Keep the female well fed at all times but increase her food intake when she is in heat.  Signs of a female in heat include an increase in size, with a bloated appearance.

During breeding, the male will approach the female by flicking his tongue at her vent.  You may notice his head jerking as he tries to mount her.   She may try to escape and whip her tail.  She should never try to bite him.

Once the male has the femail pinned, he may scratch the base of her tail with his back legs.  When he get his taill under hers, copulation will begin.    The breeding activity may go on for several days.

Copulation will take place 3-4 weeks before the eggs are ready to lay.  About  1 to 1.5 weeks before she deposits her eggs, the female will increase her intake of food and bask much of the time.  During this time she will increase in size and and become noticeably gravid.

When the eggs are ready to be laid, you will be able to feel them inside of her as you run your fingers along her underside.  Just 2 to 3 days before she lays her eggs, her tail will appear emaciated.

Once the female is noticeably gravid, remove the male from the cage and add a nesting box,  Fill the box with sand mixed with a little cypress mulch to hold a burrow well.  A Rubbermaid tub with a hole in the lid for her to get in and out of makes a good nesting box.

Approximately a week or two before laying her eggs, the female will starts digging extensively in the nesting box.  She may dig a few burrows until she is satisfied with one.  To lay her eggs, she positions herself with the
lower half of her body in the burrow.  It may take a few hours for her to deposit all her eggs in as many as three clutches.

The eggs will need to be incubated in a Hovabator on vermiculite at 29 degrees Celsius.  Mix the vermiculite with just enough water so that when the mixture is squeezed it clumps together and no water leaks out.  If the eggs start to dimple, carefully add a bit more water to it and they usually bounce back within a day or two.  Too much water will destroy the eggs and cause them to mold.

For more information on breeding Savannah monitors, contact Ravi at varanus@idirect.com or visit his web site at The Monitor Spot  http://themonitorspot.com

 
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