Leopard geckos and brumation

Have you noticed your gecko is sleeping way more, not eating (as much), staying on the cold side and generally not being as active? There’s a high chance it’s because of brumation.
During the cold winter months, most leopard geckos (and other reptiles) go into brumation. In this short blog post, I’ll explain what that actually means.

What is brumation?
Definition
A state or condition of sluggishness, inactivity, or torpor exhibited by reptiles (such as snakes or lizards) during winter or extended periods of low temperature. Source

When winter starts and the days are getting shorter and the temperatures drop, a lot of reptiles go into brumation.
You can think of brumation as a hibernation for reptiles. It’s an inactive period for cold blooded animals.
In captivity, not all reptiles necessarily go through brumation.
This is how reptiles survive in the wild. They slow down their metabolism and become dormant in order to survive the winter.

Signs of brumation:
– Sleeping more
– Decreased appetite
– Spending a lot of their time on the cold side of the enclosure
– Dormant state

Difference with hibernation
But in what way is it different from hibernation?
To give a simple answer to that question:
Brumation, unlike hibernation, is not a true sleep.
During brumation, cold-blooded animals can still wake up and be active. They’ll walk around, drink water… and then go back to their dormant state.

Don’t be alarmed if your gecko is going through brumation, as it is a natural thing for them to do.

I hope you enjoyed this post. If you have any questions or comments, please send me a message here or on instagram.

You can check out some of my other posts here ↓

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