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Crested gecko breeding

What’s not to like about Crested Geckos, also known as Rhacodactylus Ciliatus? They’re calm and easy to work with. They don’t bite, are quite easy to care for, and come in an incredible variety of colours and designs. They even have a permanent grin on their faces. Crested geckos are quite popular, and many crestie owners have taken to breeding them for a variety of reasons. Crested geckos are prolific breeders, and even inexperienced keepers can effectively breed them. Putting an adult male and female in the same enclosure for a few days, if not hours, will result in copulation.

Crested geckos are prolific breeders, and even inexperienced keepers can effectively breed them. Putting an adult male and female in the same enclosure for a few days, if not hours, will result in copulation.

Crested gecko sexing

Crested geckos are not able to be reliably sexed until they are 3 to 4 months old. Geckos are relatively straightforward to sex once they reach adulthood. External hemipenal bulges at the base of the tail form in males, with preanal pores right in front of the vent. The base of the female’s tail is flattened, with slight external bulges. Cloacal spurs are present in both men and females, hence they cannot be utilised to determine sex.

Crested gecko sexing

Before you start breeding crested geckos

Before you decide to start breeding crested geckos you should take the time to think it through a bit. Below are some things that we think you should consider before starting to breed crested geckos.

Why are you interested in starting a breeding programme?

Breeders can be divided into two categories. People who breed cresties because they adore them and want to grow their collection. And those who wish to make a profit.

If you plan on keeping the hatchlings for yourself, you won’t need a lot of equipment. However, if you want to make a living breeding crested geckos, you’ll need to make sure you don’t lose a lot of money. You’ll have to purchase a lot of food and care for the hatchlings for a long.

What do you need to get started breeding?

Crested geckos are simple to breed and don’t require a lot of high-tech gear. You’ll need the following items:

  • Two crested geckos in good health
  • A scale for weighing
  • When your colony splits up, you’ll need many terrariums.
  • Substrates and egg-laying boxes
  • Substrate and incubation boxes
  • Time to care for the hatchlings!

How to breed crested geckos

At around 9 months of age, crested geckos reach sexual maturity. Breeding can take place at this age, but it is best to wait until the geckos have achieved their full size, which is around a year of age. A single pair of crested geckos or a group of one male and three to four females can successfully breed. Overcrowding, the male not mating with all of the females, limited egg production, sterile eggs, and overall stress can all occur when there are more than four females in one enclosure.

How to breed crested geckos.

Courting can be delicate, consisting of a sequence of chirps and head bobbing before copulation, or it can be forceful and aggressive, depending on the male. During the mating phase, it is common for the male to bite the female on the head crests and mount her. Until she is inseminated, they will be locked together for several minutes.

Inside the enclosure, instal an egg-laying container with a lid that is approximately 6 inches long, 6 inches wide, and 4 inches tall. Keepers should make a hole in the lid so that the female can readily lay her eggs within. Vermiculite, or a peat moss and vermiculite mixture, is a good medium for the egg-laying container. The medium should be about 2 inches deep at all times and kept moist. Keepers should provide a damp space in a naturalistic enclosure without an egg-laying box so the female has a distinct place to lay her eggs and the eggs may be easily retrieved afterwards.

Breeding couples can be kept together all year. A man should not be removed from his mate unless he is causing her anguish by refusing to leave her alone. Because females retain sperm for a few months, it is not required to keep breeding pairs together throughout the season if separation is unavoidable.

Before and during breeding, males can be unduly aggressive toward females. This is expected behaviour. The majority of breeding takes place at night. The female will lay two eggs approximately 28 to 40 days after mating.

Female crested geckos lay a clutch of two eggs every 30 to 45 days during the breeding season. When a gravid female is ready to lay eggs, she will look for a wet spot to do so. You can keep track of the eggs and easily remove them with an egg-laying box in her habitat. It may be an 8-inch-long, 5-inch-wide, 5-inch-tall plastic container filled to a depth of 4 inches with damp sphagnum moss.

Keepers should take the eggs out of the laying box and incubate them in a separate container with damp vermiculite, perlite, or HatchRite. The eggs might be partially buried or placed on top of the medium. Incubation can be done on a shelf at 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit with changing ambient temperatures. In most cases, crested gecko eggs hatch in 65 to 75 days. Hatching occurs faster in an incubator set between 78 and 82 degrees, usually between 55 and 65 days.

