Eublepharis macularius

Eublepharis macularius

Eublepharis macularius

Eublepharis macularius

Eublepharidae (eyelid geckos)

7-10" or 18-25cm

10 to 25 Years

Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan and the North-Western part of India

Rocky, dry grassland and desert regions

80-87°F or 27-30°C

N/A

N/A

Beginner

Eublepharis macularius

Leopard Gecko

Leopard Geckos are native to Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan and the North-Western part of India. The Leopard Gecko’s scientific name refers to the fact that these geckos have eyelids, whereas their common name is based on their spotted “leopard-like” color pattern. Young Leopard Geckos show a more banded pattern which over time changes towards a spotted pattern when they become adults.

It is a docile and “easy-to-care” for species that has been captive bred in the USA and Europe for more than 40 years. Their cute smiley faces, their ability to clean their eyes with their tongue and their somewhat clumsy, tail-wiggling movements make them appealing display animals for both the beginning reptile enthusiast as well as for the advanced hobbyist.

Leopard Geckos are a fairly social species and are best enjoyed when kept in small groups of 1 male with up to 5 females. The interaction between the animals in small groups increases the viewing pleasure but also stimulates their natural- and mating behavior.

Leopard Gecko youngsters are readily available and come in a variety of colors & patterns. The list of designer morphs available is extensive and still growing. Where it started with High Yellow, Albino, Striped, Hypo and Hyper, there's now many cool morphs available with appealing names like Godzilla Super Giant, Banana Blizzard, Blazing Blizzard, Enigma, Tangerine, Raptor, Diablo Blanco and many more.

Dendrobates auratus on a tree trunk - by E. Van Heygen.

History

Eublepharis macularius

The genus Eublepharis was first described by the British zoologist John Edward Gray in 1827. Eublepharis refers to the fully functional eyelids of these geckos.

The Leopard Gecko, or Eublepharis macularius was first described by Edward Blyth in 1854 as Eublepharis macularius. Macularius refers to the "spotted" leopard-like pattern of the adult Leopard Gecko.

Leopard Geckos have been captive bred in the USA and Europe for more than 40 years. Due to selective breeding, the Leopard Gecko is not only available in its natural color pattern, but also in various designer color and pattern morphs.

Pioneers like Ron Tremper with his Tremper Albino called " Bubba", Mark & Kim Bell with their Enigma and John Mack with his MackSnow, paved the way for all the professional and hobbyist breeders to make the Leopard Gecko one of the most successful reptiles in herpetoculture.

Characteristics

Leopard Geckos belong to the family Eublepharidae or eyelid geckos.

Leopard Geckos have an elongated, flexible body shape, triangulated head and a thick, fat tail. Their body is covered with granular scales and tubercles which gives them a somewhat rough appearance. While hatchling and juvenile Leopard Geckos show a yellow banded pattern, this pattern changes into the typical speckled, leopard pattern once they age.

While most geckos have fixed eyelids and adhesive lamellae on their toe pads, the Leopard Gecko has moveable eyelids and lacks the adhesive toe pads. Leopard Geckos instead have tiny claws on their toes, which provides them a more secure grip on the compacted sand and rock environment they live in. Leopard Geckos can not only close their eyelids, they can also clean their eyes with their tongue.

When threatened, leopard geckos will produce a squeaking sound. The tail of the Leopard Gecko can store fat and water for emergency use and can be self-amputated as a defence mechanism.

Adult males and females range from 7 to 10” or 18 to 25 cm in total length. The average hatchling size ranges from 3 to 4" or 7 to 10cm. Adult males can be distinguished by the presence of 2 distinct hemipenal bulges at the tail base. Males also show a v-shaped row of prominent pre-anal pores.

Leopard Geckos become sexually mature as early as 9 to 10 months of age. We do however recommend that you wait until the animals are between 12 to 18 months of age before mating them, to ensure that the animals are physically strong enough to handle the arduous process of egg development and egg laying.

Distribution

Leopard geckos are endemic to the rocky, dry grassland and desert regions of Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan and the North-Western part of India.

