Premature baby in normal clutch?

Hey all!

Due to some wonky circumstances, i have recieved about 30 crested gecko eggs in varying states of incubation. 26 of them are 100% unknown lay date and will come out when they come out; where 4 are ‘i have a window when I collected them so they were laid before that time but I’m not sure exactly’. Today marks day 74 in incubation for the latter 4, one went bad mid incubation and did not make it, 1 is candling very premature so I’m not touching it.

That leaves 2, I candled them and they’re dark as night so by all means, ready to hatch, right? The father is a known health disaster so I took it upon myself to cut the eggs.

One is a healthy bouncing baby crestie with no issues but the other one came out with cloudy heavily yellowed albumen, a thick more-yellow-than-normal yolk, very thin umbilicus that tore off, and a premature looking baby. It can move and respond, but it’s definitely off/not right. It has skinny limbs and a large forehead area, it definitely looks under developed.

Is there anything I can do to try and save it or is it more of a lost cause that I should prepare myself for? This entire clutch has been a disaster from the start as they’ve been bounced between 3 homes, the eggs left in sub par elements and just a huge mess. I want all the little buggers to be okay but I also want to be readily informed for anything that may happen. I’m not exactly a novice keeper but breeding has never been my jam so I’m pretty new to this.

Thanks for any advice that y’all could give.

just a recommendation try putting a picture of the baby? A picture speaks a thousand words.

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A pic could definitely help.

If I’m honest, I don’t cut the eggs. I’d only intervene if I felt it was cutting but struggling. I get why you have, esp as you don’t know what type of incubation they have had (if any).

Is it eating?


Crested gecko eggs can be pretty variable when they hatch. I don’t recommend cutting eggs since they can be forced out early. It sounds like the baby was underdeveloped. If it’s eating and doing well it should be fine, but it should never be bred (especially with the lineage). If it’s not eating and struggling a lot, you have to decide if it has a quality of life. Hopefully it’s fine, but a picture will definitely help.


What do you mean by dad being a health disaster?..

Any pics of baby, going by what you’re saying it’s not going to make it.

Defo do NOT cut eggs unless you need too.
I have only cut if one egg hatches and the other doesn’t but is moving a lot but can’t hatch. Or if they pip but don’t come out then I’ll help.

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Unfortunately I don’t have a pic of the baby in question - it unfortunately did not survive the night. I don’t know if it was ever going to be a viable hatchling anyway but I’m still bummed out. This is really my first ventire into ‘breeding’ and its been a stressful nightmare.

A little more context: I work at an entertainment aquarium and a coworker owned the parents of all the eggs but has rehomed several of them in the months leading up to now. The aquarium itself has a 1.1 pair from this coworker that are the parents of the baby in question and they had two sets of 1.3 breeding in their personal home - 10 geckos in total.

I was originally given 12 eggs from the two 1.3 pairs and the pair at the aquarium had 4 eggs themselves that I took (if I don’t take them they get left in the dirt to die and rot. I also cannot separate the pair as I’m not allowed to do so, I have begged countless times to remove our male and female animals if we cannot care for the repercussions of them being together). Unfortunately though, all4 eggs have been housed with not only the parents but a 0.0.3 set of white’s tree frogs trampling them and my coworkers just grabbing them out of the dirt willy nilly without realizing you can’t roll reptile eggs. I suspect this plus being transported in my vehicle to my home and the incubator to be a huge factornin why only 1 baby has hatched sucessfully and the other was so malformed.

So far I’ve had some failures and a few successful hatchings with that mix. I have lost 1 egg, 2 hatchlings, 3 eggs yet to hatch, and 10 babies who are doing remarkably well all things considered.

Its a lot, right? It gets better…

This past weekend the coworker gave me two 20g high tanks and lo and behold, after being jostled around and left in the elements there were 14 more eggs - each one fertile and viable. I, however, don’t know if any will make it as they were all rolled and tossed around when the dirt was removed to clean them and several were dimpled from drying out and fairly cold. I have them now in a stable 70*f incubator at 85% humidity, they’re all very plump and have all lost their denting. Again, I’m not going to hold out that any will make it to term because of their jostling.

I honestly just want whats’ best for the babies and do have people, rescues, pet stores, and adoption agencies all lined up for who makes it; plus I will be holding back a few myself. It’s been an event and a half and I’m trying my best to give them the best chance possible.

Edit: addressing some questions and concerns! I won’t be cutting any more unless I see some pipping.
The dad is a health disaster was what I was told in terms of breeding him from his original owner. Other than being your typical 0 braincell crested gecko, he’s been fine. The female he’s paired with, however, throws TINY eggs.

