Dented leopard gecko eggs are a common sight in the reptile world. They occur for many different reasons, and it can be hard to determine whether an egg will hatch or not. In this article, we’ll go over what causes dents on these eggs and discuss how you might know if they’re viable or not.
The most common cause of dents on leopard gecko eggs is pressure from the gecko laying and stepping on them. This can happen when they are digging or trying to get comfortable. Dented eggs are viable and can still hatch if the cracks are not too deep to damage the embryo.
A more serious issue would be if there was an injury that caused bleeding in the egg, which could lead to infection and death of the embryo. Fortunately, this type of case is rare! Eggs with dents can still hatch as long as no punctures have been made through the shell.
What is a dented leopard gecko egg?
A dented gecko egg is one that’s showing signs of breakage. The dent is usually slight such that the leathery cover appears to remain fairly intact to protect the embryo and the surrounding contents not to spill outside.
The eggshell of a leopard gecko is very thin and delicate. It only takes the slightest bump for the egg to get dented, whether it’s just one small dent or many deep ones.
It is important to handle the incubation box of your leopard gecko with care to prevent breaking and denting the delicate eggs.
What causes dents on gecko eggs?
Breakages and dents in leopard gecko eggs are a sign that something is wrong that needs to be rectified. Dents in many eggs can mean that the rate of hatching will be affected.
Here are the causes of dents in gecko dents:
Dry medium and low humidity
Dry medium and low humidity are two reasons why gecko eggs will have dents. Leopard geckos do not lay their eggs on moist surfaces, so they may need to be laid on damp paper towels or moss instead of directly on the ground or substrate.
Moist substrate prevents dryness from causing cracks. Keep in mind that lack of moisture can lead to an inability to hatch.
READ ALSO: Leopard Gecko Humidity: Ultimate Guide
It’s important to monitor the temperature of your leopard gecko’s vivarium. Low temperatures also contribute to drying out of eggs too quickly before they are able to develop properly inside the incubator. When it is too cold (below 85 degrees Fahrenheit), your leopard gecko’s eggs can also get dents and break easily.
Keep in mind that the eggs need to stay at a temperature below 85 degrees Fahrenheit so they will hatch.
Exposure to dry air
Gecko eggs are covered by a leathery layer. When part of the egg is exposed to dry air, that part of the egg exposed to air can dry out too much and start collapsing in. The result is a dent or a crack-like effect on the egg.
You can prevent overexposure of gecko eggs to harsh environments by covering the exposed eggs with sphagnum moss. This will help rehydrate them and prevent cracking due to a brittle cover.
Too moist a substrate
The eggs are not able to survive if they’re exposed to too moist a substrate. This can cause dents and cracks which will also affect the ability of the egg to hatch.
It is important that you maintain fairly dry conditions at all times as this will help prevent incubator rot, bacterial growths, or mold from developing on the eggs of your gecko.
As we mentioned before, incubators should be laid in an area with good ventilation but no exposure to direct sunlight so it doesn’t get overheated during peak hours when temperatures can reach up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit!
Cracks and dents can occur on eggs that are overcrowded. This is because the heat regulation will be compromised, which can lead to an egg getting too hot and causing it to be dented or cracked.
If you suspect this has happened then carefully check on them every day so any issues with overheating can be addressed early. It’s also important not to place new eggs in a crowded nest if possible as they may get crushed by other geckos trying to climb out of their incubator – preventing them from hatching at all.
Eggs from moms who have recently laid may show indentations after they cool down this “dent” can happen when you pick up her clutch in your hand and shift it around.
One cause of these dents is when females lay their eggs on top of each other because they cannot find any more suitable spots near their burrow. These piles will often be laid one on top of another due to limited space, which causes two problems:
- firstly, you’ll end up with a stack of smaller deformed eggs rather than individual ones laying next to each other.
- Hatchlings may be exposed to dirt and other debris that will make it hard for them to break free.
The lack of space where an egg touches the surface surrounding it makes breaking open (hatching) difficult.
Leopard geckos only lay one to two eggs per clutch, so if there are multiple dented eggs in the nest box you may need to separate them and give each an individual spot on paper towels or damp moss for resting.
Another cause of dents is when the female leopard gecko has laid her eggs and left them to incubate for a little while but then returns. Her warmth will cause some of the eggs she just laid to start hatching prematurely because they were warmed up too quickly inside their clay pits. This sudden change in temperature can lead these eggs to crack, leaving an indent.
As you can see, egg-laying needs more attention during wintertime if you want your leopard gecko babies born healthy!
The eggs are almost hatching
Cracks and dents on the egg are a sign that it is almost hatching. Dents will be more common on eggs that are about to hatch. In this case, there’s nothing to worry about as this is a natural process.
However, you may still want to check the eggs to make sure it is actually breaking open and not dents from other traumas.
Can dented gecko eggs hatch?
The eggs can still hatch if they have been damaged with dents. However, there are things you can do to increase the chances of the eggs hatching.
Here’s how to improve the incubation conditions and help the reptile eggs hatch successfully even after getting dents:
- Line the incubator with substrate: the substrate will help to maintain a higher humidity level inside the incubator.
- Increase air temperature: increase your thermostat by about five degrees over what is recommended for the species of reptile eggs being incubated.
- Use humidifiers or misters, but not together: Keep the incubator moist, but avoid spraying water directly on top of any open eggs as this could cause them to crack.
- Improve ventilation: make sure that the incubator is ventilated to avoid overheating, which can lead to a build-up of CO (carbon dioxide) inside the incubator.
- Maintain temperature between 86 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit: adjust your thermostat to make sure the incubator is at an appropriate temperature for eggs at all times.
Note: If you are using a Styrofoam egg carton, make sure that you do not cover the eggs with a lid, as this could cause them to crack.
Will dents in leopard gecko eggs kill the embryos?
Most dents in leopard gecko eggs are caused by external pressure from the female, such as when she buries herself to lay her eggs. The embryo will not die if there is no internal damage that would result in an unviable egg. It is likely that slightly dented eggs will hatch out a healthy baby lizard.
If all you see on the outside of your gecko’s bowl are cracks and chips but they don’t go through to where the embryos are located, then it should be fine for them to naturally hatch without any further interventions required.
The only time this might not work is if there has been significant trauma that can cause bleeding within the egg itself. Internal rupture leading to a risk of infection and death of the embryo can greatly reduce the chances of hatching.
Eggs that have been crushed or cracked will never hatch because the embryos inside cannot develop correctly without protection from an egg shell.
To fix this problem, make sure that there are plenty of water droplets on plants leaves throughout the day to provide moisture, mist them morning and night (make sure not to over-mist), and maintain good ventilation so they don’t dry out too much from evaporation.
You may also want to try keeping moist sponges near where the egg could be located as well – this helps increase the air temperature around them which provides extra heat needed for incubation.
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