Leopard Gecko Information
Leopard geckos have been popular pets among reptile fans for a long time, and their ease of care and even temperament make it obvious why this is the case. They eat and breed more readily than nearly and other type of lizard, and can be cared for effectively even by amateurs. Of course, it's still important to know about how to take care of these fascinating lizards.
Leopard geckos are popular and numerous in the pet trade. They have been captive bred in the US for over three decades, and are currently quite well established.
They're one of the most commonly kept varieties of lizards, and you can find them in pet stores and at reptile shows all over the United States, as well as in many other countries. This makes it possible to be picky about your leopard geckos.
They also come in many different sizes, color morphs, and patterns, making them not only a good beginner choice, but a beautiful one as well. There's a very good chance that a leopard gecko might be the perfect pet for you!
You can find baby and adult leopard geckos from many different sources, and in a wide range of prices. Some of the most common options for obtaining these creatures include getting them from breeders, finding them in your local pet store, and choosing from the larger variety of options offered at reptile shows.
Looking online can help you find web pages for professional leopard gecko breeders and find out more, as well. Many professional breeders are happy to provide information about their lines, as they are extremely proud of the extensive amount of work they've put into them.
Pet stores generally offer only the most common varieties of leopard gecko, in the wild coloration or albinos, but at a relatively low price. It's important to remember that these stores may also not be offering the healthiest stock with the best background.
Do your research before purchasing. If your store owner or manager is not willing to discuss the health and care of their animals, you may be better advised to look elsewhere.
More unusual leopard gecko morphs can be found by contacting breeders online or meeting with them at reptile shows. The kinds of lizards you'll find this way are often showier animals, and are more likely (though not guaranteed) to be healthier and better bred.
They're also generally significantly more expensive, though you may be able to get a good bargain on more common morphs at a show. The more work that's gone into breeding a line of geckos, the more you can expect a particular specimen to cost. In addition, you'll pay more for better examples.
Leopard geckos are known for being easy to keep, requiring little special equipment in their enclosures, and requiring relatively simple diets. They have a relatively long lifespan, are not prone to frequent illness, and can be quite friendly for reptiles. They reproduce easily, though pet owners should take the time to think about whether or not breeding their animals is a good idea.
More Tidbits of Information
The leopard gecko is native to the deserts of Asia, mostly in northern India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and some locations in Iran. Its Latin name is Eublepharis macularius, referring to its notable eyelids - a feature that most other gecko species do not possess, and to its spotted skin. This species was first described in 1854 by Edward Blyth, a British zoologist.
Unlike many other lizards, the leopard gecko is not endangered in the wild. However, captive bred animals still dominate the pet industry and are greatly preferred, since they tend to be in better health and have more predictable genetics than wild caught geckos.
Leopard geckos are generally about one to three inches long (2.5 to 7.5 centimeters) when hatched, and grow to be eight to ten inches in length (20-25 centimeters). Some animals are larger or smaller than this, however, with giant and super giant morphs being most notable for their size differences.
At birth, the geckos have no spots, instead sporting banding in dark and light tones all over the body. After a year, these fade and are replaced by adult coloration.
Leopard geckos are among the few types of geckos which have eyelids. They help the lizard keep their eyes free of dust and dirt in their dry, desert environment, and are unusual in this type of lizard. In fact, the presence of eyelids in leopard geckos has caused some people to recommend that they not be taxonomically classified as geckos at all, but instead put into another group, or even given their own.
These are fascinating and unique lizards, even though they're common, so don't make the mistake of passing them over for something that seems rarer or more interesting. There's plenty to learn about leopard geckos.