If you’re considering getting a leopard gecko, it’s important to learn how to carry out proper Leopard Gecko care so that they stay healthy. In this guide, we’ll go over everything you need to know about leopard gecko care, from housing and feeding to health and maintenance.
Leos are lovable, friendly, and curious lizards that exhibit a wide range of activities and vocalizations. So whether you’re a first-time leopard gecko owner or just looking for a refresher, read on for the most important tips on keeping your leo happy and healthy!
Semi-dry and arid deserts and forest borders from Northwest India through Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan are home to the lizard Eublepharis macularius. In their desert scrub settings, they tend to reside on the rocks. Leopard geckos have captivated the imaginations of many, and are referred to by a variety of common names:
Panther geckos are a type of lizard.
Geckos with long tails that live in the desert
Fat-tailed spotting geckos Geckos with long, fat tails
They are nocturnal lizards with excellent predator-evading skills and a leopard-print pattern that helps them blend into the arid landscape.
They are able to stay hidden for lengthy periods of time because of their tails, which store fat and can maintain them until the threat is gone.
Their shedding frequency is also higher than average because of the need for the lizards to mask their scent from predators.
Lastly, the Leopard Gecko emits a high-pitched meow. He will chirp, bark, or make a hissing sound during mating, self-defense, or excitement.
Leopard Gecko Appearance
There is a translucent canal between the two ears of leopard geckos that allows light to pass through.
Small triangular-shaped heads, lengthy bodies, and thick segmented tails are all characteristics of Leopard Geckos. They also have slender digits with long, extending claws, and are white on the underside of their bodies.
Unlike other gecko species, they have no toe pads on their digits, hence they are unable to climb on walls.
Slit pupils are common in the eyes of leopard geckos. But there are a number of genetic variants that are intentionally developed in captivity for various reasons:
It’s known as the “eclipse” mutation because of its all-black or all-red coloring.
The term “snake-eyes” refers to a mutation in which the pupil partially seeps into the iris.
“Marble-eye” is the final mutation, in which the eye’s iris is marked by spots.
Leopard geckos are known for their warty skin.
Scaleless morphs are bred to remove the bumps from the skin, resulting in a smooth, even surface. Variations in eye color, size, and even texture can be found in many morphs.
Leopard Gecko Temperament
Leopard geckos, also known as leos, are relatively low-maintenance pets. A lot of attention should be paid to their habitat, even if they don’t require a lot of cage maintenance.
These docile leopard geckos are usually found on the ground throughout the night and are easy to train. Unlike other geckos, they lack the adhesive toe pads that allow them to scale walls. These geckos do not have eyelids, however, as opposed to others.
Unlike other geckos, leopard geckos don’t like to bite, and they’re generally slow-moving. When they’re hungry, they create chirps and squeaks that are well-known.
As soon as you get your leopard gecko home, you can begin to socialize it by stroking it gently. Leopard geckos are tolerant of some contact, but don’t overdo it or they’ll grow agitated.
Geckos communicate by wagging their tails. In the case of many leopard geckos, keep an eye out for tail-waving. Back and forth is the only way to describe it. As such, the gecko frequently lifts it. As soon as you see this, you should immediately separate the leopard geckos.
Similar to rattlesnakes, leopard geckos have tail rattles. You can tell if your leopard gecko is happy about eating or mating if its tail is wagging vigorously.
Leopard geckos, like many other lizards, have the ability to self-amputate their tails if they feel threatened.
How Is the Leopard Gecko Behavior?
In short, leopard geckos are easy-going lizards. They are not overly fast, and they are absolutely non-aggressive. Aside from the attractive looks, it’s their temperaments that make them such popular pets.
Although leos are not social in the true sense of the word, they do communicate with their surroundings and other members of their species. They have specific body language and utilize their tails to communicate, and sometimes they even vocalize. Learning these cues will tell you a lot about your leo’s mood and health. Here are several examples:
Tail waving basically has a role to inform others of the gecko’s presence; male will wiggle his tail to introduce himself to females, and more vigorous shakes have a defensive role.
Tank (glass) climbing can be a random exploration activity, but can also indicate that something’s off with your gecko’s environment.
Squeaking or chirping usually translate as “stay away”, or “let me go”; some geckos will also vocalize while in pain, so check them if they are making sounds without any contact.
As I mentioned, leo’s behavior provides an insight into their health status. Like other animals, leopard geckos can get hurt or sick, although with proper care this is very rare.
Common Health Concerns
A leopard gecko’s health may be affected by any of the following conditions:
Impaction of the intestines;
Problems Shedding Skin
A lack of essential vitamins and minerals
Metabolic bone disease (MBD)
Infections by parasites
Housing the Leopard Gecko
There should only be one male in a 20-gallon tank; a larger tank is preferred. If you intend to breed your animals, separate the sexes and confine them to a single enclosure. Leopard geckos can thrive in outdated fish tanks that are no longer able to hold water.
Provide hiding and climbing space in the form of half logs. Even basic cardboard boxes can be used to house reptiles. A wet hide box might aid with shedding.