Leathery and pearly white are the characteristics of viable eggs. Bad eggs have a yellowish appearance and a thin, flimsy shell. Non-fertilization, a lack of calcium, or a female who is too old, too young, or sick are all possible causes.

It is not required to use a temperature-controlled incubator to hatch crested gecko eggs. At Gorgeous Gecko, crested gecko eggs are incubated at room temperature, which varies between 72 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit during the mating season. Hatchlings will emerge after 60 to 70 days in the summer and up to 120 days in the winter, depending on the temperature range.

You’ll have a robust colony of crested geckos in no time.


When will my crested geckos be able to be paired?

Between March and September, crested geckos have a natural mating cycle of 8-9 months. Before you try to mate them, both the male and female must be sexually mature. Prior to breeding, females must be 18 months old, weigh a minimum of 35-40 grammes, and have sufficient calcium stores. During the breeding process, it’s critical to provide her with dusted insects and a calcium lick.

Crested gecko mating

When you’re ready to start hatching eggs, remove the male from his enclosure and place him in the female’s enclosure. When presenting the man, it’s crucial to be cautious. Male crested geckos can be violent and cause harm to the female.

Crested gecko mating.

He has the ability to chase her around the enclosure and then mount her from behind. During mating, it’s not uncommon for a male crested gecko to bite the female’s head many times. You’ll probably hear strange sounds like squeaks and squawks during mating. This is quite natural.

When a male crestie bites the female’s skin and causes an open wound, the female must be removed promptly. Until the wound heals, you’ll need to rinse it with water and treat it with antibiotics. You can reintroduce the male after the female has healed.

When it comes to mating, how long does it take?

Mating or copulation can begin as soon as the male is introduced to the female. They may only mate once, although they frequently mate several times. Many breeders keep the pair together for approximately a week to allow them to mate many times.

Do I keep the couple together after they’ve mated?

There is no hard and fast rule for whether or not you should keep the couple together once they have successfully mated. Some breeders will keep the pair in the same terrarium, while others will separate them.

It’s up to you to determine what you want to do, but a lot will hinge on how both cresties treat each other. There is no reason to separate them if they can live nicely together. However, if they appear to be stressed out by one other or if the male is hostile toward the female, you should keep them apart.

Egg Deposition

It’s critical to have a location for the female crestie to lay her eggs. Most breeders will build a separate egg-laying chamber where the female may lay her eggs and you can readily find them. To be true to nature, some breeders let the female deposit her eggs in the enclosure.

Preparing an Egg-deposition chamber

To build an egg-deposition chamber, you don’t need to spend a lot of money. All you’ll need is an 8 x 5 x 5 inch plastic container. Fill the container halfway with moss that is somewhat moist. You can also use a combination of vermiculite and peat moss as a loose substrate. Seal the compartment with a cover and cut a 2 inch wide hole in the lid for the female to enter and escape without difficulty.

Egg-deposition inside an enclosure

If you don’t want a separate egg-deposition chamber, you’ll need to create a wet region in the enclosure’s substrate. The female will have a particular spot to bury the eggs in this fashion. Typically, the female will lay her eggs at night, digging a hole in the substrate, laying her eggs, and then covering them with the substrate. When you don’t use a particular container, it’s a little more difficult to find the eggs.

It’s time to start laying eggs

The female will lay two eggs in the egg-deposition chamber or in the cage every 30-45 days. She’ll make a hole in the substrate, deposit the eggs, and then cover them with the substrate.

During the breeding season, which lasts roughly 8 months, a female crestie lays an average of 6 to 10 clutches.

Within 24 hours, you must remove the eggs from the chamber or enclosure. They may dry and not hatch if you don’t remove them quickly enough. When handling the eggs, be gentle. Remove them one at a time and place them in an incubation box. Also, avoid rotating them while transferring them because this may cause the embryo to separate from the shell.

What should the crested gecko eggs look like?

  • small and adaptable
  • a bright pink speck on pearly white
  • in most cases, yellow eggs with a thin and delicate shell aren’t viable

Incubating the eggs

The eggs can be incubated in a variety of methods. You can either use a special incubator or put them in a container in a dark spot like a closet. Both incubation methods are effective, and if you’re on a tight budget, you shouldn’t feel compelled to invest in an incubator.

Making Use of an Incubator

An incubator has the advantage of maintaining the temperature of the eggs at a constant level. There are many incubators on the market that can incubate reptile eggs. It doesn’t matter which one you choose. To ensure that the incubator is in good working order, check to see if it maintains a constant temperature.

