THE “GECKO TANK” HAS ONE STAR, THE LEOPARD GECKO GUS!
COMMON NAME: Leopard gecko
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Eublepharis macularius
ADULT SIZE: 8-10 INCHES INCLUDING TAILS
LIFE SPAN: 20 OR MORE YEARS IN CAPTIVITY
The leopard gecko is a popular beginner’s reptile because it’s easy to handle and require minimal care compared to other lizards. They originate from Afghanistan, Pakistan, northwest India, and Iran. Leopard geckos have perky personalities and make movements that are interesting to watch. They are commonly yellow, white, and spotted with black dots, and hatchlings are striped and gradually change to the spotted appearance. There are several colorful and patterned morphs or variations.
Leopard geckos, affectionately called leos, are generally easy to care for. They do not require a lot of cage maintenance, but you should still give their environment a lot of attention.
Leopard geckos are mostly nocturnal, ground-dwelling geckos that are generally docile and easy to tame. They do not have the sticky toe pads like other geckos, so they do not climb walls. But unlike other geckos, they do have eyelids.
Leopard geckos are not prone to biting and are usually slow-moving. They are known to be very vocal, especially when they are hungry, and they make chirps and squeaks.
Leopard geckos also are tail rattlers, similar to rattlesnakes. If you see your gecko rattle the tip of its tail rapidly, that means your leopard gecko is excited to eat or to mate.
And just like a lot of other lizards, when they feel threatened, leopard geckos can self-amputate their tails as a defense mechanism.
Leopard geckos are insectivores. Feed a variety of crickets, waxworms, and, in moderation, mealworms. On occasion, you can try to feed a pinky mouse to an adult gecko. To make sure that your gecko does not ingest any substrate, you can feed your gecko in an empty tank.
Juveniles need to be fed several crickets every day. Adults can skip several days between feedings. Before you feed the insects to your pet, they must be gut-loaded or fed a nutritious meal 24 hours before feeding. You will also need to coat the insects with a calcium/vitamin D3 supplement before you feed them to your lizard. To do so, put the crickets or worms in a ziplock bag with some of the powder supplement. Shake the bag quickly and drop the insect into the tank with your lizard. Hatchlings and juveniles need the calcium/vitamin supplement at every feeding; adults only need it at every other feeding.
You can also provide your gecko with a lick dish of the vitamin.
Provide a shallow dish of fresh water for your leopard gecko at all times. The water bowl will help add some humidity to the enclosure, and your gecko will drink from the bowl. You may even find a gecko voluntarily soaking in its water bowl.