ISSN 2398-2985      

Lizard reproduction

Jreptile

Courtship

  • Male lizards of many species display colorful patches or patterns during combat or courtship. Bright coloration is presumed to be used for social communication and is kept hidden most of the time. Flashing of bright colors may be linked to dominance.
  • Colors are exposed by changes in dermal chromatophores, eg Old World chameleons, or exposure of normally hidden skin, eg anole dewlap.
  • Soon after hatching, male green anoles exhibit displays that are associated with mating in adults.
  • Female sexual behaviors are grouped into three patterns, associated, dissociated, and constant.
  • Associated reproduction describes that in which sex hormone secretion and gonadogenesis stimulate copulation, egg formation and fetal development:
    • It is most common in subtropical and temperate lizards and typically requires hibernation before breeding.
    • Bearded dragons, blue-tongued skinks, leopard geckos, and green anoles all have associated reproduction patterns.
    • Female green anoles oviposit one egg every 5-14 days and females are then receptive to courtship by males for about 1 week as the upcoming follicle grows from about 3.5-8 mm diameter.
  •  Dissociated reproduction is characterized by mating that occurs when the testes and ovaries are small and sex hormone levels are low.
  • Continuous reproduction occurs in some lizards from tropical regions where temperature and rainfall remain relatively constant throughout the year; it does not occur in any species that is commonly kept in captivity.
Print off the Owner Factsheets on Reproductive problems in chameleons, Reproductive problems in geckos and/or Reproductive problems in lizards to give to your clients.

Copulation / insemination

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Gestation methods

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Egg-producing physiology

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Parthogenic reproduction

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Captive breeding

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Reproductive disorders

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Maternal behavior / neonatal development

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

Other sources of information

  • Gibbons P M & Mohan-Gibbons H (2010) Lizards. In: Behavior of Exotic Pets. Ed: Tynes V V. Wiley-Blackwell. pp 44-56.
Reproduced with permission from Valerie V Tynes: Behavior of Exotic Pets © 2010, published by John Wiley & Sons.

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