In the Wild

Leopard Geckos are crepuscular/nocturnal ground-dwellers, most active during twilight.

The natural habitat of Leopard Geckos consists of stony, compacted sand and rock environment with grasses and scrubby vegetation. Leopard Geckos live in loose colonies, often sharing their hide-outs with some members of the colony.

The Leopard Gecko's flexible body and tiny claws on their digits are perfectly adapted for foraging and hunting prey in this environment.

Like most other geckos, Leopard Geckos can drop their tails as a lure for an enemy when startled or threatened. Virtually all adult specimens of Eublepharis macularius observed in the wild had a regenerated tail. While the original tails shows tuberculated rings, the regenerated tail is rater bulbous and plump, and lacks rings as well as tubercles. The causes of tail loss are many, from predator attacks to interspecies interactions to simply stress.

Its major enemies in the wild are foxes, jackals, mongoose, owls, Varanus and snakes.

During daytime, Leopard Geckos sleep, hiding in holes and crevices in the gravel mixed clay-sand terrain, under stones or under loose tree bark when they live in a more forested environment.

Leopard Geckos are strictly insectivorous, meaning they feed on a variety of invertebrates. They emerge at night, foraging and hunting for prey consisting of insects, scorpions and spiders, while the adult Leopard Geckos even devour other geckos, small snakes and newborn mice. The Leopard Gecko slowly ambushes it prey while wiggling his tail...and then suddenly attacks with all its force.

The juvenile Leopard Geckos live an even more strictly hidden life, as they often fall prey to the adult animals.

During the colder winter months, when there's less food available and the temperatures are not ideal, the Leopard Geckos go through a brumation period for about 1,5-2,5 months. They retreat in their burrows and will no longer eat, and only drink sporadically. This brumation period is also important to induce the hormonal changes needed for the mating and breeding process during spring.

Leopard Geckos usually breed from March to July. Females generally deposit their two eggs in dark, humid holes or crevices. Female Leopard Geckos have a unique mode of delayed fertilization or "Amphigonia retardata", meaning, they can store sperm from a single mating and fertilise future eggs without any further copulation.

The temperatures recorded in the Leopard Geckos habitat range from between 22-24°C around March up to 40-45°C in June-July. The relative humidity varies between 30-40% except during Monsoon when the relative humidity spikes up to 70-80%. But even in the driest season, the humidity in the Leopard Gecko's cave remains around 40-45%.

Eublepharis macularius

In the Terrarium

Leopard Geckos are crepuscular/nocturnal ground-dwellers, and are best enjoyed when kept in small groups of 1 male with up to 5 females. The interaction between the animals in small groups increases the viewing pleasure but also stimulates their natural- and mating behavior.

The set-up can be a simple “sterile-type set-up" with an Exo Terra® Sand Mat, a Water Dish and Reptile Cave or any other decorative Exo Terra® hide-out. Or you can offer your Leopard Geckos a more natural, “bio-active type set-up” by creating your own desert or savannah landscape with Exo Terra® Stone Desert, including cool-humid burrows as well as warmer elevated basking areas.

Dendrobates auratus

Terrarium

Exo Terra® Natural Terrariums, designed by European herpetologists, offer several housing options for Leopard Geckos. These glass terrariums feature front opening doors, allowing easy access for maintenance and feeding and a unique double ventilation system with full screen stainless steel top. The full screen top ventilation allows UVB and infrared penetration, and is completely removable for easy access while decorating or cleaning. In the back of the screen cover are 5 closable wire or tube inlets on both sides to facilitate the installation of powered accessories.

