Reproduction Terms Glossary: Reptiles
Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff

Reptile Glossaries
There is a wealth of jargon used throughout the reptile world. This is especially true when discussing reptile reproduction. Learning this vocabulary allows you to better understand articles and what veterinarians, reptile hobbyists and other reptile owners are saying. The following list of terms, while in no way comprehensive, contains some of the terms used to discuss reptile reproduction.

Carbuncle
The egg tooth that oviparous species use to create an opening in the shell that they will push through to exit the egg.

Clutch
The number of eggs laid or the group of eggs laid.

Gravid
Pregnant.

Neotenic
Reptiles, such as some salamanders, that reach sexual maturity while still in larval form.

Oviparous
Reptile that reproduces by laying eggs that will hatch later.

Ovoviviparous
Reptile that hatches eggs inside body and gives birth to live young.

Pipping
When a hatchling uses its carbuncle to break open the egg shell.

Viviparous
An animal that gives birth to young that have been sustained by a connection to the mother.

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