How to Breed Blue-belly Lizards

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Western Fence lizards, or Blue-bellies as they are commonly called, originate from California and measure around 21cm. Large males can have a large blue stomach, from which they get their nickname. Females and smaller lizards can have aquamarine stomachs, or may not have any bright coloring. These lizards make low-maintenance pets that freely breed in the right circumstances.

Ensure the vivarium is lined with a material like soil or excavator burrowing clay. This will allow the lizards to have darkness and privacy and provide ideal spots for laying eggs. Position climbing rocks to create dark corners.

Monitor your cage temperatures. You should be using a 5.0 UVB bulb, which helps your lizards absorb UVB and creates a temperature gradient. The hottest end should 85 to 90 degrees, gradually cooling to around 75 degrees on the cooler side.

Mist the cage regularly. You can use any type of sterile spray bottle and fresh, cold water. You should spray twice a day, to keep the humidity constant. Your lizard may drink from the walls of the vivarium after spraying, but should have access to fresh water at all times in a water bowl. Dehydrated lizards will not mate.

Feed your lizards regularly. They should be given a variety of insects, including crickets, locusts, mealworms and waxworms. These should be dusted with a multivitamin and calcium supplement and offered at the same time every day so your lizards know when to expect food.

Observe your lizards. Blue-bellied lizards usually reach sexual maturity around 22cm, or 9 inches, and should then display an interest in each other. Mating can begin with chasing and the process can look violent.

Watch your lizard for signs of egg-bearing. You may notice a change in your lizard's shape, she may go off her food and she may dig frequently.

Check the vivarium regularly for lizard eggs. These are usually laid somewhere dark and cool. Provide the mother with more calcium, such as access to a calcium lick, to help her restore her calcium levels post-laying.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not prod or squeeze your lizard if you believe she is carrying eggs -- this can cause internal complications.
  • Watch your lizard for signs of being egg-bound. This is a condition where the lizard cannot pass the egg, usually due to calcium deficiency. If you suspect your lizard has this condition, contact a vet immediately. Untreated, being egg-bound will kill your lizard.

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References

  • "Reptiles and Amphibians"; Mark O'Shea and Tim Halliday; 2010
  • "BSAVA Manual of Reptiles"; Simon J. Girling and Paul Raiti; 2004
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