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Gargoyle female digging but never laid.

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  • Gargoyle female digging but never laid.

    I’ve been trying to breed my male and female Gargs for some time. My intention being a personal project.
    I’d just wanted to have a couple babies to keep, and probably wouldn’t breed them again if I ever got any to hatch.

    Back in January/February, I noticed her weight had gone from 68 grams to 73-74 and that she started digging in the lay box so I removed the male so she could have some peace. She laid 2 eggs, her first ever, but they were very dented and soft, so I destroyed them (they weren’t fertile despite the male being present) and waited about a month before adding the male back in.

    For about the last three weeks she’d started digging again... she wouldn’t dig in the lay box, but rather in the coconut fiber at the bottom of the cage, right at the front.
    Not ideal, I’d have rather her use the lay box again but no biggie.
    She did that back and forth for about 3 weeks but never gained or lost any weight.
    I checked and checked and no eggs.
    I left the male in this time, and after three weeks she stopped digging around.
    But she hadn’t lost any weight.

    I’ve looked all over the tank and I’ve found absolutely nothing.
    I checked where she was digging, the lay box, everywhere... there are no eggs to be found.

    She seems to be acting like normal.
    She did lose a couple of grams in the past two days after all these weeks, but then I hand fed her off a spoon and she’s back to 68 grams two days later...
    I hadn’t noticed either of them eating by themselves (as soon as it gets warm enough to turn the a/c on all the reptiles in the room go through a ‘don’t want to eat stage’ for a week or so, dunno if it’s a temp change or what despite there cage readings still being perfectly warm... I even add extra heating to the Leos but they still won’t eat for the few days after turning the a/c on... they eat fine though afterwards) but both are acting perfectly fine...

    I’m not sure if it’s because I didn’t take the male out this time, or if it’s because it is a bit cooler now inside than when it was Winter since during the winter I had a space heater in the room and it got pretty warm in here...
    Humidity has been the same for two years so I know that’s not it...

    But yeah, she stopped digging, I’ve got no eggs...
    It doesn’t feel like she has any eggs in her....

    Is it possible she ‘thought’ she was gravid...?

    I hope she’s not egg bound but I’m unsure how I’d even tell aside from lack of eggs after seeing her behavior...

    I’m at a loss.

    I’d really appreciate any thoughts on the matter.

    They’re are in an 18x18x24 exo terra.
    No supplemented heating, I just keep them at room temp (mid 70s) and turn the a/c on when it gets around 70+ outside because it can get pretty warm upstairs pretty quickly.
    They’re fed Pangea mixes.
    I’ll have to read the humidity when I get the chance because I removed the reader when I took everything out and forgot to put it in but that hasn’t changed in years so I highly doubt that’s an issue...

    I’m really hoping she isn’t egg bound but I can’t imagine her digging for no reason at all.
    She’d just dig and dig and then sit there for hours for weeks but nothing ever came of it, weirdest thing....


  • #2
    She’s still eating, no weight change, even went after and ate a cricket.
    I’m not feeling any eggs as though they’ve been calcified...

    To be honest I do t think she ever was gravid...

    Is it possible that this was a ‘false gravid’ female or is there another reason for such behavior like that?


    • #3
      She might be digging because she feels like hiding in the dirt, especially if her enclosure is not humid enough.
      3.3.0 Correlophus ciliatus (crested geckos)


      • #4
        I’ve no clue...
        If it is humidity related, itd have to be because the humidity is rather high than normal, not low.
        Plus she has the hide box/lay box so I don’t think it’s lack of humidity....

        I really wish I knew.
        Had my hopes all up there for a minute.


        • #5
          I wouldn't worry. Sometimes they just like to dig.
          3.3.0 Correlophus ciliatus (crested geckos)


          • #6
            Wanted to do an update.

            She is obviously gravid now.
            Very obviously.

            She’s now 77-78 grams and counting, but she’s yet to start digging again.
            I’ve caught her eating and she appears perfectly fine, but she’s not even seemingly interested in laying and now I’m very concerned she may be egg bound.

            I would think if she was, she’d not continue to act and eat normally but she still eats crickets, she eats her food on her own.
            She’s not lethargic, she acts perfectly normal.

            I know it’s a waiting game, but at this point is there anything worth trying before taking her to the vet?