Making Use of an Incubation Box

You can create your own incubation box if you don’t want to use an incubator. Fill a plastic container or a shoebox two-thirds full with a substrate. Vermiculite, perlite, Hatchrite, and Superhatch are all options. Make sure the substrate is damp but not soggy. Make 5 to 8 1/8 inch ventilation holes on the lid as well.

Place the eggs in the substrate (approximately a quarter inch down), seal the box, and keep it in a cold, dark place, such as a closet or cabinet.

When Are the Eggs Going to Hatch?

When exposed to temperatures between 72 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit, crested gecko eggs normally hatch between 60 and 120 days (22 to 22.5 degrees Celsius). It may take longer if the environment is cold, but it may not take as long if it is hotter. After 28 days, it’s recommended to inspect the eggs every day.

Why haven’t my eggs hatched?

Even the most experienced breeders can produce non-viable eggs. An egg’s failure to hatch can be caused by a variety of circumstances.

Causes that may exist:

  • a female that hasn’t been fertilised by a man
  • female health problems
  • calcium deficiency

Crested Gecko Hatchling Care

A hatchling will create a slit in the malleable eggshell and thrust its head out when it is completely formed within its egg (known as “pipping”). They don’t usually come out of the shell immediately. Some hatchlings emerge completely, while others remain curled in their eggs for up to 24 hours, soaking up the remaining yolk sacs.

Leave the hatchlings in the incubation box until their first shed, once they are entirely free of their shells. This happens within 12 to 24 hours of the egg hatching. Then place each one in a small enclosure lined with paper towels, no bigger than a large Critter Keeper or 5-gallon aquarium.

Keep the décor modest in your hatchling gecko’s new home, with only a little plant and twisted vine. Small, shallow jar lids work well as food and water dishes for hatchling geckos since they are shallow enough for them to eat and drink from. A moist hide, in addition to spraying twice daily, may help reduce shedding issues. A tiny plastic container filled with moistened sphagnum moss can be used as a hide, with a hole cut in the lid large enough for the gecko to readily enter and depart.

Questions and answers for breeding crested geckos

Are crested geckos easy to breed?

Crested geckos are simple to breed and don’t require a lot of fancy gear. Crested geckos are prolific breeders, and even inexperienced keepers can effectively breed them. Putting an adult male and female in the same enclosure for a few days, if not hours, will result in copulation.

How many eggs do crested geckos lay a year?

In a healthy female crested gecko, she will ordinarily produce 6-7 clutches per year, each clutch containing one or two eggs. She’ll have 6-7 clutches at a time, each lasting around 20-30 days.

How long after mating do crested geckos lay eggs?

After mating, it will take roughly 30-40 days for a crested gecko to lay eggs, so be patient.

Do crested geckos eat their babies?

Adult crested geckos may mistake hatchlings or juveniles for prey and try to consume them. To completely eliminate this possibility, keep only geckos of similar sizes in the same cage.

At what age can a crested gecko be sexed?

Crested geckos are not able to be reliably sexed until they are 3 to 4 months old. Geckos are relatively straightforward to sex once they reach adulthood. External hemipenal bulges at the base of the tail form in males, with preanal pores right in front of the vent.

Do crested geckos make noise when mating?

During the breeding season, crested geckos produce a lot of noise — they’ll be squeaking. When a female crested gecko wants a male to leave her alone, she may bark (she can even think that you are a male that wants to mate with her).

How do I know if my crested gecko has eggs?

When you see how thick they get in their stomach, you can pretty much know they’re going to lay eggs.

Can Crested Geckos have babies without a male?

Yes, indeed they can! A female crestie can lay eggs without the help of a man. These surprises will be infertile crested gecko eggs if there has been no interaction with a male gecko, as mating is required for an egg to be fertilised.

Summary – breeding crested geckos

Crested geckos are best thought of as year-round breeders. When they are most active, which is usually during the warmer months of Spring, Summer, and Fall, they mate and deposit eggs. The breeding season usually begins in February or March and ends in October, giving them at least three to four months off each year.

Crested geckos are prolific breeders, and even inexperienced keepers can effectively breed them. Putting an adult male and female in the same enclosure for a few days, if not hours, will result in copulation.

If you obtain any bad eggs from a first-time breeder, don’t be discouraged. Every 25-40 days, a healthy, mature (2+ years old) female will lay a clutch of two eggs. Females will breed all year, but after 7-9 clutches, they will “shut down” and start breeding again in 10-12 weeks.

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