Leopard Gecko Care Sheet. How To Care For Your Pet Gecko
Leopard Gecko Care Sheet
If your looking for a Leopard Gecko Care Sheet then you've found one of the best ever here. Because here I will be sharing with you all the information you could ever want to know about Leopard Geckos including a full and complete Leopard Gecko Care Sheet.
Leopard Geckos Are Easy To Keep
If you check around with pet shops and people keeping reptiles you'll soon discover that the Leopard Gecko is quite possibly the easiest to keep lizard there is. Their small size, and how easy they are to care for makes them the perfect pet for a person wanting to keep a pet lizard. If you can provide their basic needs then you will be able to keep your Leopard Gecko alive, healthy, and happy. Did you know that unlike other types of Geckos that Leopard Geckos possess movable eyelids. And I really love the way they look. Leopard Geckos are a well established pet in the pet trade and you'll find them readily available at pet shops, the internet, and at reptile shows.
Edward Blyth First Told Of The Leopard Gecko In 1854
Zoologist Edward Blyth first described and told of the Leopard Gecko back in 1854. In its native habitat the lizard can be found in the grasslands and dessert regions of Afghanistan, India, Iran, and Pakistan. Winter temperatures in these countries can be quite low forcing the lizard to go underground into burrows into a state of semi hibernation called brumation during which time the lizard lives on its stored fat reserves. In nature they are nocturnal and they are known to spend the days hiding under rocks or in underground burrows to escape the heat.
Leopard Geckos Are Nocturnal
It is at dark that they emerge to hunt their favorite prey which is insects. Leopard Geckos spend most of their lives along and they rarely live with other Geckos. The favorite food of the Leopard Gecko is crickets, wax worms, meal worms, super worms and other insects. One thing you should be aware of is that Leopard Geckos will not eat dead prey. They must be fed live insects and other prey or they will not eat. If your going to keep a Leopard Gecko you must have a ready source of crickets and other live prey for your Gecko. Crickets need to be gut loaded before being fed to your Gecko which means the crickets are first fed and then they are dusted with a calcium supplement and often a vitamin supplement and then they are fed to your Leopard Gecko and your Gecko will munch out and get healthier and healthier and hopefully grow into a very nice large Leopard Gecko that you can be proud of. Your Geckos prey will also need to be dusted or sprayed with Vitamin D3. You'll never be able to duplicate the diet of a wild Gecko but you need to get as close as possible.
But be sure to read the label or labels on any product you use on your Leopard Geckos. Never use any product on any pet until you have read all the information on the label.
in the wild when prey is scarce the Leopard Gecko will make use of the fat stored in its tail. In captivity you'll need to provide your Gecko with crickets and in order to have them all the time you may want to consider raising crickets for your Gecko.
Leopard Geckos are usually a large lizard for a Gecko with juveniles being 3 - 4 inches long and weighing around 3 grams and adults being 8 - 10 inches in length and weighing 45 - 65 grams.
Your Leopard Gecko will absorb heat and energy during the day time so it can move around and hunt at night. As I stated above Leopard Geckos are nocturnal meaning they move around and hunt at night. This process is known as ectothermic. If its too chilly in the day time or it is winter the Gecko will stay in semi hibernation and consume the fat that is stored in its tail. You should know that healthy well fed Leopard Geckos will have fat thick tails and Geckos that have thin tails may be having nutrition problems or they may not be being fed properly.
Adult Leopard Geckos Shed About Once A Month
Adult Leopard Geckos will shed about once a month while juveniles will shed about every two weeks. Most of the time a Leopard Gecko will eat its skin after it sheds it. They get a lot of vitamins and other nutrients by doing this. Do not mess with or try to touch your Leopard Gecko when it is going through the shedding process.
Be Careful Of Touching Or Holding The Tail Of Your Leopard Gecko
In the wild snakes, frogs, and foxes prey on the Leopard Gecko. One of the defenses of the Leopard Gecko is its unique ability to lose its tail and then later grow another. Though the new tail will almost never be as nice as the tail that was lost. You need to pick your Gecko up carefully and never by the tail. You also can cause it to lose its tail so treat the Gecko gently. If your Gecko does ever lose its tail remove and discard the tail that dropped off and leave the Gecko along except for providing for its needs while a new tail grows.
You can feed your Leopard Gecko live pinky mice to give it a nice fat tail and to help it to get a lot of much needed protein into its system. I usually offer my Leopard Geckos pinky mice about once a week and most times they are eaten quickly. Occasionally I will have a Gecko refuse a pinky mouse. But usually the next time I offer it one they will eat it right away.
What a lot of people miss about Leopard Geckos is how hungry these little guys can be. But once they get to know you well you'll know when their hungry. If a Gecko seems to be following you as you walk near or by its cage its most likely hungry and waiting and hoping that your going to be feeding it.
Most though not all of the Leopard Geckos currently in the pet trade have been bred and raised in captivity. Leopard Geckos breed easily in captivity and the young are easy to raise.
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Leopard Gecko Care Sheet
People have been breeding Leopard Geckos in captivity now for close to forty years. I know I've been breeding and raising them now for over 32 years. The Leopard Gecko is the most common kept lizard there is. You'll find they come in all colors and sizes. And you'll find them being sold in pet shops, on the internet and at reptile pet shows at prices from twelve dollars to four thousand dollars. Yes some of the most unique color morphs produced by breeders are bringing that much.
