Breeder Advice – Caution when introducing different males to the same female

I wanted to give a little warning to fellow leopard gecko breeders when introducing different males to the same female.  This week we had a female that was clearly ovulating, so I introduced her to a male that I had initially planned the project for.  The male rubbed all over the female, but he would not start the mating ritual.  No tail rattling, no love bites, just a lot of tail & body rubbing.  After about 10 minutes, nothing was happening so I separated the two, and placed them back into their enclosures.

The next day, I worked up a new project plan for this same female.  I introduced a different male to this female, because the first male showed no interest.  After putting them together in a neutral bin, the female acted normal, but the male looked like he was uneasy.  He paced back and forth a bit, kept looking at the female but would not approach the female.  Then when the female walked near the male, the male snapped at the female and bit her on the tail.

He held onto her tail and would not let go.  The female just froze, she had no idea what was going on.  I had to tap my finger on the male’s nose to get him to release her.  Once he released her I quickly removed the female.  That’s when it dawned on me that the male thought she was another male due to the scent leftover by when the first male was rubbing all over her.  I mean, who knew?  Apparently the male’s scent can be so strong that it can stay on a female leopard gecko overnight.

I checked on the female over the next few days to make sure she was fine, and she was, no scars or injuries on her tail.  This serves as a lesson, one that was learned luckily without harm.  I can only imagine if I had just left her in a tank with another male and walked away.  I know some breeders like to keep male & females together during the breeding season.  Had I done that, the female could be severely injured, maybe even worse.

I did eventually get this female to mate with a male, but I had to wait a week before introducing her again.  So please exercise caution if you choose to introduce different males to the same female.  I had to learn this first hand.  Hopefully this blog will help fellow breeders from making the same mistakes.