Breeding leopard geckos is not a difficult task. It is not uncommon for a new breeder to have success on the first attempt. You often only need a healthy male and female leopard gecko to get fertile eggs.
The only way tell if a male from a female is by looking at the vent area of a sexually mature gecko. The vent is on the belly side at the tail base. Above the vent, between the rear legs, is a series of pores in the shape of a “V”. Males have large pores and females have small pores that are not easily visible.
Handling leopard geckos to determine sex isn’t always easy. They do not like to be turned upside down. It is easier to place the gecko in a clear container and raise it up so you see its underside.
Leopard geckos grow quickly and are mature at about one year. Males will be ready to breed much sooner than females. Females should be about two years old to breed. The eggs are quite large and laying them can be difficult for a young female. Breeding a female too young can hurt its growth.
Mating & Egg Laying
Most mating and egg laying is in late winter or early spring. The male will bite her on the back of the neck, line up their vents and will mate with the female.
The leopard gecko eggs will develop in pairs. As the eggs grow you will notice her gain weight and can possibly see the eggs through the belly skin. When the female is ready for egg laying she will dig a hole, lay her eggs, and bury them. Scattered substrate is a good sign the gecko has laid her eggs.
You will want to remove them soon after to prevent them from drying out. Do not change the position of the eggs when you remove them.
Leopard gecko eggs are not rigid or hard. The eggs will expand and grow. You will need to provide the right incubation and moisture for this to occur.
Place the eggs in a container with 2 to 3 inches of medium. The eggs should be buried about halfway. The container can be any clear plastic container with a few holes for circulation. The medium can be vermiculite, sand, or peat moss. Vermiculite works best for controlling moisture.
The medium should be damp, not wet and you should not be able to squeeze any water out of it. Moisture content is important, too much and the eggs develop fungus, too little and they dry out. If the medium dries out during incubation, you may need to add water one drop at a time.
An incubator will keep the temperature at a consistent level. Styrofoam incubators are inexpensive and worth the money. They can hold many eggs in deli cups and usually come with a large window. This allows you to check on the gecko eggs without opening it and disturbing the heat level.
Temperature is import during incubation and the sex of the gecko is determined by the temperature. Eggs incubated warmer produce more males. 78* to 80* F. will produce mostly females. 88* to 92* F. will produce mostly males. Below 75* and above 95* F. can kill the eggs.
Eggs will hatch within 6 to 12 weeks depending on temperature. Warmer gecko eggs will hatch sooner.
Leopard gecko eggs can be infertile and it is not uncommon for a young female to lay infertile eggs. Female geckos can develop eggs without mating. If the eggs are not fertile, they will develop fungus within a couple of weeks.