms inside the enclosure so they can get what they need. The insects shall be shorter than the geckos’ head and as thick as their width. Make sure you give them a balanced diet.
Just like any other creature, additional vitamins and calcium are necessary for the leopard gecko, especially vitamin D3. Besides putting the insects, you can also put a jar lid contained with some supplements. Put it in the corner of their cage so they can consume anytime they want. When it comes to the fresh water supply, it is recommended to provide a 2-to-6-inch sturdy water dish.
Basics of leopard gecko breeding
Usually, the female geckos are not sexually mature until they reach the weight around 45 grams and 9 to 10 months of age as well. In the north equator, the leopard gecko starts their breeding session from January to September. While you are cooling down the females before the breeding session, you cannot cool down the first year females because they are still growing. You are able to stop 10 days before cooling then you are able to keep them at 74 degrees of Fahrenheit with water available 24/7 for 6 to 8 weeks.
When you try to introduce the females geckos to male geckos, the first thing that you see is the male try to vibrate his tail that sounds like a fast rattle as well. Then the females will stand calmly when the male tries to grasp her neck skin in the male’s mouth and mating. You should know that that thing is normal and successful meeting only take around three minutes from start until finish. Then you are able to take out the female soon afterward.
The egg laying
The female geckos lay eggs around 16 to 22 days after their copulation. After the breeding session start, you are able to expect those female geckos to lay the clutch in every 15 to 10 days around 4 to 5 month period. The females might lay one or two on their first clutch then they are able to produce 10 eggs in their first breeding year. Then, leopard gecko is able to produce up to 100 eggs in their lifetime. You are able to provide egg-laying container/ box at least 7 inches along with diameter around 4 inches tall. For cages that can house up to five females, then you can use the plastic shoebox. All of the females will lay their egg in those same spots. Then you can fill the egg laying box with the peat moss in order to keep it moist.
Most breeders will use a shoebox or plastic deli cups for the egg incubation. Do not forget to fill the box with 1 to 2 inches of perlite or vermiculite. In order to get the proper moisture, you need to mix the incubation medium to the water equally by weight. Later, slightly bury the eggs and put some distance at least a half-inch. Cover the box with a clean yet tight lid and put some air holes to the top so the leopard gecko could breathe properly.
The temperature inside the incubation determines the sex. 80 degrees of temperature will create female geckos. Meanwhile, if you set the temperature around 87 degrees then you will get 50:50.
After the hatchling leopard geckos reach 7 inches length, you can put it into the simple shoebox with 12 inches length, 4 inches tall, and 6 inches width. This place is ideal because it gives closer proximity to shelter, heat, food, and water. Do not make sure to maintain the 90 degrees temperature under the hide box to make a good life for the juveniles. Also, maintain the cool end to the 73 degrees just like where the adults live. To cover the floor, you may use the paper towels though.
Hatchling leopard gecko will shed their skin and start to eat after their first three days. Some regular mealworms with 1 inch in length would be the best option for those babies. Other than that, you can put about 7 mealworms in a jar lid every day.