Courtship and mating in Zoos and the field have been observed from Jan 19-October 1.
Successful coition from June 28 to October.
Territories are not established. Courtship and mating takes place in small aggregations of Komodos near carrion (other lizards usually mate alone).
Monitors (like fishes and some birds) have a very brief courtship.
Mating occurs quickly.
Attacks of males upon females are common at the time of, and immediately after, copulation.
Most female acts are agonistic (use teeth and tails) during early phases of courtship.
Males must be able to completely restrain females in order to remain uninjured.
Visual display is not significant. Other cues: rubbing chin on top of body and neck of female. Hard scratches to back. Tongue-licks to area around hind legs, shoulders, neck and head
Mounting occurs several times in each courtship sequence
Asexual reproduction (parthenogenesis) has been observed in managed care (Sunter 2008)
Embryo develops from unfertilized egg when male is not present
Offspring always male
Impacts managed care breeding populations
Reduces genetic diversity
Fewer females available for breeding
Nest is an excavation in soil or in nests of megapods (mound-builder birds)
1-30 eggs laid in a clutch (average is 18)
Females may lay one or more eggs several times during several, successive days. Most females lay only one clutch per year. (July to early September)
Eggs of all varanids have a soft, leathery shell.
Incubation: 2.5 - 8 months (probably dependent on temperature and soil moisture)
220 days when in managed care
Young appear in April or May and may remain together in small groups for several months. Hatchlings weigh about 80 g (2.8 oz) and average length 49 cm
Gestation and Birth
Young are arboreal during their first year
Adults largely terrestrial and rarely climb. May construct burrows along vertical banks of stream beds or under boulders and fallen trees. May also spend the night sleeping in high grass or dense brush.
Female breeding ability thought to decline around age of 20 and cease around 30 yrs
About 30 years; more study is needed
Young komodo dragons live in trees their first year to avoid predators.
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