Are you a Leopard gecko owner and are planning to breed them? If yes, then you must know that incubating their eggs is an important step to ensure healthy embryo development.
Don’t worry, incubation Leopard gecko eggs is not as difficult as it may sound!
All you need to do is create an optimal incubation environment by maintaining the right temperature, humidity, and other environmental factors. This involves choosing the right equipment, keeping a close eye on the conditions and understanding the specific needs of the eggs.
This guide will walk you through all the essential steps involved in how to incubate leopard gecko eggs, and provide valuable tips and tricks to help you create a successful breeding environment.
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced reptile enthusiast, you’ll find this guide helpful and informative.
Table of Contents
What You’ll Need
- Incubator (See it on Amazon)
- Egg Bedding (See it on Amazon)
- Spray Bottle
- Egg Laying Box
- Thermometer and Hygrometer
- Egg Tray or Cups
Incubator – An incubator is a must for leopard geckos 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 local 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 laying box is needed for female leopard geckos 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.
Thermometer or Hygrometer – For incubating eggs, it’s important to keep an eye on the temperature and humidity levels inside the incubator. You’ll want to use a trustworthy thermometer and hygrometer to do this. Aim for a temperature range of 80-88°F (27-31°C) and a humidity level of around 80%. This will give your eggs the best chance of hatching successfully.
Egg Tray or Cups – If you are using an incubator to hatch eggs, a great tip is to use an egg tray or deli cup to hold the eggs. This way, they won’t roll around and will stay in the right position for proper development.
Torch – When incubating Leopard gecko eggs, using a flashlight or candling device is an easy and convenient way to check on their development. Just shine some light through the egg and you’ll be able to identify which ones are fertile and monitor their progress. It’s a fun and exciting way to get involved and stay updated about the process!
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 breeding season for Leopard geckos is from January to September.
Leopard geckos reach sexual maturity at around one year of age and above.
However, before breeding, female Leopard geckos needs to gain more mass, calcium, and vitamin D.
Many experienced breeders will feed her more and more often.
Some leave feeder insects in her tank at all times for 7-10 days before the breeding season to allow her to get larger.
For breeding Leopard geckos, place the female in the male gecko’s tank and watch for mating signals.
The male rattles his tail quickly. It almost sounds like a rattlesnake’s tail.
The female Leopard gecko, if receptive, will freeze and lock her eyes on the male.
Then, he’ll bite onto her neck, and they’ll mate.
The whole Leopard gecko breeding 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 laying box to your female’s tank to give her a place for laying eggs.
This box should be 7″ inches (17.78 cm) long and wide and 4″ inches (10.16 cm) tall.
Fill the lay box 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 reptile 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 reptile eggs inside the incubator.
Use peat moss or vermiculite as with the egg laying box from above.
Stable temperature and humidity are crucial for good eggs 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 incubating 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 leopard gecko
- 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 lay box and check the eggs.
Take the eggs gently 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 lay 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?
If you’re planning to hatch leopard gecko eggs, it’s highly recommended to use an incubation medium for optimal results. By providing a stable and controlled environment, you can ensure that the embryos develop properly.
Maintaining the right temperature and humidity levels is crucial for successful egg incubation. Without an incubator, it can be pretty tricky to keep the conditions consistent enough for the eggs to hatch.
To create the perfect conditions, aim for a temperature range of 80 to 88 degrees Fahrenheit (27 to 31 degrees Celsius) and a humidity level of around 80%.
These conditions mimic the natural environment that leopard gecko eggs would experience in the wild.
How Can You Tell If A Leopard Gecko Egg Is Fertile?
Determining whether a female gecko egg is fertile or not can be challenging, especially for beginners. However, here are a few signs you can look for that may indicate fertility:
- Translucency: Fertile leopard gecko eggs are often more opaque or white, while infertile eggs may appear more translucent. This can be a subtle difference, and it’s not always foolproof.
- Veins and Development: As the embryo develops, you may be able to see blood vessels (veins) forming in the egg. This is a positive sign of fertility. A flashlight or a process called “candling” (shining a light through the egg in a dark room) can help you see these internal structures.
- Shape and Size: Fertile eggs tend to be plump and full, while infertile eggs might be smaller, misshapen, or collapse over time.
- Odor: Sometimes, an infertile egg may start to rot, producing a foul odor. Fertile eggs, on the other hand, should not emit any unpleasant smells.
Remember that these signs are not foolproof, and it may be challenging to determine fertility, especially early in the incubation process. If you’re unsure, it’s often best to leave the eggs in the incubator and monitor their development. Fertile eggs will typically show signs of embryo development over time.
Here’s our guide on figuring out if your leopard gecko eggs are fertile or infertile that goes into greater detail.
Breeding leopard geckos is an exciting journey, but it requires attention to detail and a commitment to providing an optimal environment for embryonic development. With the right tools and practices, you can increase the likelihood of hatching healthy leopard geckos.
By investing in a reliable incubator, closely monitoring temperature and humidity levels, and adopting careful observation practices, you’ll be on your way to welcoming vibrant and beautiful Leopard geckos into the world.
Remember to be patient, as the incubation period unfolds over several weeks.
Enjoy your baby leopard geckos and the whole process.