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Old 04-13-19, 02:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Parthenogenetic Gargoyle Gecko Egg

Hi, our female gargoyle gecko, Fern, was hatched October 31, 2013 and I've had her since July 2014. She lives solitary and has been in a bio-active enclosure for 2 1/2 years and has never been with or near a male. I don't own a male and never have. Fern has never lived with another gecko. She started laying infertile eggs in the Spring of 2015. A few weeks ago I was re-doing her enclosure and found the usual old, sunken, brown eggs buried in the soil. To my surprise there was one egg that was white and fat. I thought it was unusual to be in such good shape but figured maybe it was just recently laid. I picked it up and inspected it but set it aside. After doing the enclosure I was still intrigued by the white egg, so decided to candle it, not expecting anything. To my surprise, I could clearly see a large red vein and smaller veins and a dark shadow taking up half the egg. From what I read online, this meant the egg was fertile. I immediately did some research into parthenogenetics and gargoyle geckos. Anecdotally, there have been reported cases but because DNA testing is not yet available, it hasn't been proven scientifically. Needless to say, I was mad at myself for not having been more careful to note the "top" of the egg so I may have unintentionally turned it when I decided to incubate it. I contacted my exotic vet (she lives in another city) and she was skeptical that it was truly fertile but said to go ahead and try incubating. For two weeks the egg appeared to grow a bit. Then a week ago I noticed the egg sweating. We researched again and found that it could mean either it's about to hatch, or it may be dead. We left it alone and kept checking it. It stopped sweating the next day but had shrunk somewhat and had more of a beige/brown tint. Then a week later it started sweating again. The next morning I noticed some cream colored liquid coming out of the egg and figured this was bad, and decided that if there was something inside it, it was most likely dead. I was starting to believe it was infertile and just rotting so made the decision to very gently cut it open and was shocked to see a deformed baby gecko inside...a nearly complete head and organs. It looks like the head is almost completely formed (the way I cut the egg open the head is upside down). It's mouth is slightly open and it appears to have nostrils but eyes seem to be not fully formed and it doesn't look like there's any more of a body, just organs. I am taking the egg to my vet tomorrow (April 13th) and will let her take everything out of the egg. I'll let you know what she says. It's in the freezer until we leave. Now I know that it IS possible for gargoyle geckos to lay parthenogenetic eggs however, I've yet to hear of anyone producing a viable gargoyle gecko this way. A few people claim that their crested gecko has produced a viable parthenogenetic offspring. I will be far more careful when checking her eggs (and my other female's eggs) from now on. If anyone else has had a similar parthenogenetic experience I would love to know! I'm excited to show my vet and get her take on it.
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Old 04-14-19, 01:11 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Parthenogenetic Gargoyle Gecko Egg

That's really fascinating. It looks like it developed pretty far before dying, more so than others I've seen.
Thanks for sharing!
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Old 04-15-19, 09:35 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Parthenogenetic Gargoyle Gecko Egg

We brought the gargoyle gecko egg (parthenogenetic) to our vet yesterday. She opened it up completely and pulled the body out of the jelled egg fluid. In my previous posting I thought the gecko was just a head and organs but amazingly, when the vet curled it back, it had a body. There were three perfect-looking limbs complete with feet that had toes, nails and sticky pads. One of the limbs was stubby with toes only. It had a fully formed tail and you can even see the vent on the underside. It had one normal blue eye and one deformed eye. Unfortunately, it formed curled backwards and its abdomen wasn’t able to close around the organs. It would never have survived or been able to get out of the egg because the spine had formed bending backwards instead of correctly. It was amazing that it was almost a perfect gecko except that its organs were exposed and the spine formed the wrong way. Hopefully, one day, she’ll lay another parthenogenetic egg that hatches to be a viable gecko. I wonder how many other people might have parthenogenetic eggs that don’t realize it can happen. We will be contacting a U.S. professor who is waiting for funding to test parthenogenesis in geckos.
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Old 04-15-19, 10:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Parthenogenetic Gargoyle Gecko Egg

Here are some extra pictures of the gecko and her egg when I first found it in her enclosure...
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