Are you looking to breed leopard geckos?
Leopard geckos are cute and fun reptiles to keep as pets.
Caring for them as young and breeding them is a blast as well.
But caring for eggs is always an intimidating process.
We’ve got you covered with this guide on how to incubate leopard gecko eggs.
Incubating leopard gecko eggs is a simple matter of collecting the eggs after they’re laid, putting them in an incubator at the correct temperature for the gender you’d like, and checking on them daily to see if the humidity is right and no mold is growing. After 35-90 days, the eggs will hatch.
Check out the rest of the guide for our step-by-step instructions.
What You’ll Need
Incubator – An incubator is a must for leopard gecko eggs.
They need to be stored somewhere small and safe, where the temperature is easily regulated.
There are two ways to do this:
- Make your own using a small plastic container with pinholes poked in the top for air.
- Buy a premade incubator such as the Zoo Med one we linked to.
The premade ones are much easier to use and come explicitly designed for this purpose.
They may cost a little, but the effort you’ll save may be worth it to you.
Egg Bedding – The egg bedding is what the female wants to lay eggs in and what the eggs need to be incubated in.
Peat moss and vermiculite (such as at the link above) are the ideal choices.
The medium needs to be present in a 1″ – 2″ inch (5.08 cm) layer in the egg box and incubator.
Buy your material from a pet store to ensure the medium is free of parasites and chemicals.
Spray Bottle – If the humidity in the incubator isn’t enough for your eggs, they’ll begin to dent or collapse.
You need to start spraying down the eggs 5-6 times per day to keep it up when you see this.
Any spray bottle will do. Just avoid severe pressure on the egg to prevent damaging them.
Learn more about dented leopard gecko eggs in our post dedicated to the topic.
Egg Box – An egg box is needed for the female leopard gecko to lay the eggs in.
This space should be at least 7 inches (17.78 cm) wide and long by 4 inches (10.16 cm) tall.
The female needs to be able to get in easier, and a top with a 2-inch hole will help the female feel safer.
Most breeders use a plastic container, but many owners use an old (but clean) shoebox.
Step By Step How To Incubate Leopard Gecko Eggs
This section covers how to care for leopard gecko eggs until hatching.
It’s not hard once you know what you’re doing, so read on feel more confident.
#1 Get The Female Pregnant And Lay The Eggs
The leopard gecko breeding period is from January to September.
Leopard geckos reach sexual maturity at around one year of age and above.
Before breeding, the female needs to gain more mass, calcium, and vitamin D.
Many experienced breeders will feed her more and more often.
Some leave mealworms in her tank at all times for 7-10 days before breeding to allow her to get larger.
Place the female in the male’s tank during the breeding season after this time and watch for mating signals.
The male rattles his tail quickly. It almost sounds like a rattlesnake’s tail.
The female, if receptive, will freeze and lock her eyes on the male.
Then, he’ll bite onto her neck, and they’ll mate.
The whole process takes 2-3 minutes.
After this is done, remove the female from the cage back to her own.
Unlike other reptiles, leopard geckos won’t hold onto sperm until conditions are ripe.
The female has a short gestation period, and she lays her first clutch at 15-22 days after mating.
Each clutch has 1-2 eggs.
This continues every 15-22 days more for 4-5 clutches.
This means your leopard gecko will lay around 8-10+ eggs per mating.
Keep this in mind.
After mating, add an egg box to your female’s tank to give her a place to lay.
This box should be 7″ inches (17.78 cm) long and wide and 4″ inches (10.16 cm) tall.
Fill it with peat moss or vermiculite.
Cover the top but provide a 2″ inch hole for the female to get in and out.
#2 Set Up The Incubator
Before the eggs are laid towards the end of the 15 days, ensure your incubator is set up correctly.
We’ll tell you how to take care of leopard gecko eggs.
There needs to be a bed for the eggs inside the incubator.
Use peat moss or vermiculite as with the egg box from above.
