Do Geckos Lay Eggs or Give Live Birth?

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Geckos are fascinating creatures with characteristic that few other types of lizards have. They’re truly one of a kind!

Ever wondered whether geckos give live birth or release eggs? Let’s find out what you need to know about their reproduction.

Do Geckos Lay Eggs Or Give Live Birth?

Geckos are oviparous, which means they give birth to offspring in the form of eggs (incubation being done by the parent). 

Females lay anywhere from 1-2 eggs at a time, with one clutch per year. However, some special species of gecko can have as many as 6 clutches in a single year.

Geckos lay eggs because they’re oviparous. The oviparous animals are those who lay eggs instead of giving birth to their babies. As a result, geckos are hatched from an egg.

Geckos can lay anywhere from one to two eggs at once. This is an attempt by animals to produce offspring so that they can continue their species.

Geckos usually lay only one batch from a year, but there are plenty of species of geckos that reproduce up to five or six times a year.

Geckos lay white eggs at a temperature in which the surface starts to become sticky. This is how they attach to trees, bark, rocks, and leaves.

Some species may take just 1-3 months to incubate, while others will incubate for up to 4 or even 5 months.

A gecko has the ability to lay eggs for up to three to four years before it is pregnant with them. The harlequin gecko is one example of this.

Geckos are oviparous, but not all species give live birth to offspring. New Zealand and New Caledonia are two areas where ovoviviparous geckos are usually found.

How Do Geckos Lay Eggs?

Winter or spring is when geckos start looking for a mating partner. They will find someone to mate with, mostly males looking for females.

When female geckos become adults and reach sexual maturity, they are able to lay eggs. The females are fertile as early as two years of age, while males can start mating as young as a year old.

Females geckos are more likely to breed at a later age because they’ll be able to produce eggs without affecting the development of the offspring.

Male geckos will bite the back of female’s head to initiate mating because this is where their skin is the most sensitive.

When female leopard geckos mate with male leopard geckos, they will approach one another in order to align their vents. 

After this, the eggs will start to develop inside the female. Eggs are developed by consuming nutrition from the female gecko.

A female gecko will use her tail to sense the vibration in the ground, which indicates insect prey. When she feels an insect crawling near, she will quickly grab it with her paws and devour it. 

As soon as she’s full or sees a potential predator, like a praying mantis, she’ll find a place to lay her eggs where they are safe from being eaten.

Gecko eggs grow even after the mother gecko lays them. This is possible because the eggshell is soft, which allows it to absorb required nutrients and grow.

Surprisingly, the egg’s temperature can determine if a baby gecko will be male or female. If the egg is colder, it’s more likely that the females are coming out and vice versa.

The process of incubating an egg to the hatching stage is simple. After laying the eggs, they will start shrinking within six to twelve weeks. When the eggs begin to shrink, it is a sign that they are ready to hatch.

Baby geckos usually hatch from the eggshell or egg membrane when they are in between 6 and 12 weeks old, which is after the eggs have been incubated for a period of time. 

There can be variation in hatching times – some may break out within a week of being laid, while others may take up to 4 months.

One thing is for sure – once they’ve hatched, they’re ready to move on their own and look for food!

How often do geckos lay eggs?

Geckos continue to reproduce throughout the year, uniquely and adaptively. Some geckos unfortunately reproduce only once a year, while others can produce up to six times yearly.

Mourning geckos:

Not only are mourning geckos young when they start laying eggs, but they can lay eggs quite often.

Mournful geckos usually need to lay eggs every four to six weeks. A clutch of mourning gecko eggs usually has two eggs, and takes about two-to-three months to hatch.

Leopard geckos:

Leopard geckos reach the full weight and sexual maturity after gaining between 25 and 45 grams, usually within three to four years. They have breeding periods lasting for about four to five months on average.

Where Do Geckos Lay Their Eggs?

Geckos typically lay their eggs on a surface that has little risk of desiccation and provides opportunities for unguarded oviposition.

House geckos will lay their eggs on a surface that is high and dry, but wild geckos might choose to lay them in a moist place.

Have a look at where the geckos laid their eggs:

House geckos:

House geckos will look for a moist place to lay eggs, and they tend to choose areas with plumbing.

Hence, they target the cabinet below the kitchen sink and the basement of your home where pipes are installed.

Wild geckos:

House geckos have some enemies and they’re always on the lookout for them.

That’s why they occasionally hide their eggs by burying them underground once they lay them. The wild geckos also bury their eggs under tree bark, rocks, and in forests.

How Old Do Leopard Geckos Have To Be When They Lay Eggs?

A leopard gecko will lay eggs once its weight is maxed out and the gecko has matured. It takes about 7 years for a gecko to be ready for laying eggs.

When leopard geckos are about seven to eight years old, they produce a single clutch or two clutches a year. The number of eggs increases as the leopard gecko get’s older.

Can Female Geckos Lay Eggs Without Mating With A Male?

The egg doesn’t hatch from an unfertilized egg. That’s why for an egg to produce offspring, it needs to be fertilized. And to fertilize the egg, it needs to be mated with a male.

Although geckos can lay eggs without mating, their eggs will not produce offspring because they are infertile.

Female geckos will not lay unfertile eggs, so they have to mate with a male in order to reproduce.

However, without fertile eggs, other females are not likely to act as surrogate mothers for these eggs and help them hatch.

What Should One Do When Leopard Geckos Lay Eggs?

Care of newly laid leopard gecko eggs is easy. However, you’ll need to do it carefully because their shells remain quite soft until they hatch.

When leopard geckos lay eggs, here are the things you need to do.

If the surface is unstable, transfer the eggs:

Every time you transfer eggs from one surface to another, there’s a chance the egg will break. So do it very gently and with utmost care.

Leopard geckos are really not that attached to their eggs. They will often lay the eggs on an uneven surface and leave them there, which can put them at risk because they could break if they fall.

Geckos lay eggs in unsafe places sometimes. If you spot a gecko, you should gently pick it up and set it down on a safe branch or rock.

Place the eggs in an incubator:

Academy incubators allow you to adjust the temperature, moisture level and lighting. This will help the eggs in the incubator grow in a healthier manner.

What Is The Average Time Taken For A Gecko To Give Birth?

Geckos give birth mostly by laying eggs. The gestation process happens within 30-90 days after a female lays an egg. The eggs are incubated until they hatch.

When geckos’ eggs are incubated, they start to shrink. When the eggs shrink, that means baby geckos can prepare to emerge from the eggs at any time.

How Many Eggs Do Leopard Geckos Lay?

Leopard geckos can lay up to 2 eggs each time.

They have been known to lay eggs in intervals of 15 to 20 days during the breeding season, which lasts for about four to five months. This means that leopard geckos can lay up to 10 eggs per year.

In Conclusion…

A gecko is one of the few animals that lay eggs. The different kinds of gecko species can either give live birth or lay eggs.

A female gecko can lay eight to ten eggs in a year, after she reaches full maturity. The eggs will hatch within 90 days of being laid.

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