Showing posts with label Leopard gecko. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Leopard gecko. Show all posts



English: Leopard gecko example
Leopard gecko example (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
1.1 - General Information
Leopard Geckos are nocturnal, ground-dwelling reptiles that were originally found in the deserts of Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, and Iran (although they live in the desert, their natural substrate is not sand, as I will discuss later under substrate). The scientific name is Eublepharis macularius (which means "true" "eyelid" "spot"). They are one of the few geckos that actually have eyelids, and they naturally have spots. There are many different morphs of Leopard Geckos that I will go into in more detail later. Many people now breed Leopard Geckos, and you can purchase them at a local pet store (or through breeders). They may live up to 20 years if properly cared for, and reach an average size of 8-10 inches when they reach adulthood (approximately 1-2 years into the gecko's life).

2.1 - Housing
First things first, you should never house multiple male Leopard Geckos together. They are territorial and may fight each other. You shouldn't house a female and a male together either unless you want babies. However, you can house multiple females together, but you must watch them carefully because there can be situations where one may be a leader. Some signs of "bullying" would be marks on one of the geckos, one getting more food than the other, or one of the geckos getting a good bit larger than the other.

Next question one might have is, "How big should my tank be?" Well, this depends on how many geckos you plan to house in the tank. A 10-gallon tank would be on the small side for one gecko, but it works. My opinion is that a 20-gallon tank works best for 2, maybe 3 geckos and a 30-gallon tank can fit up to 4 or 5 (this area is debated, so the fewer geckos, the safer). I do not suggest you ever house more than 5 geckos in one tank. Another thing to consider when purchasing a tank is that Leopard Geckos don't climb as much as other geckos, so it is better to buy a tank with more surface area. For example: A 20 gallon tank (24" x 12" x 16") meaning 24" by 12" surface area, compared to a 20 gallon long (30" x 12" x 12") which has 30" by 12" surface area. You could get those two tanks for the same price, but the 20 gallons long would be a better choice.

3.1 - Feeding
When it comes to feeding, babies/juveniles eat more often than adults because it is important for them to grow a big healthy tail. A good rule of thumb to go by is once a day for any gecko 1 1/2 years and every other day for older geckos. You should let your gecko eat as much as he or she can in 15 minutes. They have good judgment and will not eat more than they can. When they are younger, they may eat too much and regurgitate food. This is just a learning process and doesn't hurt your baby, it should teach them not to eat that much. When your gecko grows older you should keep feeding it as much as he/she can eat in 15 minutes, but only feed it every other day. A good rule of thumb to use is don't feed anything longer than the width between your gecko's eyes (or 3/4 of their head). This will keep your gecko from swallowing something too big and choking, although they usually regurgitate. To learn more about what to feed your geckos, continue reading through the next couple of sections.

4.1 - Health
Health is an important part of your gecko's life, of course. Some positive signs of a healthy gecko are:

  • Feeding well.
  • Growing (if a baby).
  • Is active at night.
  • Has a fat tail (it is OK if younger geckos don't have fat tails, as they are still growing).
  • And is acting normal

You should always check for signs of unhealthiness. Also, if you get a new gecko (or geckos) and you are planning to house them with another gecko that you already had or you just bought, you should "quarantine the new gecko(s). This is a process where you take the new gecko and put him in a tank by himself for about 3 months. If you don't do this, and your gecko came with a disease, the disease would spread to the other gecko and both of them would have died. After the 3 months, you can safely house that gecko with another one. This is just a safe way to determine if a Leopard Gecko is "disease-free".


LEOPARD GECKO - Eublepharis macularis

Leopard Gecko - Eublepharis macularis


Top 3: Types of LIZARD PETS

There are several types of lizard pets available for sale at most pet stores which can make deciding which is the best for you a difficult decision. You will need to keep in mind how much money you have to spend, how much room you have available, and how long you are willing to care for the pet. Of the several species available, I have chosen my three personal favorites which are easy to care for, enjoy being handled, and have affordable starter and upkeep costs.

Bearded Dragon

Bearded dragon showing tongue
Photo by Tambako the Jaguar

Native to: Most regions of Australia

Size: Adults can grow to around 24″

Diet: Omnivore

Habitat: Dry, Hot Desert Conditions

Cost: Varies from around $ 40 for regulars, to over $ 200 for special morphs

Life Span: Around 10 years on average

Pros: Beardies are a very hardy and well-tempered lizard that grows to a comfortable handling size. The desert environment they need to survive is fairly easy to create and maintain when compared to other lizards who require moist conditions.

Cons: As juveniles, this lizard’s appetite can get quite expensive, as they need insects to be offered daily. UV lighting is required and bulbs need to be replaced a couple times a year, adding to costs. Beardies also require a 55 gallon enclosure at minimum to live happily, which takes up a lot of space.