            I’ve tried soaking, which she wasn’t too fond of and still nothing as come of it.

            I’ve no problem taking her to the vet money wise, seeing as surgery might be a possible outcome I’m very hesitant.
            ( Just lost a cockatiel to surgery for cancer so I’m very very much not wanting to go that route if at all possible first).

            Any thoughts appreciated!
            Thank you!


            • #7
              One thing about Gargoyles, they teach you patience. I think if you have a nesting area for her, keep it moist enough to lay eggs in, and don't mess with her too often, you should see eggs soon.


              • #8
                Welcome to a virgin breeding female gecko.

                Their first season breeding is usually wacky. Sometimes they'll lay well, other times they won't. It depends on the individual. Usually by the next season their bodies have gotten more used to laying eggs and give you better results.

                I seem to have horrible luck with virgin females first year breeding.

                As long as she is still eating and acting normally, you have nothing to worry about. However, if she starts to look too full, she could be egg bound. If that's the case, a vet visit is necessary and I would also give her the next season off from breeding. If egg binding becomes a regular occurrence then it's best to keep the gecko as a pet only as it would then be obvious that breeding is putting too much stress on her.

                But as of right now, this is all very normal for a virgin females first season. They really test your patience the first year. I have a female doing this to me now.
                Kelly @ Tree Devil Geckos
                Producing Awesome Leachianus geckos and Gargoyle geckos since 2017


                • #9
                  I wanted to post an update, not just for me, but incase anyone else is still wondering about what’s going on.

                  I took everyone’s advice and left her be.
                  She still eats crickets and her cgd and the like.

                  She’s acting fine.
                  I still keep the male in the cage (figured I’d take him out again by August which was what someone suggested to me in another site) but have noticed nothing different in their interactions.
                  Both act and eat and poop fine. Poop looks perfectly normal, and the female doesn’t strain that I can see when she does go.

                  Everything is still the same as it has been.

                  Except now she is fluctuating between 87 and 89 grams and looks very ‘bloated/fat’.
                  I believe this is the heaviest she’s ever weighed.

                  While I can’t physically feel eggs when she walks along (I’ve honestly no clue what I’m feeling for) she’s really fat in two particular spots between where her ribs and back legs meet.
                  And she has a lot of ‘rolls/loose skin’...

                  Again she’s still acting fine.
                  Still eats. Still takes insects.
                  She doesn’t sit on her one stick anymore I think because it’s too slim for her now and it’s uncomfortable for her so she sits now on the wider cork bark.

                  But still no digging.
                  No attempt.
                  I’d feel way better if she’d attempt to atleast try to dig.
                  But she just lazes around. Doing... not a whole lot.

                  And at this point I’m going to assume the eggs have to be duds, which is fine, as I can’t see them still being viable being stuck inside her all this time so do I need to worry that the eggs might go bad inside her at all?

                  I’m aware that if she’s acting fine then let her be, which I’d much prefer.
                  But I’m also aware that by the time she shows signs of being lethargic she runs a greater risk of not getting better.

                  Just don’t want her going into shock over any possible infection should they go bad.
                  I also worry that the eggs might fuse and she’ll be unable to pass them...
                  Would I be able to tell if they are or would I need to get an XRay for that..?

                  I even changed her eco earth again both in the tank and in the lay box just incase it wasn’t to her liking and still just keeps getting bigger.

                  She is WAY over due. And I don’t mean just based on when I first posted here, which was probably 3 months ago... about a month when I last updated...

                  But I’ve left her be and, yeah, nothings changed.
                  Which might be a good thing.

                  Just very very stressful.
                  I feel really really bad for her.

                  But yeah, that’s my update.
                  Should something change I’ll be sure to update!

                  Once again I wanna thank everyone on their advice! I really super appreciate it!


                  • #10
                    Still no eggs, but I noticed she was a little bit slower than usual last night.
                    Removed the male as I caught them in the ‘act’ and was afraid she’d definitely become egg bound (if she isn’t already) should she not pass these current ones and ends up making more while those are still inside her.

                    If she doesn’t pass them within the next couple of weeks (or Ofcourse looks worse) I think I may very well have to take her to the vet and see what it is they can do, hopefully nothing as extreme as surgery but it’s starting to really be cause for concern now that she’s acting a tad ‘off’....


                    • #11
                      hmmmm, I would take her to the vet now.