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Bearded Dragon Parthenogenesis

Discussion in 'Bearded Dragons' started by caters, Jul 16, 2018.

  1. caters

    caters Member

    I don't know how often this occurs in bearded dragons but I know that at least some female bearded dragons will produce fertile eggs without being bred at all. So yeah, I hope I get a male so that I can avoid the egg situation entirely. I have watched videos from the youtube channel Leopard Gecko and even though the channel is about geckos, she goes through the ovulation situation every year and her geckos lay eggs even though they have never been bred with. She checks the massive ones to see if they are fertile and they end up just being yolk and no embryo. She even incubated crested gecko eggs once to see if crested geckos can go through parthenogenesis since it hasn't been confirmed at the time she made the videos about her incubating crested gecko eggs that they can or can't go through parthenogenesis. But I can imagine that she is more stressed from the ovulation situation than it sounds like in her videos.

    I hope to avoid that by getting a male but if I can only get a female, I just hope the female I get is not one of those yearly egg layers. Because then I would probably have to deal with at least 15 eggs a year. And how would I tell apart an infertile egg and a fertile egg that just has no visible embryo or blood vessels yet? I have heard that the shell can be a clue but then again, I have heard that it isn't reliable and that an incubator is the only way to know for sure. I don't have an incubator. I do have a heating pad though and it is an adjustable heating pad(unfortunately the longest I can have the heating pad on for is 12 hours so I would have to turn it off for a few minutes, regularly check it with an IR heat gun(which I do have), and before it reaches the minimum required temperature, turn it back on. The change in temperature is sinusoidal and it starts at room temperature. So it starts low, then slowly goes up to peak temperature, which is 2 degrees above the average temperature(which is the temperature that shows up when turning the dial) and then goes down to minimum temperature(2 degrees below average temperature). The temperature that shows up on the heating pad control is in degrees Celsius and I use degrees Fahrenheit.

    I have a smartphone though so I can ask google "What is 85 degrees Fahrenheit in Celsius" and thus be able to know what to set the heating pad for to get an average temperature around 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

    So yeah, a makeshift incubator using a heating pad that was designed to be used for pain relief and big enough to wrap around my body, I don't know if I could make such a thing. Another problem is, it relies on AC. With a power outage, since there are no batteries in it, it will turn off so I would either need a small generator or some way to convert DC to AC in order to use it during a power outage. Luckily, I'm not prone to getting a power outage where I live but I think I get at least 1 a year. Sometimes the power outage is short though, like a few minutes to an hour. And sometimes it lasts about a day. Obviously not good if I'm trying to incubate something(like bearded dragon eggs to see if any are fertile and thus if the female went through parthenogensis). I don't know how long the heating pad takes to cool down in relation to temperature setting so that is something I would have to figure out before I even attempt at making a makeshift incubator using the 1 heat source I have(the heating pad). Also, I would have to figure out the difference in temperature between the side with stones and the side without stones. Sounds like a lot of work just to know if the eggs are fertile or not.
  2. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi, can you link me to the study that has reported parthenogenetic reproduction in Bearded dragons?
  3. caters

    caters Member

    Well I can't really find a scientific study on it but I have found several forum threads on relating to parthenogenesis. In one of them, the OP said that all but 1 egg was infertile so they were incubated. The OP also said that the female had not been in contact with a male for at least 4 years. They collapsed and nothing hatched but the egg that candled fertile had a well formed bearded dragon fetus inside it. 4 years is a long time to retain the sperm of a male. Others also said that with how many fertile eggs are coming from bearded dragons without any contact with a male, that the chances that bearded dragons go through parthenogenesis are quite high. 1 of the posters said that the OP should take his/her preserved fetus to a natural history museum so that they can do the tests required to know if the fetus was from parthenogenesis or retained sperm. Another said that just because it hasn't been confirmed doesn't mean it doesn't occur and to never say never just because it hasn't happened.

    Here is the thread I am referring to:

    Parthenogenesis? • Bearded Dragon . org

    When I search on google scholar for bearded dragon parthenogenesis, other than books, what primarily comes up is heat causing sex change and it somehow being related to parthenogenesis.
  4. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi again, I won`t go into too much detail just yet, because there are a few concerns with your information. From what I`ve seen the website you offered a link to it has some quite poor advise, particularly basking surface temps/others (I`ll go into more details if you`re interested).
    I don`t see any evidence of parthenogenesis, nor does the fact that incubation temps play a part in determining gender (true) have anything to do with asexual reproduction.
    If you`re intending to base your captive husbandry on that website I would suggest you look elsewhere.
    When you say there are many fertile eggs coming from females that have never been with a male, where are they all, surely if that were the case parthenogenesis would have been proven by now?
    I do agree that absence of evidence isn`t evidence of absence (in many cases at least, if not this one)! ;)
    30c is approx. 86f....

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