Stable temperature and humidity are crucial for good hatching chances.
Humidity is relative to what the eggs are telling you they need.
When preparing the bedding medium, mix it with water to keep it moist.
When you check on the eggs, if you notice dents on the eggs, spray down the eggs more often.
5-6 times per day should be good.
Higher humidity is better for the eggs, but you’ll need to watch for mold (more on this in step #4).
Leopard gecko gender depends on the temperature of the eggs, so decide what you want the babies.
Here is what happens at each temperature:
- <74° degrees Fahrenheit (23° C) = eggs won’t survive
- 80° degrees Fahrenheit (27° C) = all female
- 87° degrees Fahrenheit (30° C) = split male and female
- 90° degrees Fahrenheit (32° C) = mostly male
It’s possible to do this all with a simple plastic container with pinholes in the top for air, heaters, and gauges.
But it requires more consistent checking and work on your part.
We recommend using a specialized incubator for eggs, such as the one we linked above.
This makes it a safe and straightforward process.
#3 Move The Eggs
Once the eggs are laid, the female will leave the eggs alone.
Carefully take out the egg box and check the eggs.
Take them out one at a time and move them to your incubator.
As you move them, avoid turning them over.
Keep them in the same position as they were before.
Turning them over may jostle the embryos and kill them.
Bury them halfway or two-thirds in the egg bedding material you prepared before.
Seal up the incubator and make sure it’s at the right temperature.
We recommend then cleaning out the egg box and replacing the bedding material.
Then, put it back in the female’s tank for the next clutch in another 15-22 days.
#4 Check And Wait
Once the eggs are in, it becomes a waiting game.
Check on the eggs daily and look for the following things:
- The temperature at the correct setting (see above)
- Dents in the eggs (means you need to spray down the eggs 5-6 times per day)
- Mold growing on the top
Mold isn’t dangerous to eggs if taken care of.
It’s only bad when left unchecked.
For those who see mold, take a cotton swab and gently rub the mold off the egg.
Do this every day, so you know when they’re problems arising, and adjust the settings accordingly.
#5 Watch The Eggs Hatch
It takes between 35-90 days for the eggs to hatch.
You’ll want to keep track of which eggs were laid when, as this single period will cover 3-4 clutches.
You’ll see they’re about to hatch when the eggshells start to crack.
It may take some time for this to happen.
When you see this, stand by and be ready to help the new hatchlings.
After they hatch, move them to their new homes right away.
Congrats, you have now incubated leopard gecko eggs to hatch!
New baby leopard geckos are exciting, and we have a post dedicated to caring for baby leopard geckos you’re going to want to read for your babies.
For visual learners, you may also enjoy watching this video:
Commonly Asked Questions
What Do Leopard Gecko Eggs Look Like?
Leopard gecko eggs are generally the size of your thumb and are primarily white.
However, there are many which are darker as well.
This doesn’t have an impact on the eggs at all.
They often appear speckled, although this varies based on the eggs laid.
Do You Need An Incubator For Leopard Gecko Eggs?
You need an incubator of some kind, whether you make one yourself or buy one specifically made for reptiles.
It’s not good to leave the eggs in the egg box your female lays them in.
This space isn’t controlled enough in temperature to provide the best setting.
How Can You Tell If A Leopard Gecko Egg Is Fertile?
The best way is through the flashlight test.
Hold the egg (without turning it over) against a flashlight and study the egg’s color.
If the egg color is yellowish or white with no veins, the egg is infertile.
However, when you see red veins and the egg takes on a pinkish hue, there is an embryo inside it.
Here’s our guide on figuring out if your leopard gecko eggs are fertile or infertile that goes into greater detail.
We hope you found this guide for incubating leopard gecko eggs helpful.
The most important things to remember are setting the temperature correctly based on the gender you want and their daily checks.
Leopard gecko eggs aren’t tricky to incubate and have a high hatch rate, so go for it!
Enjoy your baby leopard geckos and the whole process.