The Exo Terra® Natural Terrariums Small/Low, Small/Wide, Medium/Low, Medium/Wide, Large/Low and Large/wide provide good ventilation and adequate floor space to raise larger groups of young Leopard Geckos or to maintain groups of 1 adult Leopard Gecko male with several females:

RECOMMENDED TERRARIUMS
Animals
(WxDxH)
(WxDxH)
1 male with up to 2 females
45 x 45 x 30 cm
18” x 18” x 12”
1 male with up to 2 females
45 x 45 x 45 cm
18” x 18” x 18”
1 male with up to 3 females
60 x 45 x 30 cm
24” x 18” x 12”
1 male with up to 3 females
60 x 45 x 45 cm
24” x 18” x 18"
1 male with up to 5 females
90 x 45 x 30 cm
36” x 18” x 12"
1 male with up to 5 females
90 x 45 x 45 cm
36” x 18” x 18"

Exo Terra® also offers Leopard Gecko Starter Kits which come with all the components necessary to a successful start. All the features of these kits are based on information on captive husbandry from renowned Leopard Gecko breeders.

Never house 2 male Leopard Geckoes together in one terrarium as they tend to be very territorial.

DISCLAIMER In regards to the pet species and number of specimens to be kept in a terrarium, always comply with the species specific Rules and Regulations in your Country of residence.

DISCLAIMER The terrarium should be placed in a room receiving only indirect light from windows. Do not place the Terrarium near a window where it can receive direct sunlight, as this could cause the terrarium to overheat and stress or kill your Leopard Geckos.

Lighting

Since Leopard Geckos are strictly crepuscular/nocturnal, bright light or strong UVB radiation is not necessary. While most Leopard Geckos benefit from small amounts of UV light, some specific morphs like for instance albino’s, will avoid strong UV light as their eyes are too sensitive.

Providing the correct amounts of UVB will help your Leopard Geckoes to metabolize calcium and prevent metabolic bone disease. The combination of the correct UVB wavelength and heat enables the animals to produce their own vitamin D3 for proper calcium absorption and prevents metabolic diseases (e.g., MBD). We highly recommend the use of our Reptile UVB100. The low levels of UVB-rays produced by these bulbs are very beneficial for the animal's overall health, while the UVA rays stimulate appetite, activity and reproductive behavior.

For day and nighttime viewing of your animals, an energy efficient LED light like the Exo Terra® Day & Night LED Fixture or the TerraSky LED is sufficient. If you want to offer a light-heat combination during the day, the Daylight Basking Spot or Intense Basking Spot can be used to provide a hot-spot.

A 12-hour day/night cycle is an adequate photoperiod for the healthy all-year-round keeping of your Leopard Geckos. The more natural approach, and to induce breeding, is to provide 14 hours of daylight and 10 hours of nighttime during the summer months, and reduce the daylight cycle to 10 hours daylight and 14 hours nighttime during the winter months.

Heating

Leopard Geckos are ectotherm and thus tend to thermoregulate their body temperature by moving from the warm end to the cold end of their habitat and vice versa, in order to keep their body at the preferred temperature. With this knowledge in mind, it is best to create a temperature gradient inside the Leopard Gecko terrarium by heating approximately ⅓ of the floor space by placing an Exo Terra® Heat Mat or Heat Cable on one side of the terrarium floor, so ⅔ will remain cool. The warm area should remain between 88-95°F (30-35°C) and the cold end around 80-82°F (26-28°C) during daytime, and an average of 70-72°F (20-22°C) at night. DISCLAIMER To prevent your Leopard Geckos from getting burns, always make sure they cannot get too close to the heat source. If the room where the terrarium is placed, is on the colder side of the house or the recommended temperatures cannot be reached, an additional Exo Terra® Basking Spot or Ceramic Heat Emitter should be installed above the warm area to increase the temperature. By placing Exo Terra® Terrarium Thermometers in both the warm and the cooler side of the Terrarium, you can keep a keen eye on matching the preferred temperatures. For the safety of your animals as well as to give you maximum peace of mind about maintaining the correct temperatures in your terrarium, Exo Terra® offers a wide range of Thermostats. Visit our Thermostat page for more information about the different functionalities of our Thermostats (see Monitoring section).

Monitoring

Leopard Geckos require a specific temperature range both during night and the day to thrive (see “Heating”).

