The Leopard Gecko Care Sheet is designed to provide a general guide for the care of this specific species. It also includes information on how to keep the gecko healthy and happy throughout its lifetime. With the tips provided in the article, you will be off to a great start caring for your Leopard Gecko.
Leopard Gecko Overview
The Leopard Gecko is a popular pet in the reptile world. This gecko can come in a variety of colors and sizes, yet most look very similar to each other. Leopard geckos are a part of the Gekkonidae family, which other animals commonly include the Golden Geckos and the Rainforest Geckos. The Japanese Leopard Gecko is also part of this family, making it a subspecies of this species.
Leopard geckos have a unique defense mechanism which helps them to hide from potential predators. This defense mechanism, or counter-defense, is used multiple times per hour and works by a spontaneous change in skin pigmentation.
Leopard Gecko Size
These geckos can be as small as 12 inches to 24 inches at maturity. You can determine the size of your leopard gecko by knowing their recorded size. All leopard geckos have been found to be between 4.5 – 7.5 pounds. The length of the leopard gecko will determine how much space you need for their habitat. A 10-gallon aquarium or a 20-gallon terrarium is suitable for young or smaller leopard geckos. They will grow quickly and require a larger terrarium as they age.
Leopard Gecko Colors
The colors of the leopard gecko can vary greatly with some having combinations of colors on one animal. The majority of the leopard geckos are a combination of brown, black and red colors. However, you may also find some that are a mix of blueish tinges on their body called morphs. The specific colors used in the leopard gecko can change as they age and grow into adults.
Leopard Gecko Diet & Feeding Instructions
The Leopard Gecko is an omnivorous (eating everything) creature. They will eat both live and dead insects including crickets, cockroaches, mealworms and other insects. They are also known to enjoy fruit flies, honey bees, locusts and many other types of insects. In addition to these insects, you should provide them with a variety of leafy greens such as collards, mustard greens or kale.
Leopard Gecko Water Requirements
Leopard geckos will require fresh water every day. You should provide the gecko with a bowl of water to drink from and at least one other bowl for water to keep them moist. You will find that your gecko does not like to get wet, so there is no need for a larger water dish. This allow the Leopard Geckos to have access to their water supply at all times, preventing them from going without. Experts recommend using a shallow dish for the water so that your gecko does not drown if he/she falls into it.
Leopard Gecko Habitat Needs
The Leopard Gecko can be kept in an aquarium of any size, but a terrarium is preferred. The terrarium needs to be well ventilated and the temperature should be monitored daily. You need to make sure that the room you are keeping them in is between 68-77 degrees Fahrenheit and that they do not get too much heat or cold either. Do not keep them in a bathroom or other small area, as they need much more room.
Leopard Gecko Feeding Requirements
You will find that the Leopard Gecko is primarily an insectivore, but still needs a variety of other types of food. This will help them thrive as they grow older and should live as long as 20 years. You can feed your Leopard Geckos a variety of foods including crickets, mealworms and other insects. They will also eat both live and dead insects. In addition to these foods, you should provide them with a variety of leafy greens such as collards, mustard greens or kale.
Learn all about What Do Leopard Geckos Eat
Leopard Gecko Handling Requirements
Leopard Geckos can be handled on a regular basis if they are used to being handled. However, it is best to only hold them for short periods of time and avoid handling them when you are in a hurry. You should handle them only when necessary, such as when you are placing them into a larger enclosure for the first time. Be sure to allow them time to get used to you and your touch before holding them for too long.
Leopard Gecko Breeding Requirements
You do not need to breed your Leopard Geckos, as they can only be bred by other Leopard Geckos. This is important because they must be able to recognize their own species in order to reproduce and raise their young.
Leopard Gecko Life Expectancy
Leopard Geckos have been known to live as long as 20 years! If you are purchasing a leopard gecko and plan to keep him/her for that long, you will need to provide them with a large habitat. This can allow your gecko too grow several inches during their lifetime. Because they grow relatively slowly, they do not require a lot of food or water, so the habitat will not need to be cleaned often.
Leopard Gecko Lighting, Temperature & Humidity Requirements
The Leopard Gecko needs a constant temperature of 68 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit in the habitat. They also need this temperature to be steady and consistent, as they are not too used to drastic changes in temperature. This will help them stay healthy during their entire life span. They will also need a light cycle that is similar to a natural day/night cycle. Make sure you keep the lighting on for 12-14 hours per day and shut it off for 10 hours each night just like it would be outside.
Learn more about caring for your Gecko in our Leopard Gecko Care Guide
Leopard Gecko Health Issues
The Leopard Gecko is a healthy reptile, able to live as long as they do because of their ability to withstand changes in temperature and their low-maintenance lifestyle. They are prone to certain health issues, however, such as respiratory infections brought on by respiratory infections. Leopards also have a quick breeding cycle and can become very aggressive in nesting areas. All of these things could lead to death for your leopard gecko. Proper care and attention can keep most of these issues away.
Leopard Gecko Treats
You can give your Leopard Gecko a variety of treats in addition to their daily food. These come in the form of insects or fruits and vegetables. You should not give them too many treats, as they do not need supplementation and will end up throwing their diet off if they eat too many treats. Feeding them fruit will also help keep them hydrated, so you should be sure to always have fresh water available for your gecko as well.
The Leopard Gecko is a hardy reptile and very easy to care for. However, this does not mean that you should take them for granted. If you are looking for an easy reptile pet to care for, then the leopard gecko may be a great option for you. They are durable and hardy animals who require little upkeep beyond fresh water and food. Good luck and have fun!