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Leopard Gecko

(Eublepharis macularius)



Leopard Geckos in the wild originate from Pakistan, Afghanistan and North Western India. They are crepuscular. Crepuscular animals are those that are active primarily during twilight. It is thus to be distinguished from diurnal and nocturnal behaviour where an animal is active during the hours of daylight or the hours of darkness respectively.

They belong to the family Eublepharidae, which includes all geckos that have movable eyelids. Their scientific name is Eublepharis macularius, which translates to 'true eyelid spotted'. 

Lifespan & size: Their lifespan is on average 7-10 years, although males have been known to live as long as 20.

Average size around 8-10".



The vivarium or box they are housed in can be as elaborate or as plain as you like, as a general guide one juvenile / small adult can be housed comfortably in a contico or other plastic type box measuring approximately 16” x 12”. One adult can quite comfortably live in a 24” Long enclosure, whereas two or three adult geckos would be better housed in a 36” enclosure. Never house two male leo's together once they are sexually mature, they are territorial and will fight for dominance, sometimes to the death!


Hides & Moist Boxes:

Leopard Geckos should be provided with at least two hides, one on the warm end of their enclosure & one on the cool side of their enclosure.
The one on the cool side should be a Moist Box which has either damp moss, coco fibre or sedge peat. This is aids in the shedding process. Females can also lay their eggs in the moist hide if needed.
Hide boxes can be made out of many things, from really nice shop bought hides that resemble rocks, coconut hides, ice cream tubs, other plastic tubs or small cardboard boxes. Again the moist box can be made out of a plastic tub or you can also purchase Gecko Caves which have a bottom to them.



Heating & Temperature:

Heating and Temperature are very important to the health of you Leopard Geckos. Leopard Geckos need heat to thermo-regulate, as they do not produce their own body heat internally. They need an external heat source to help them digest their food as well as regulate other bodily functions.

Heat can be provided by means of a heat mat, ceramic heat emitter, basking lamp or deep heat projector.

If using a basking lamp, this will be turned off at night so you should provide some form of heating for night time such as a heat mat controlled by another thermostat.

If using a heat mat, the heat mat should cover around half to one third of the floor area. Heat mats should always be controlled by an appropriate Thermostat to avoid burning of the animal, fires or not giving the animal enough heat.

Our preferred method of heating is the deep heat projector controlled by a dimming thermostat. Deep heat projectors provide Infra-red A & B, which heats deep into the muscle tissues, warming the animal throughout, just as it would in the wild.

Temperatures should be checked regularly with a Thermometer.
The temperature of the floor of your enclosure where the geckos bask should read between 28 – 35 degrees Celcius.


Lighting & UVB:

There is much debate as to whether Leopard Geckos require a source of UVB. For years breeders have kept Leopard Geckos with no UVB & successfully kept & bred these geckos with no issues. However, on occasions there have still been geckos that have developed a disease known as Metabolic Bone Disease. Metabolic bone diseases are disorders of bone strength, usually caused by abnormalities of minerals (such as calcium or phosphorus), vitamin D, bone mass or bone structure. This has more often than not been blamed on the owner not giving correct supplementation of calcium & vitamins.
For years, leopard geckos have been described as solely nocturnal which isn’t completely true, they are in fact crepuscular. This would mean that in the wild they would be subject to small levels of UVB. Many Exotic Veterinarians & breeders, including ourselves are now advising that Leopard Geckos should be kept under a low level UVB tube such as the Arcadia T5 Terrestrial Shade Dweller. Our setups have for a number of years now included UVB as standard.
If you decide against a UVB source, it is still important that your geckos recognises a day & night cycle, even if this is just the natural daylight coming through a window or from a room light being on.



There are different substrates available on the market today. Hatchlings and young Geckos should be kept on kitchen roll or Repti-Carpet. This is due to the risk of impaction if they accidentally eat any substrate, they cannot pass it through their system as easily as an adult. Once they are big enough, around 6 inch in length, they can be moved on to something else such as Desert Sand. We wouldn’t advise Calci-Sand for Leopard Geckos as the grains are quite large & hard for even an adult to pass through.



The diet and dietary supplements of your leopard gecko are very important in order to maintain their health. Leopard Geckos are insectivorous which means they are insect eaters.
Foods such as Crickets, Locusts, Meal Worms & Wax Worms (Wax worms are high in fat & should be considered a treat rather than a staple food) are amongst the insects suitable for your gecko.
Hatchlings and young geckos can be fed approximately 4-8 food items once per day. Adults can be fed approximately 4-10 food items of the appropriate size every 2-3 days. Geckos being crepuscular prefer to hunt their prey at night, so it is advised to place food items with your Geckos after dusk.



We give our adult geckos Nutrobal (A Calcium balancer & multi-vitamin supplement) 2-3 times a week.
For our babies/juveniles we do the same as above but also supply them with a small dish of Calcium in their enclosure at all times (some people choose to do this for their adults as well which is fine). It is extremely important for growing geckos to get enough calcium. 


Clean Water:

Fresh clean water should be available at all times. On occasions you may notice that your gecko does a toilet in their water bowl, this must be cleaned & changed immediately.


Tail Loss:

Gecko's will drop their tails if they are threatened or grabbed by the tail. Cage mates have been known to accidentally grab the tail of another, which has caused the tail to drop. If this happens you should remove the gecko as soon as possible, keep them warm, fed and watered regularly as they use their tails as fat reserves and are more vulnerable to stress at this time. The tail will grow back but it will not look the same as the old one. It will be shorter and fatter than the original.

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