Leopard Gecko

Common Name: Leopard Gecko

Latin name: Eublepharis macularius

Native to: Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India

Size: 8 to 9 inches

Life span: Up to 18 years

General appearance: Leopard geckos are yellow background color with adults having brown spots. They have obvious ears and possess eyelids. They have no adhesive toe pads like other types of geckos, but do have claws on their toes.

Enclosure: A 20-gallon long aquarium will be adequate for 3 – 4 leopard geckos (only 1 male per enclosure — they are territorial). Rocks and logs will provide climbing areas and hiding places. Each leopard gecko must have its own hiding place. A lid is not necessary for the leopard geckos, since they do not climb glass, but will help keep crickets from escaping.

Temperature: Daytime high should be 82°F ( 27.7oC) on one end of tank to 93°F (35.0oC) under a spot light (choose wattage appropriate for providing the correct temperature. Night temperature should be 69° – 72° F. (20-22oC).

Heat/Light: It is commonly noted that no special UV lighting is needed as leopard geckos are nocturnal. A spotlight with the appropriate wattage bulb should be used for maintaining daytime heat/light. However as geckos are highly efficient at skin production of Vitamin D and naturally bask at both dawn and dusk it is recommended that UV-b light is offered to nocturnal geckos.

Substrate: Anything from newspaper to sand may be used, but sand produces the most natural setup. Do NOT use cedar chippings.

Environment: Dry, arid type climate. However, the area under the hide box should be kept moist to aid shedding and simulate the leopard gecko’s natural burrows. A shallow water dish should be available at all times.

Diet: Geckos are insectivorous. Crickets, mealworms, wax worms for adult leopard geckos. Hatchlings and juveniles should be fed small, appropriately sized crickets only. Adult leopard geckos will also eat an occasional pinkie mouse. Crickets should be dusted with calcium/D3 powder and vitamin supplements at every feeding for hatchlings and juveniles, and every other feeding for adults. Avoid wild caught insects!

Maintenance: Keep substrate free of waste products. Water dish must be washed and refilled daily to prevent bacterial growth. Change substrate regularly.

Sexing: An adult male Leopard Gecko has a noticable bulge behind the vent; this is where the hemipenes are located.  There is also a row of femoral pores shaped like a “V” in front of the vent. A female Leopard Gecko has neither the bulge nor a noticeable row of pores. Realiable sexing cannot be performed until the Gecko is old enough, over 6 months at least to really be sure. Juvenile male Leopard Geckos look very much like females.