Caring for Leopard Geckos


Leopard Geckos are the most common reptile kept as pets. They are extremely easy to care for and can be quite friendly. Please keep in mind that these guys have been known to live for 15-25 years so they would be considered a long-term commitment, albeit a low-maintenance one. If possible, try to adopt when choosing a Leopard Gecko as there are many that are passed on from one owner to the next, mainly due to their longevity.

Leopard Geckos grow to a size of about 6-8 inches including their tail and are best suited to a 10-20 gallon terrarium. The terrarium setup should include an infrared or night heat lamp, a hiding/sleeping area, a water dish and other ornaments. Leopard Geckos prefer an environment similar to their desert origins, which means a temperature of 80-85 degrees fahrenheit and a low degree of humidity. A substrate of fine sand, paper towel or slate rock can be used. I prefer slate rock due to its ease of cleaning, its natural look and and the type of environment that can be created by stacking them. Keep the terrarium clean by removing waste about once a week.

A diet of crickets, mealworms and occasional treats of waxworms or butterworms is ideal for your gecko. She should eat between 4-5 bugs nightly or every other night depending on her age. You will definitely know how well you are feeding her by looking at her tail. A thick looking tail is what you should be looking for as that is where she stores any excess fat. Also make sure that your gecko has constant access to clean fresh drinking water. She may prefer to drink water misted from a misting bottle so keep an eye out on how she tends to drink. Misting her lightly every night can help to humidify the terrarium slightly and help her when she is shedding her skin. 

Leopard Geckos are nocturnal and will be active throughout the night. Keeping this mind, it is best to handle your gecko when she is awake in the evening. Do not grab your gecko while handling her and be careful around her tail because she may drop it. A dropped tail will regrow but will not look like the original tail. It is best to limit handling your gecko to about 5 minutes in general to avoid stressing her out. 

Other than that there isn’t much else you need to know about these guys. I am not too sure about breeding them as I have never tried, but there is plenty of information on the rest of the Internet should you want to give it a shot. I do know that sexing this gecko is fairly easy. Simply look at the underside of the base of the tail and see if there are a series of small bumps along it. The bumps signify that you have a male. If you are considering breeding your Leopard Geckos please keep in mind that you most likely will eventually need to find a home for your newly hatched baby geckos and it may not be very easy to do so. 

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