The Ultimate Guide To Leopard Gecko Brumation

 The Ultimate Guide To Leopard Gecko Brumation

What Is Brumation?

Brumation is when a reptile goes into a dormant state due to weather changes – think of it as reptilian hibernation. During brumation, their metabolism slows, causing a reduction in their eating, drinking, and movement. Brumation can range from a few weeks to up to three months! 

Why Do They Go Into Brumation?


The reason why leopard geckos go into brumation is to get enough rest for mating season in the spring if they are being bred. Leopard geckos will go into brumation during the colder months. December through February is when you might see your leopard gecko becoming less active. Cooler temperatures trigger brumation. Owners who do not breed leopard geckos will very likely not have a gecko experience brumation. 

How To Prepare For Brumation


Brumation usually occurs when your leopard gecko is fully grown and has enough fat stored in its tail. Weighing your leopard gecko and taking them to the vet for a wellness check will be beneficial. The vet will be able to check for parasites or any other health concerns before your leopard gecko goes into brumation.


Parasites will cause leopard geckos to lose weight during brumation, which can be a danger to their health.


Brumation will not happen often when terrarium temperatures are consistently warm. Owners that use a heat lamp might not see brumation happen with their leopard geckos at all.


Breeders will intentionally make their geckos go into brumation once they are older than a year old because it helps with a healthy mating season.

If you are wanting to breed your geckos here are the essential steps you need to take to have a successful brumation. 


  • Go to the vet

Once again, you need to make sure that your gecko is over a year old and has a lot of fat reserves in their tails or legs. The vet will be able to give an accurate evaluation of your leopard gecko’s health. 


  • Reduce food

Focus on just leaving water available without food. Your leopard gecko will be able to pass whatever they have eaten in a week.


  • Lower the temperature

The appropriate brumation temperature will be between 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit. To achieve this temperature safely, you will need to slowly drop the temperature over for two weeks. Dropping the temperature too fast could be potentially harmful to your leopard gecko. The slower you can drop the temperature, the safer it is. 

During Brumation


A brumation period can last anywhere between 30-90 days. Still, leave water available in the tank at this time too. Your leopard gecko will not eat at all during brumation and will hide in its den. You must monitor the temperatures so that they don’t go too low. 

After Brumation


If you are a breeder, the way to get your leopard gecko out of brumation is to slowly start raising the temperatures over two weeks. At this point, you can slowly start introducing food again. Raising the temperatures will help their metabolism. They will be eating their normal amount a few days after getting back to their normal temperature. 


If breeding is not your plan for your leopard gecko, then I don’t think you need to worry much about brumation. It won’t happen often for your gecko and it’s perfectly fine too. Your leopard gecko still might go to a cool spot in the tank or a den and sleep for a long time which is normal for them to do once a year.


Most leopard geckos should look the same size and be the same weight when they wake up. However, if they lost significant weight then they may have parasites and need to seek veterinary care. 

Wrapping Up


Leopard geckos do go through brumation. Breeders will intentionally lower temperatures to trigger brumation. Regular pet parents won’t see brumation as often because they are not going to be lowering tank temperatures. It is your preference for what you want to do as long as you are being careful with intentionally starting brumation. 

Jade Messieh

Proud bearded dragon, tortoise, crested gecko, and green tree python mom. I've always been passionate about animals and hope to help other reptile & amphibian enthusiasts along their journey!

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