If you’ve been consistently breeding your female leopard gecko with males, it stands to reason that they’ll eventually end up pregnant. But do you know the pregnancy signs that you should look out for?
Common pregnancy indicators in leopard geckos include loss of appetite, a swollen abdomen, and sluggish movement.
The section below will dive deep into these and other pregnancy symptoms.
How to Tell if a Leopard Gecko is Pregnant
This is the most obvious sign that your leopard gecko is pregnant. It happens because of an accumulation of fertilized eggs in the belly.
You may assume that your reptile has just gained weight if you’ve never seen a pregnant leopard gecko.
But if you gently touch its belly, you’ll notice that it has some firm lumps.
These lumps are generally symmetrical – this is because leopard geckos usually lay eggs in pairs.
Whatever you do though, be gentle with the probing. Pressing your gecko’s belly too much can injure it or its eggs.
Also, keep in mind that pregnant leopard geckos don’t like being handled and may try to get away from you.
Loss of appetite
Another sign of pregnancy in leopard geckos is loss of appetite. Usually, your reptile’s appetite will get worse as the pregnancy progresses.
This is because the eggs in your gecko’s belly will continue to grow with time, occupying a lot of space and leaving little for digestion.
This doesn’t mean you should not give your leopard gecko any food – continue to offer insects every day.
While they may not eat every day, they may take a bite here and there.
The little they eat will help them keep their strength up and avoid losing weight.
Remember, if they don’t eat at all for prolonged periods, they can even lose their tail fat.
Fortunately, most leopard geckos usually regain their weight quickly after giving birth.
While this is rare, some leopard gecko owners have claimed to see their reptile’s eggs in its belly.
This is particularly common in leopard geckos who have lost a significant amount of weight.
It usually looks like the eggs will burst out of your gecko’s abdomen if they make any sudden movements. This can be alarming for first-time leopard gecko owners, but don’t fret, it’s completely natural.
With the extra weight that pregnant leopard geckos carry in their bellies in the form of eggs and the energy they use to grow them, it makes sense that they are always weak and tired.
That’s why you’ll notice that a lot of geckos will start moving slowly.
And things get much worse when they stop eating altogether – they struggle to find energy for everyday tasks.
So if you notice that your female leopard gecko spends a lot of time hiding and walks slowly when they do come out, they could be pregnant.
Another sign that your leopard gecko could be pregnant is that they are more stressed and anxious than they usually are.
You may even notice that they easily get startled and run into their hiding spot. They may even become more defensive – this is because pregnant leopard geckos feel like they need to protect their potential offspring.
It’s also common for pregnant leopard geckos to feel restless and have trouble sleeping. This can make them avoid sleeping altogether.
If this continues for a long period, your leopard gecko will become more stressed and grumpy.
As such, it’s important to do everything in your power to make your leopard gecko feel as comfortable and as safe as possible during its pregnancy.
How to take care of a pregnant leopard gecko
To reduce the severity of negative pregnancy symptoms in leopard geckos and make them more comfortable, you can:
- Offer your leopard gecko vitamin supplements with their daily food.
- Place the tank in a quiet area where people and pets don’t frequent.
- Keep handling to the minimum.
- Move slowly and calmly when trying to interact with the pregnant leopard gecko.
- Remove any tankmates and house them in a separate enclosure.
- Provide a nesting box – this is a comfortable box in which your leopard gecko can lay eggs. To make such a box, fill a small plastic container with some soil.
For how long are leopard geckos pregnant?
Leopard geckos have a gestation period of 22 to 35 days. This is the total amount of time from fertilization to egg laying.
This is undoubtedly one of the shortest gestation periods out there.
There’s one thing you need to know about leopard geckos’ egg-laying process – they don’t lay all their eggs at once.
Instead, after laying the first batch of eggs, they continue to lay a clutch of eggs every 2-3 weeks. This will usually go on for four to five months.
What should you do after the eggs are laid?
Remove the eggs from the tank and incubate them separately.
This is because some female leopard geckos have an urge to eat the eggs they have laid to help them regain their strength.
Remember, the temperatures at which you incubate the eggs will determine the gender of the hatched leopard geckos.
So if you want to have baby leopard geckos of both genders, you’ll have to house and incubate them separately.
This is only convenient if you’re planning to breed more leopard geckos in the future.
Otherwise, it’s easier to stick with one gender. Also, keep in mind that you’ll probably have to rehome the baby leopard geckos if you don’t have enough space to house at least a few of them alone.
After all, male leopard geckos tend to fight when housed together and can impregnate their female counterparts when housed with them.
Most times, it’s easy to tell whether your leopard gecko is pregnant, especially by feeling its belly.
But if you’re still not confident enough to do this, you can always get a vet to do it for you.
Whatever you discover though, remember to take good care of your leopard gecko – it will keep them healthier for longer!