Leopard Gecko

Al the Leopard Gecko
Photo by simply.jessi

Native to: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Northwestern India

Size: Adults grow to around 8-10″

Diet: Insectivores

Habitat: Warm, dry desert conditions

Cost: Varies from $ 20 to $ 400 or more

Life Span: Up to 20 years

Pros: Geckos can be housed comfortably in a 20 gallon tank, requiring little space and expense.

They don’t need UV lighting and require less heat than a beardie or uromastyx. They only eat insects so you wont need to fuss with cutting vegetables daily and save a bit on the food bill.

Cons: Geckos have very few cons, but they are nocturnal, so they aren’t very active during the day. They are also fairly small and squirmy compared to a larger lizard, so handling can be risky.

Mali Uromastyx

Uromastyx Lizard
Photo by hj_west 

Native to: North Africa, Middle East, South Asia to India

Size: Around 16″ for an adult male

Diet: Omnivore

Habitat: Dry/Very Hot Desert Conditions

Cost: $ 40 to over $ 200 depending on size

Life Span: Up to 30 years

Pros: Uro’s are very docile lizards that are very similar to bearded dragons. They seem to enjoy human interaction and are fairly hardy. These critters are very active during the daytime, often throwing their veggies around to make a nice mess for us.

Cons: Much like the beardie, uro’s need a large enclosure and UV lighting. Mali uromastyx also need extremely high temperatures around 120F. These lizards can live up to 30 years, so be ready for a long-term commitment if you decide a mali uro is for you.

All three of these types of lizard pets are great for beginners. Which suits you best will mostly depend on how much room you have available, and how much money you are willing to invest. Beardies and Uro’s are the best for handling, but cost more than a gecko to start-up and maintain. Gecko’s and bearded dragons live around 10 years, whereas a mali uromastyx can live up to 30. This could make them a poor choice for a child who will  most likely be moving from Mom and Dad’s to go to college or start their own family in the near future. Keep these things in mind so that you don’t regret your purchase, or end up having to give your pet away because they cost too much, or because they don’t fit in with your lifestyle.

Author: Joselyn


Guidelines on What to Feed a LEOPARD GECKO

One of the most important factors in the health and well being of your Leopard Gecko is a healthy diet. Leopard Geckos are insectivores, they prey on insects, such as spiders, moths, mosquitoes, and worms.

Adult geckos can be fed live prey every other day while baby leopard geckos should be fed daily. This is not always the case, but it is a pretty good rule of thumb.

Eublepharis macularius1
Eublepharis macularius1 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You can also feed your gecko crickets, but when giving a gecko crickets as prey, you need to make sure that you use crickets that are small enough for your gecko to hunt.

Two appropriately sized mealworms for each inch of the geckos length is a good amount. but you can treat your pet to waxworms or superworms once a week. Although some geckos have been known to have a sweet tooth and enjoy eating fresh fruit or even honey. They should be given live insects that are small enough for the gecko to deal with.

You can feed your gecko anywhere from 4 to 8 crickets at one time, depending on the size of your gecko and the size of the crickets. If the crickets aren't eaten within a couple of hours they should be removed and used for the next feeding, so that they don't cause your gecko any unnecessary stress. It is normal for geckos to eat the skin that they shed, so they may not always need the same amount of food for each feeding.

Super-worms, mealworms or anything else that can be contained in a dish can be left within the cage without putting the gecko in any danger.

If you wish, as a treat you can offer your adult gecko an occasional tiny pinkie mouse. One that is only a few days old will be little enough for a fully grown gecko to manage. In fact, pinkie mice are a wonderful choice to offer breeding females.

Wax-worms are also a good treat for your gecko however, because wax-worms can become additive for geckos, they should only be given sparingly. Even though geckos love wax-worms, they are very fattening and generally unhealthy for geckos.

The prey that you offer your pet should be no larger than half the width of your gecko's head, this will ensure that your gecko doesn't choke on it.

The skin that the gecko sheds, and then eats, does help to provide them with protein and other healthy nutrients.

One of the best ways of keeping your leopard gecko healthy in regards to feeding it, is to gut-load your geckos prey 24 hours prior to feeding it to them. Gut-loading is feeding the crickets or other insects a highly nutritious, high quality meal prior to feeding them to your gecko.

Offering your gecko a healthier insect in turn makes a healthier gecko. You can buy a feed the insects things like chick or hog mash, fruits, vegetables and grains. They also make and sell products that come in a powdered form and can be fed to the prey. Along with gut-loading, you can offer your gecko calcium and vitamin supplements by sprinkling the prey with powdered supplements prior to feeding them to your gecko.

Calcium and vitamins supplements are very important to the overall health of your leopard gecko. Dusting the prey does run the slight risk of the cricket cleaning it off or even getting the dust in your geckos eyes. So, gut-loading and leaving the powder in a lid might be best.

Dusting is also a good way to enrich the diet of baby leopard geckos and breeding females.
Water should also be given to your gecko and kept fresh at all times. Stagnant water is a breeding ground for bacteria which can lead to illness in your gecko so the water should be changed frequently.