These little guys can vocalize and wash their eyes with their tongues. They are also a fairly docile lizard and love baths. Notice the one above taking a bath in a bowl of water. Don't you think he's cute. A lot of my Leopard Geckos have developed their own unique personalities. They remind me of little dinosaurs.
Leopard Gecko Life Span
Leopard Geckos have a long life span compared with some other lizards. You can expect your Leopard Gecko to live for 7 - 12 years but there are many well cared for Leopard Geckos that are alive and still breeding at twenty years of age and longer. So if you want your Leopard Gecko to be around for a long life learn everything you can about it and provide for all its needs.
You can use a twenty gallon aquarium to house one or two Leopard Geckos from juveniles to adults. And while there is a problem with visibility a lot of Leopard Geckos are kept in habitats made out of Rubbermaid containers. You'll want to bore rows of half inch holes in the lid for ventilation.
If you use an aquarium for a home for your Leopard Gecko it needs a screen top that can be locked or clipped down. You need a hide box filled with moist moss. This will help the lizard to be able to shed properly and it will also be a place for laying eggs if you plan to breed Leopard Geckos. Don't let the moss in the hide box dry out. Check it and mist it every two to three days. You never want to let the moss dry out completely. Live or artificial plants will help to make the Geckos cage or enclosure more natural.
Use A Under Tank Heating Pad Or Heating Tape To Provide Heat For Your Gecko
You'll want to use an under the tank heating pad or heating tape to provide heat for your Gecko. Heat one end of the tank so there is a hot spot and a cooler spot in the tank. Do not use heat rocks because they can burn Leopard Geckos easily.
For lighting up the tank you should use a low wattage bulb up over the tank and it should be set on a timer so it is on for 12 hours a day and off for 12 hours a day. Because Leopard Geckos are active primarily at night they do not need a UVB bulb or light. Look closely at your Leopard Gecko and you'll notice that they have vertical pupils. This makes it so they can see well at night as they hunt down their insect prey.
Your Leopard Gecko or Geckos will have one corner of the tank for their bathroom and you can spot clean this spot daily. You must keep it cleaned out on almost a daily basis or you will start to get a bad smell.
Safety Warning About Your Gecko
Do not expose your Gecko to commercial soil mixtures, commercial plant soil or plant foods, and do not use sand that contains fertilizer or pesticides.
Special Note About Your Leopard Gecko's Hide Box
Your hide box needs to have moist moss in it all the time and it needs to be on the hot side of the aquarium or tank. You can make it out of a small cardboard box with a small hole cut in it for the Gecko to crawl through.
Food For Your Leopard Gecko
Leopard Geckos must be fed a diet consisting of all insects, worms and pinky mice. If your going to keep and breed Leopard Geckos you should raise your own mice. You may also want to raise your own crickets. If you click that link you'll learn a lot about raising your own crickets. Leopard Geckos will not eat frozen dead crickets that have been thawed. They must be fed live crickets.
Be Sure To Feed The Crickets Well Before Feeding Them To Your Leopard Gecko
Give the crickets a nutritious powdered food for about 8 - 12 hours before feeding the crickets to the Leopard Gecko. This is what is what is known as gut loading. You can use chicken or hog mash to feed the crickets and you should keep a couple of peeled potatoes in with the crickets to give them water. Give your Leopard Gecko gut loaded crickets and you'll end up with healthy and happy Geckos.
You should know that its perfectly normal for your Leopard Gecko to eat its shed skin. Its highly nutritious for them and you should leave it in the tank so the Gecko can eat it.
Be Sure Not To Stress Your Leopard Gecko
You should be sure to not stress out your Leopard Gecko or it may stop eating. This includes trying to handle the Gecko while it is going through the shedding process. You need to keep a Leopard Geckos enclosure very clean or they can also get stressed if you try to keep them in unsanitary conditions. So be sure to keep your Leopard Geckos tank very clean.
Water For Your Leopard Gecko
You want to be sure to provide your Leopard Gecko with chlorine free water with no chemicals in it and this will mean you'll have to use bottled water or spring water. You never want to give your Gecko any water with chemicals or chlorine in it.
Handling Your Leopard Gecko
You should not try to handle your Gecko until it is at least six inches long. If you try to handle young Geckos a lot they can lose their tails easily and while the tail will grow back the Gecko will never be as nice looking as it once was. I suggest not handling your Gecko anymore than is necessary. You can use a large plastic cup to pick up small Geckos.
Leopard Gecko Breeding
If you keep a male and female Gecko together your female will eventually lay eggs and if the moss is moist and warm she will lay them there. Leopard Geckos will usually breed in the summer time.
Female Geckos that are gravid ( carrying eggs ) need a calcium supplement so she will lay healthy eggs and healthy young will be born. the female Leopard Gecko will typically lay her eggs 21 - 28 days after mating with the male. Usually there will be two eggs the first time. If after 45 - 60 days you notice droplets of moisture on the eggs all is going well. next the shells will appear to collapse and shrink in. If they do this then they are going to hatch. Baby Leopard Geckos have an egg tooth that will fall off after a day or two. Your Baby Leopard gecko will shed with in 24 hours of being born and it will not eat until after it sheds that first time.
Thanks For Reading My Leopard Gecko Care Sheet
I appreciate you taking the time to read my Hub Page on how to keep and take care of Leopard Geckos. I hope you found the information helpful. Thanks for reading. Please feel free to post your suggestions, tips, comments, and questions below.