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Leopard Gecko

Lively and active  (other names: Eublepharis macularius)

Leopard Gecko
origin:Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India
life expectancy:20-30 years
family:Terrestrial, nocturnal
size: Large
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History [ edit ]

The Leopard Gecko is a lizard native to Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India inhabiting arid regions, such as rocky deserts and arid grasslands.  The Leopard Gecko is the largest of the geckos and it is one of the five species belonging to the genus Eublepharis. Its scientific name Eublepharis macularius means: Eublepharis (greek) = good or true eyelid; macularius (latin) = spotted, and describes its fully movable eyelids and spotted skin. Its common name derives from the leopard-like spots which pattern the body of adult animals. Leopard Geckos are nocturnal and often live in loose colonies. This species is seldom found off of the ground. During day time they shelter themselves under rocks or in holes and crevices, higher in humidity, emerging at night to feed on insects, scorpions and occasionally other lizards.   It is said to be the first lizard species to be bred in captivity and although some of these animals may still be wild-caught, most are captive-bred specimens. The Leopard Gecko has a gentle temperament, takes up little space and it is not demanding in terms of food, being the ideal pet for lizard fanciers.
editing: History [ close ]
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Appearance [ edit ]

The Leopard Gecko is a large lizard, reaching 20-25 cm (8-10 inches). Unlike other geckos, these have fully functional eyelids, which allow them to blink and close their eyes. They also have a clearly visible outer ear.  Another distinctive feature between this species and other geckos is the absence of adhesive lamellae to walk up vertical surfaces but they have tiny claws which help them climbing. Males distinguish from females by a somewhat broader head, thicker neck and a stockier body. Adult males can also be identified by a visible bulge just past the vent where the hemipenes are stored and by a salient V-shaped row of pre-anal pores, non-existent in the female, which has only a row of modified cells without any visible pores. The Leopard Gecko’s tail is used as a fat storage reservoir but it breaks off easily allowing the animal to get away from predators and although it regenerates, the new tail is not as nice looking as the original one. Leopard Geckos come now in several colours and patterns developed through captive breeding but, generally, adults are yellow and white with dark brown spots. The juveniles have alternating strips of colour which gradually change to the spotted appearance as they mature.
editing: Appearance [ close ]
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Behaviour [ edit ]

The Leopard Gecko is a large lizard, reaching 20-25 cm (8-10 inches). Unlike other geckos, these have fully functional eyelids, which allow them to blink and close their eyes. They also have a clearly visible outer ear.  Another distinctive feature between this species and other geckos is the absence of adhesive lamellae to walk up vertical surfaces but they have tiny claws which help them climbing. Males distinguish from females by a somewhat broader head, thicker neck and a stockier body. Adult males can also be identified by a visible bulge just past the vent where the hemipenes are stored and by a salient V-shaped row of pre-anal pores, non-existent in the female, which has only a row of modified cells without any visible pores. The Leopard Gecko’s tail is used as a fat storage reservoir but it breaks off easily allowing the animal to get away from predators and although it regenerates, the new tail is not as nice looking as the original one. Leopard Geckos come now in several colours and patterns developed through captive breeding but, generally, adults are yellow and white with dark brown spots. The juveniles have alternating strips of colour which gradually change to the spotted appearance as they mature.
editing: Behaviour [ close ]
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Handling [ edit ]


The Leopard Gecko tolerates some handling it should not be excessive (a few times a week) and it should never be picked up or restrained by holding the tail as it breaks off rather easily as a defence mechanism. For this reason never let a child to handle a Leopard Gecko unsupervised.
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Reproduction [ edit ]

The Leopard Geckos become sexually mature in their second year, but some females produce eggs before their first year.  Females can store the sperm and only need to mate once to produce multiple clutches (of two eggs each) of fertile eggs throughout the whole breeding season. When pregnant, they develop a distinctive bump on each side of her abdomen. They should be provided with a laying box filled with moist moss or vermiculite. Hatchlings are temperature sex dependent. Temperatures between 79-83F generally produce female, 84-86F produce about half of each sex, and above 87F produce male. Higher temperatures, over 92 F, generally produce overly aggressive females called "hot" females which, besides bullying their cage mates will never reproduce. Hatching time is around 60 to70 days but it also varies depending on the temperature. Juveniles do not eat prior to their first shed. They should be housed separately and preferably by size to avoid the largest feeding on the smaller ones.
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Health [ edit ]

Leopard Geckos are very hardy, long lived lizards, which are not highly prone to health problems and adapt well to captivity.
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Trivia [ edit ]

When a male Leopard Gecko meets another Gecko it will vibrate its tail rapidly. If the other gecko responds in the same fashion then each of them knows that they are in the presence of another male and they will fight. Females never present such behaviour.
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Housing [ edit ]

Habitat: Min. 40 lit (10.6 US gallon; 8.8 UK gallon) for a single gecko. 80 lit (21 US gallon; 17.6 UK gallon) tank for 1 male and 2 females. Top lid advisable.

Substrate: orchid bark mixture, astroturf with bound or melted edges, indoor outdoor carpet or paper (newspaper will do). Do not use sand or bark chips which may be absorbed by the animals and cause impaction and death. Paper towel for baby hatchlings is easy to clean.

Decoration: Rocks and half logs to provide shelter and climbing space, a rough stone or bark for the lizards to rub on during shed periods and a hide box per animal for sleeping or hiding place.

Temperature: Gradient. Day 32 C (90 F) at basking spot; 27 C (80 F).Night: 25 C (70s F)
Red bulb, ceramic bulbs or undertank heaters can be used to provide the temperature gradient.

Lighting:  No special UV lighting required. Day/night cycles of 12 hours regulated with a timer.

Humidity: Moderate. A moist area helps with shedding but the overall cage should not be wet or overly humid. A water dish should be provided at all times. The dish should allow the animals to lap easily from it and be shallow enough to prevent the lizards from falling and drowning.

Habitat cleaning:
Daily: Change the water in the dish
Weekly:  clean the tank with diluted windex or wipe out and dry (the animals should be previously removed from the tank)
Monthly: disinfect the water dish with a weak solution (10% chlorine bleach), rinse very well and dry fully.

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Diet [ edit ]

Carnivorous. Crickets, kingworms (zophobas), mealworms (with moderation), waxworms, earthworms, grasshoppers, locusts and pinky mice occasionally and strictly for adults. Adults: feed every other day; Juveniles: feed every day supplements: calcium/D3 and reptile multivitamin. Adults supplemented at every other feeding; females supplemented at every feeding during the breeding period; juveniles supplemented at every feeding. Insects should be gut-loaded and coated with these supplements.
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Care Level [ edit ]

Easy.

Cautions: Cedar chips are toxic to the gecko and should not be used as substrate; bare hot rocks, should not be used to provide basking temperature for they normally heat too much and can burn the animals. Direct sunlight will overheat the tank quickly and may kill the geckos.

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Comments (2)add comment
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01.02
Dogfan22 said:
i like to have one
28.05
geckoleopard said:
Leopard Geckos can be fun as well as easy to maintain as pets. For those new to owning reptiles, leopard geckos can be a gateway to the more of a challenge reptile. These pets are extremely worth the effort. http://www.leopardgeckoexperts.com