Feces should be removed once a day by wiping the cage with a feces-removing cloth. Take everything out of the cage at least twice a month, discard the substrate, and thoroughly clean and disinfect the cage and all of its contents to prevent bacteria from growing.
A shallow pan of lukewarm water, soaked for 10 to 15 minutes once or twice a week, is also essential for your gecko’s well-being. Hydration and humidity will be improved as a result of this. If your gecko is shedding, you may need to repeat this procedure more frequently.
An incandescent heat bulb that emits white light can be used as a daytime basking area. A ceramic heat emitter, a blue or purple heat bulb, or a red heat bulb can all be used as nighttime heat sources.
While heating pads for aquariums work, they may not be the most effective means of temperature regulation for your gecko. An under-tank heating pad may cause burns to your gecko if it crawls down to the tank’s glass surface. Using hot rocks is a bad idea.
Learn How to Setup the Perfect Leopard Gecko Habitat
Reptiles must regulate their own body temperature because they are cold-blooded. Reptiles want a range of temperatures or thermal gradients so that they can regulate their own body temperature. A thermal gradient of around 75 degrees Fahrenheit should be provided to maintain a daily basking temperature of 88 degrees Fahrenheit (31 degrees Celsius) (around 24 Celsius). 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit is possible at night (21 to 24 Celsius). The tank should not be placed near a window or door, so make sure your gecko isn’t exposed to any drafts.
Leopard geckos are nocturnal and do not require a lot of UV illumination because they are most active at night. Due to their nocturnal habits, these animals are exposed to UV radiation at both sunrise and sunset in the wild. Leopard geckos can benefit greatly from a tiny amount of UVA and UVB light (2 percent to 7 percent) by reducing the risk of metabolic bone disease.
For your lizard to replicate the sun, you’ll need to use incandescent lighting and a heat source. Give them roughly 14 hours of “sun” per day in the summer. That’s around 12 hours of light for the lizard throughout the winter months. Put the lights on a timer to automate cage illumination for your convenience.
Because these lizards live in the desert, they don’t require an extremely humid habitat. During periods of low humidity (less than 20%), geckos may have difficulty shedding. It’s best to keep the humidity about 30-40%, which is roughly where you’d find it in your house. To keep things dry, all you need is a standard screen top and a heat source. Get a hygrometer or humidity gauge for the cage to check the humidity level.
Even if the sand is calcium sand, young leopard geckos should not be housed on it. They could get stuck in their intestines if they eat the sand. Paper and indoor/outdoor carpet are both absorbent and easily replaced. If you’re looking for a simple way to keep your gecko moving around, reptile carpet is an excellent choice. Additionally, this product poses a low risk of ingestion by your gecko.
Test Your Leo knowledge, Fun Facts About the Leopard Gecko
To avoid cutting your gecko’s toes, avoid wood shavings. Using wood shavings that contain volatile oils may cause an allergic reaction. Your gecko should not consume any substrate you use.
Hide and seek is a favorite pastime for geckos! On the cool side of the habitat, place rocks, branches, or commercial reptile caves. Include a hiding place as well. A micro-climate with added humidity is created, which your reptile can enter and exit as needed. Add moistened moss to the box when they’re ready to shed their skin. Spray the moss with a water bottle on a regular basis.
Leopard Gecko Diet
Due to their diet of insects, this lizard is quite easy to care for.
In their diet, they enjoy eating mealworms, arachnid larvae, superworms, small hornworms, waxworms, and phoenix worms, as well as the Dubia roach.
Learn more about What Do Leopard Geckos Eat
Insects smaller than the breadth of their heads should be fed to hatchlings and young geckos every other day.
Adults can be fed two to three times a week, according to the feeding schedule below. Use a one-insect-per-inch rule for the length of the gecko.
Number of people in each age group
(0 to 6 months) 365 days of the year The size of an insect between their two eyes
Young Geckos (6 to 15 months) An bug the size of the distance between their eyes every other day.
Every three days for adult inch of gecko has one bug.
Each time they eat, they need to take a dose of calcium powder and vitamin D3. 48 hours before feeding, you have the option of dusting the insects or gut-loading them. Check the supplement container to see if it says “phosphorus free”.
Children can feed leopard geckos, making them excellent pets for families. Only a dusting of calcium powder and a drop in the enclosure is required.
When the leopard gecko is about to strike, you can see his deft hunting strategy in action as he flicks his tail.
Providing them with fresh water in a shallow water dish is a good way to ensure that they get all of the water they need. Because it could pose a danger to them.
Keep in mind that they are adapted to an extremely dry environment.
Fun Fact: For the rest of his life, this gecko will have 100 teeth, which he will replace every three to four months.
Caring for a Leopard Gecko is not difficult as long as you plan ahead and know what they need. By following this Leopard Care guide, we have given you some basics that will keep your leopard gecko healthy. We hope that if you are looking into adopting a Leopard Gecko, or maybe you currently have one of these, this information has helped you to know what they need in order to be happy and healthy.
Thank You for reading our guide!