I’ll attach some pictures of the current babies. The solo gecko in my hand will be my personal pet as he’s the sibling of the deceased malformed baby that this thread was originally about - he’s(?) 1.2g of pure baby rage. Tiny little thing!

I wouldn’t mind some help on morph identification foe the rest of these guys too! First pic will be dad.

And his tiny 0.0.1 baby!

These are from the two unknown 1.3 pairs and are all mixed together. Again, morph help would be wonderful!


Thank you for more info.

I appreciate you are in a predicament regarding the geckos being separated. Although I have no idea what an entertainment aquarium is. Sounds to me like a business, if this is the case and it is the business that is not caring for the geckos and eggs - this is in most countries a violation and can lead to extremely SEVERE consiquences for the business. Keeping male and female geckos together all year round is unsafe, esp one on one ratio.

Obviously if it a co-workers pet then not much can be done.

Do you happen to know the age and weight of the parents to these babies. I ask because the dad in the pic looks too small to be breeding, I know sometimes pics can be misleading. But given you said one female is laying tiny eggs, might be an indicator that she is not ready to breed due to low weight.

As much as I truly admire you trying to help and taking the eggs in. You are only enabling this behaviour to continue, resulting in a lot more issues further down the line.

Your colleague / work must face the consiquences sooner rather than later. There are far too many healthy Cresties on the market right now and selling/moving on potentially unhealthy Cresties is a risk as you don’t know they won’t be bred.

It is a violation, in most places, to continuously breed reptiles without consideration of their safety, just as it is for dogs & cats. I’d suggest you read up on your local laws and report the mistreatment of these reptiles before it is too late for them.

As for morphs/traits, we’d really need closer and fired up pics to say for sure, but you have a mix of partial Pinstripes, pin dash, low Harlequins, Dal spots and bicolours

The seperate baby is certainly a spirited creature :grin: looks to be a harlequin, partial pinstripe with portholes.

I can try to mark which one is which but I’m heading out now so would need to do later sorry. But as said fired up pics would be better

Sorry if my opinion comes across strong. I’m just very passionate about reptiles

If you post up pics of each baby, sides and back and with a number I’m happy to sort through with morphs for you :lizard:


Ask and ye shall recieve for baby pics!

The pics of Daemon aren’t fired up as much as the others as he’s so much smaller so I try and keep him as separate as possible.

Then a question for the more experienced crestie breeders: what causes the snowflake calcification on the eggs? One has it somewhat badly and Daemon’s tiny egg was covered with them. Lukewise eggs will get the stretch marks when they’re close to hatching right?

I included a pic of Dae’s egg so you can also see how small his egg was compared to the others!

There is a pic of the rest of the eggs too, and lastly two of my bioactive enclosures; one will be Damon’s when he’s larger.

My opinion on baby morphs are:

9 - Pin dash, harlequin with portholes & dal spots
8 - Pin dash with portholes
7 - Pin dash, harlequin with portholes
6 - Pin dash, dalmatian if 25 spots or more, if less then dal spots. Appears to have a deformity along bottom half of dorsal
5 - Pin dash with portholes
4 - Pin dash, harlequin dalmatian with portholes
3 - Din dash, harlequin, dalmatian
2 - Partial pinstripe, extreme harlequin, dal spots with portholes
1 - Pin dash dalmation

Daeman appears to be a partial pinstripe, extreme with portholes

1, 6 & 8 could be bi-colours, however they are only little and don’t look fully fired which is why I believe they are pin dash rather than bi-colour, however this would show more with age. Any of them can change a little with age, eg dalmations tend to get more spots as the grow.

I’ve had an egg that was smaller than the others, however it was born a healthy weight, just slightly smaller in size. Clutch mate was a huge egg so I feel that contributed.

The stretch marks are not indicators that the eggs are about to hatch, it is a sign of growth though. The eggs will plump out when they are almost ready. I do not see this on any of the eggs (but it is hard to say with pics).

As for the calcification, I do not know (hopefully someone here can help). However I’ve seen it happen with bp eggs and the ones that hatched were fine, however I believe the hatch rate was low. It could be something to do with the dam & sire of these eggs, but again I do not know…just throwing ideas out there.

The 2 enclosures you have set up look amazing. I know you said one is for Daemon, do you have a gecko living in the other enclosure?

1- partial pin Dalmatian
2- harlequin partial pin with Dal spots.
3- partial pin with Dal spots (tiger trait)
4- harlequin partial pin with Dal spots
5- possible flame, see how it develops (tiger trait)
6- harlequin partial pin Dalmatian (tiger trait)
7- harlequin with tiger trait.
8- harlequin
9- harlequin partial pin.

Hopefully that helps you!
All very pretty too :black_heart:

Now to name them all :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: