Pygmy Laying Eggs


New Member
I got home from work today to find 3 holes dug into my pygmy tank. My female is very gravid and looks ready to pop. The first 2 holes were pretty shallow but the third went almost all of the way down to the screen the seperates the soil and the charcoal layers. I dug through all 3 holes and found no eggs so I am assuming that she abandoned the holes. When I got home she was in the upper half of the cage just looking around. I was gone all day so she didn't see me and abandon. I guess my question is how long should I let her wait to attempt to lay before I worry? I misted her and threw 2 crickets in just in case she was hungry.

Also, as soon as she does lay her eggs I would greatly appreciate some tips on incubation as well.. and rather than start an entirely new thread, i figured I would combine 2 into 1. Thanks for the help everyone. I am very new to pygmies and though i have been keeping chameleons for years, these are a whole new ballgame :)
erm...........i incubated my pygmies eggs in moist perlite about 1/2 inch thick. and then use my fingers to inprint a shallow pit and place egg into each pit. I incubated my eggs at 18 - 22 celcious. I tried to incubate them in higher temperature, but unsuccessful. All eggs died within weeks. 18 - 22 celcious give me almost 90% hatching rate!
Are you sure she didn’t lay them? Does she look smaller? If she dug three holes and didn’t lay then she is not happy about some aspect of the enclosure/substrate. Is the substrate overly dry or wet?

My first brev laid one egg unexpectedly (we thought it was a male!), pretty much on top of the soil beside a rock. It was very soggy at that point (we hadn't got the hang of misting yet.) We placed the egg in vermiculite that was damp enough to clump, but not drip, in a ziploc container; we punched two pinholes in the top and put it in a closet. It remained at room temp, in the dark, for 70 days, then started to sweat and shrivel just a little. Unfortunately the baby didn't make it out alive; 36 hours after we first noticed the "cracks" at one end of the egg, I cut the baby out of the shell, but of course it was dead. Perfect looking little critter....after all that waiting, it broke our hearts. But I think we must have incubated correctly, or it wouldn't have developed (?).


  • Dead baby cham.jpg
    Dead baby cham.jpg
    51.2 KB · Views: 190
Last edited:
I am pretty sure that she didn't lay them. When I got up this morning there was another hole dug behind a plant. I am unsure if she dug that one this morning or last night, but i didn't see it yesterday. She doesn't look any smaller and in fact, I can feel the egg(s) in her belly.

The substrate isn't overly wet or dry. The top layer of coconut fiber is *barely* damp and then gets gradually more wet as you go down. No part of it is sopping wet and no part of it is overly dry. I sifted through most of the tank just to be sure that I didn't mss the egg(s) and didn't see them.

I am getting pretty worried about her. She isn't acting any differently. She drank this morning and though I haven't seen her eat since yesterday, that is common with her. Temps and humidity seem fine. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
I would really like to see some pics of your enclosure – some close ups of the side so I can get an idea on how wet the substrate is. She may be just scoping out a few potential nesting sites for now. If it were me, I would heavily mist a small section of the tank and get it good and wet but not muddy – preferably an area in the back out of sight. From my experience, brevs won’t thumb their nose up at pretty moist nest site but I think they would if the area was too dry – basically not enough moisture to sustain the eggs. I just dug up a clutch this evening that were deposited during lunch time and the area was wetter then normal. I wouldn’t panic at this time though.

Jleajl …

Sounds like the baby just wasn’t meant to be. In my experience, if the baby can’t make it out of the egg on its own then it wasn’t meant to be. EVERY time I have helped one out (not including just getting one leg stuck … stuff like that), they have eventually died – either that day or shortly after. Putting holes in the top is fine and my preference but you will at some point need to add water that was lost via the holes and it’s tough to say how much without weighing the container first with a scale to know its initial weight. Probably not the issue with yours though.

Sometime I get batches of eggs that just fail … sweat, slit, no baby emerges or it dies within a week. Still working on the cause of it and I know it’s not my incubation techniques … just hatched way too many successfully for that to be the problem. My thoughts are not enough supplementing … females not regaining the calcium they lost and have plenty for the next clutch or maybe its some bunk retained sperm/fertilized egg. I am leaning towards a calcium deficiency since the eggs are not as white as normal and the fact that typical clutch sizes are larger then normal from me feeding them well. Too much food, large clutch sizes and not enough calcium are a bad mix for any female cham.

Here are some pictures that I took of my tank. I tried my best to show the substrate and drainage layers but it was kind of difficult to not get the flash in the way and without the flash you couldn't see anything :/

I can't take actual side pics cause the tank is only clear on the front side. The other 3 sides are black glass.

I also heavily misted a small area on the back wall like you suggested and hopefully she will make use of it soon!


  • brevtank1.jpg
    118.9 KB · Views: 197
  • brevtank2.jpg
    131.3 KB · Views: 152
  • brevtank3.jpg
    95.7 KB · Views: 246
  • brevtank4.jpg
    92 KB · Views: 176
The substrate looks moist enough. Maybe a piece of cork or something like that pushed into the substrate a bit will offer her a more private laying spot. They tend to lay eggs up against things like that. Hopefully she will drop the eggs soon.

Roo, I finally came to the same conclusion about our egg/neonate brev. This was all about a year ago; you may remember, the female died a couple weeks after laying; there was another egg, retained. She was WC and heaven only knows if it was retained sperm, or a male "donated" that was captured with her. BUT...then we got our three CB brevs from FLChams, and they are all fat and happy! In fact, we're waiting to see if Yolanda drops an egg any time now...

Cherron, I hope she'll go ahead and lay soon and end the suspense!
Top Bottom