Caring for your Leopard Geckos
Eublepharis macularis / Eublepharis macularius Share/Bookmark

Leopard Gecko Description

Latin Name: Eublepharis macularis / Eublepharis macularius.
Adult Size: 20cm to 25cm.
Average Life Span: Longevity is unknown at this time, however wild caught animals have lived for over 25 years in captivity.
Native Distribution: Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Western India.
Physical Description: Most of the leopard geckos in captivity are captive bred offspring from wild caught animals from Pakistan. At least 12 different captive bred color morphs exist today including albino and leucistic.
Temperament: A peaceful nocturnal insectivore / carnivore.
Status in the Wild: Abundant.

Leopard Gecko Habitat

Native Habitat: Found in deserts and arid grasslands where they seek shelter during the day under rocks and in burrows.
Ambient Temperature: 28C to 32C during the day, down to 25C at night.
Basking Temperature: Not applicable.
Humidity Range: 30% to 50% ambient humidity with a hide-box 1/2 full of moist sphagnum moss.
Lighting: Full spectrum fluorescent.
Terrarium Size: Adults are best kept in pairs or harems (1 male with multiple females) with at least of floor space per animal.
Terrarium Decor: Dry savanna motif.
Terrarium Substrate: Dry cypress mulch, sand or earth with a shallow water dish.
Terrarium Containment: Leopard Geckos cannot climb glass but can easily climb plants and branches. A top is only necessary to contain food items.

Leopard Gecko Husbandry

Hygiene: Best kept in glass or plastic terrariums. Leopard Geckos will often select a single corner location for defecation. Spot clean as necessary, clean water bowl daily and terrarium monthly.
Feeding: Leopard Geckos eat mostly small insects, insect larvae and baby mice. The most popular foods for captive Leopard Geckos are live crickets, silkworms and pinkie mice.
Handling: An ideal pet lizard to handle. While juveniles may at first be nervous, adults are calm and rarely bite. Leopard Geckos are capable of dropping their tails to escape capture, so they should never be picked up or restrained by their tail. If restraint is necessary, grab them by their head and upper body.
Terrarium Compatibility: Compatible with other medium-sized arid-loving lizards.

Leopard Gecko Breeding

Maturity: Sexual maturity is reached between 1 and 1-1/2 years of age.
Sexing: Adult males are slightly larger than females and have a larger head. Adult males also have prominent femoral pores. See Sexing Leopard Geckos photograph.
Conditioning: Keep adults well fed with a variety of foods.
Cycling: Breeding may occur year-round during the cycling process, but usually occurs between March and August. Reduce feeding and gradually lower the daytime-high and nighttime-low temperatures for the breeders over a period of 6 weeks; e.g. daytime high temperature 28C; nighttime low 18C. Introduce the male into the females enclosure after the temperatures have reached their lowest. Gradually increase temperatures to their normal highs and lows.
Sex Ratio: Best bred in M/F pairs or harems.
Egg Laying: Females will lay one or two eggs at a time, burried in a moist location - usually the hide box. Up to 16 eggs per season per female. See Leopard Gecko eggs photograph.

Leopard Gecko Care of Eggs / Young

Incubation Temperature: 26C to 33C.
Incubation / Gestation Time: 50 to 80 days.
Size at Birth: 7cm to 12cm.
Hatchling Sex Ratio: Below 27C all eggs will be female. Above 32C all eggs will be male.
Feeding: Young should be fed daily with 5mm vitamin / mineral dusted crickets.
Housing: Similiar sized young may be raised together provided they are kept well fed.

Leopard Gecko Ailments

Metabolic Bone Disease: Caused by a deficiecy of calcium and vitamin D. Symptoms include loss of muscular control, easily broken bones and skeletal deformities. Increase calcium and vitamin D supplementation and exposure to UVB light.

Disclaimer: Any course of treatment should be preceded by a thorough examination from a qualified professional. All remedies for ailments given above are for reference purposes only.

Leopard Gecko References

Leopard Gecko Links

LEOPARD GECKOS: Past and Present by Ron Tremper
Published in Reptiles Magazine, 1996