Like chickens, female ackie monitors are known to lay eggs even when they haven’t been with a male. These eggs are infertile, and do not require incubation (although it is best practice to freeze them for at least 24 hours before disposal, just in case). However, the female will still need special care before and after she lays her eggs.
- Distended (enlarged) abdomen
- Increased appetite
- Increased burrowing behavior
If you have a female ackie monitor, you need to make sure to provide a place where she can lay infertile eggs as needed. The substrate should be at least 18”, able to hold a burrow, moist, and have a temperature in the high 80’s (preferably 86-87°F). If your husbandry is good, this temperature should form naturally under your basking spot.
Ackie monitors generally lay twice a year in August and November. You will first notice that your ackie’s body resembles a small balloon. Soon enough, she will start to test lay sites by constantly digging around the enclosure. Eventually she will choose a site to lay her eggs. Once laid, she will cover them back up in an attempt to hide them. Note where she laid them so you can dig them up later. Setting up a webcam is a good way to record where they’re buried.
After your ackie has laid her eggs, she will look very deflated. Offer a high-calorie treat of a pinky mouse or two to help her recover.
The eggs themselves will be infertile and appear squishy and deflated (although some infertile eggs do look “full” for some reason — this does not mean they’re fertile). You can simply throw them away. If you have other small lizards or snakes that are interested in eating eggs, infertile ackie eggs can make a calcium-rich treat!
More ackie monitor health topics:
- Egg Binding
- Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD)
- Respiratory Infection