is she gravid?

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is she gravid?

Post by stubby_leopard on Wed Dec 28, 2011 8:36 am

hi all, I've got this niggling feeling that tango is gravid... she has got noticeably round at the bottom end of her stomach, and i can see white areas on her under belly. I understand its outside of mating season but she was housed with a male at the shop - what signs are there to look out for? and also, how long does it take for the eggs to develop and be laid?

not a good photo but here is her round belly, andshe wouldnt let me tilt her to see her underside...:

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Re: is she gravid?

Post by Mardy on Wed Dec 28, 2011 11:48 am

Need a picture from the under side to see more clearly. If you have something clear, like a critter tote or a glass bowl of some sort, you can place her in there and take a pic from the bottom.

This is actually not out of the mating season, it's the start of the mating season. It usually takes a month +/- from the time of copulation. Her stomach would look noticeably larger when she's getting within 1-2 weeks of laying. She would likely stop eating, and start being restless and even seen digging around.

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Re: is she gravid?

Post by stubby_leopard on Wed Dec 28, 2011 8:56 pm

Oh well that explains a lot she has stopped eating which I noticed immediately because she would muller any crickets the second I put them in there and the moss from her moist box is been kicked out a lot and she is scratching at the glass plastic sliders! How would I make a suitable laying box? I'm not sure if I want to breed these but I do have a spare viv that I could attempt it with... I'll try to grab a photo of her underside this afternoon!
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Re: is she gravid?

Post by stubby_leopard on Wed Dec 28, 2011 9:39 pm



This is her underside:



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Re: is she gravid?

Post by Mardy on Thu Dec 29, 2011 4:38 am

She's definitely either gravid or ovulating. In the 2nd pic, that pink dot you see in the middle towards the right of the stomach, that's a for sure sign of ovulation. And towards the bottom she's bulgy and it does look like she may be carrying an egg. If you use any loose substrate, you also can't rule out impaction as it's very hard to tell if the bulge is from an egg or impaction. Looks like an egg though.

For laybox you can just use a plastic container, cut a hole on the side or the top, and fill it with either moist paper towels or coco fiber (eco earth). You set it up like a moist hide pretty much, and often your gecko will choose to lay in the moist hide.

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Re: is she gravid?

Post by stubby_leopard on Fri Dec 30, 2011 10:58 am

Yea shes got big! Glad i noticed before she laid them! Well I have slate all over the viv so no impaction risk, and she has a little lay box I set up which she is in at the moment it's quite deep packed with coco fibre so she can dig, plus she just shed which I'm sure will make her more comfortable!!

Oh I'm excited! I have a little make-shift incubator ready and I'm going to start heating up the run their going in tomorrow to make sure it's all warm and comfy for my little eggs!
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Re: is she gravid?

Post by rickmoss95 on Sun Jan 01, 2012 6:41 am

looks gravid. if you can hold her, and slightly bend her backwards you will be able to see the eggs better. i would NOT use moist paper towels in a lay box, if the gecko lays eggs on them, the eggs will absorb too much water and the embryo will die, guarenteed! use the coco bedding, it is what i think works the best...at least for me. i had a female lay in her moist hide on top of the moist paper towels, and i found the eggs about an hour later, and they were swollen up, full of water, and they were dead already. i put them in the incubator anyways, but it was too late. this was a mack snow tremper bred to my white and yellow sunglow too, so i could have lost a white and yellow mack snow albino, or better.... i strongly advise against papertowels, just a word of caution. this is not the only time this has happened either, had it happen with crested geckos too.
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Re: is she gravid?

Post by stubby_leopard on Sun Jan 01, 2012 7:33 am

I used coco fibre from day one, they even have it in their moist boxes!

So they should be fine. Sorry for your egg loss!!
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Re: is she gravid?

Post by Mardy on Sun Jan 01, 2012 7:42 am

A word about paper towels, as moist paper towels are not the problem here. If you soak your paper towels in water and it's dripping wet, then yes, it could possibly create problems. That's like putting the eggs in the incubator laying them in water. Paper towels are only supposed to be moist enough to create the humid effect of a moist hide. I've had no egg losses when they are laid on paper towels.

With that said I use both coco fiber and paper towels, as I like to give my geckos a choice. I swear some of them don't actually like one over the other. I've had one female that refuse to lay in the hide with coco fiber, she just loves her paper towel moist hide that much better. So what I've been doing is to use paper towel as moist hide medium for all of my geckos. But when a female is gravid, I place an extra container in there with coco fiber. Some of them like it, some don't.

Leopard gecko eggs are not hard shelled, they are soft shelled. So in order for the eggs to survive and puff up, it requires humidity & moisture. This is why you want to keep your incubation humidity at 80%+. Too much moisture or too dry will kill the eggs. So if you've lost eggs due to them being laid on wet paper towels, then it was due to you having the paper towels too soaking wet. The same problem can occur if you put too much water in a laybox containing coco fiber.

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Re: is she gravid?

Post by rickmoss95 on Sun Jan 01, 2012 8:52 am

yeah, it pretty much common sense. when i have gravid females, i take out the paper towel moist hides out. i do get my paper towels pretty wet when i clean, and change them...if not, they dry out in two days. you would have to have the coco fiber REALLY sopping wet in order to lose eggs, the paper towels just sit there and the moisture cannot disperse like it can in the coco fiber. i use the same technique as i do with my vermiculite in my incubators, just add water untill it clumps, but does not drip when squeezed gently. many experienced breeders that i know will NOT use paper towel for the same reason. the incident when i lost my eggs was about four or five days after cleaning and putting new paper towels in my moist hides, so i know that the paper towel was only moist, not wet...so i will not take the chance ever again...especially when i have never had a problem with the coco husk. i have also heard of leopards laying eggs in thier water bowls when only offered paper towel hides, as they like to dig and bury thier eggs... i actually have a female, my patternless rainwater who digs her moist hide untill all the paper towel is shredded...quite comical.
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