How Do Lizards Mate?

By Sarah DeWitt Ince

About lizards in general

Lizards are very interesting reptiles that resemble dinosaurs in miniature form. Most lizards blend into the dirt and rocks, which help them avoid predators. Some lizards such as chameleons will change colors depending on where they are at, which help them to blend nicely into their environment. The collard lizard has a very beautiful leopard-like pattern on its rough scales. There are thousands of different types of lizards, and some of the most popular and well known lizards are the gecko and iguana. The majority of lizards lay eggs, but some, such as the Solomon Island skink, and the blue-tongue skink, give live birth. The vast majority of lizards enjoy an insect diet of flies and other bugs. Thankfully most lizards are harmless and friendly to humans.

The mating ritual

Most lizards breed in the early spring. Male lizards keep their testicles tucked inside their body so it can be hard to know if a lizard is a male or a female. When a male lizard spots a female that he wants to mate with he will go to her directly from the side rather than mounting himself on top of her. He may dance around in an effort to try to attract her. When the male lizard is close enough to the female lizard he will then take hold of her by biting her on the neck. He will then be able to hook onto her with his hemipenes. These are like hooks that connect to the female. After this he will ejaculate his sperm through his penis and hemipenes and into the female lizard. She may even save some of the male's sperm in her body to fertilize more eggs in the future without having contact with that particular male again.

Nesting and egg laying

After a female lizard is fertilized she will start to make her existing nest more comfortable or she will start making a nest, depending on the species of lizard. She will find a very private spot to lay her eggs to avoid predators. Some female lizards like to dig holes or create a rock nest. The eggs usually hatch within 50-55 days, depending on the type of lizard, because some lizards simply give birth to their babies at this time. When the baby lizards are born they are able to take care of themselves right away. They learn everything they need to know on their own and they typically never meet their mother or father.