To have a clear indication of the temperature gradients inside the terrarium, it is best to use 2 Exo Terra® Digital or Analog Thermometers, one placed the cooler side of the Terrarium, one at the warmer side. This helps you to monitor the preferred temperatures for your reptiles.

The safest option to assure that your reptiles receive the right temperature is the use of a Thermostat. The Exo Terra® Thermostats will also help to prevent overheating and undercooling during hot summer days or cold winter nights. With the Exo Terra® Thermostats you can create a well-controlled heating system that allows you to maintain the required temperature conditions similar to those found in your animal's environment.

Exo Terra® offers a wide range of Thermostats to meet every possible application:

With the Exo Terra® 600W Thermostat with Day/Night Timer & Dual Receptacles, for instance, you can create a well-controlled 24-hour heating system that allows you to maintain the required temperature conditions similar to those found in a desert or tropical environment. Both the daytime and nighttime temperatures can be set and controlled individually to guarantee safe daytime-nighttime temperature fluctuations for your reptiles. The Dual Receptacles allow you to control 2 separate heating devices, 1 during daytime, 1 during night-time (for instance: 1 incandescent heat bulb during daytime & 1 Heat Mat during night-time or for 24-hour use).

Visit our Thermostat page for more information about the different functionalities of our Thermostats.

Substrates

The set-up can be a simple “sterile-type set-up" with an Exo Terra® Sand Mat or you can offer your Leopard Geckos a more natural, “bio-active type set-up” by creating your own desert or savannah landscape with Exo Terra® Stone Desert.

1. “sterile-type set-up” The Exo Terra® Sand Mat is a convenient substrate choice especially for hatchling and young but also for adult Leopard Geckos. The Sand Mat simulates the substrate in the leopard gecko’s natural environment, namely compacted sand with smaller rock particles. On this surface, the leopard gecko has a firm grip with his tiny claws and can move swiftly to catch its prey.

2. “bio-active type set-up” The Exo Terra® Stone Desert mimics the natural soil found in the rocky, dry grassland and desert regions where Leopard Geckos live. Exo Terra’s Stone Desert allows you to create your own desert or savannah landscape, including cool-humid burrows as well as warmer elevated basking areas. The cool-humid burrows allow your reptiles to absorb the much-needed moisture via their skin while sleeping or hiding, while the warmer elevated basking areas help your reptiles to thermoregulate by offering various important temperature gradients. Lightly moisten the Stone Desert substrate to shape naturalistic hills, burrows and basking platforms for your animals. Once dry, the Stone Desert will retain its shape, while still allowing your reptiles to further execute their natural digging and burrowing behavior. Stone Desert can also be used to secure heavy decor items, like branches or rock formations.

Plants

Adding a mix of decorative live and Exo Terra® artificial plants to your terrarium will provide extra cover and increase the aesthetics of the terrarium interior design.

Many hobbyists choose to introduce live plants in pots that are buried in the substrate and concealed with decor items, like cork bark or rocks. The Exo Terra® Snake Bowl is ideal for use as a decorative planting pot. Its extra deep design makes it suitable for small to medium live terrarium plants. The Exo Terra® Large and X-Large Water Dish can be used for multiple plants. Planting your live plants in Exo Terra® dishes prevents them from being dug up by your geckos.

DISCLAIMER Make sure they have no pests before introduction and rinse leaves thoroughly to remove any pesticide residues.

Exo Terra® offers a wide range of artificial plant with the same advantages as live plants; they're decorative, they provide shade and they create hiding spots and visual barriers to let your reptiles and amphibians experience an increased feeling of safety and reduced stress. Exo Terra's artificial plants are exact copies of their natural counterparts to blend in well with live plants but are much easier to maintain. A combination of live plants and Exo Terra's artificial plants allows you to fully plant a terrarium, even in the hottest or driest parts.

Exo Terra®'s Ground Cover Plants are easy to clean & maintain, while the weighted base allows you to easily position the plant after maintenance.

Hide Outs

Exo Terra® offers various forms of hide-outs to match everyone’s taste, but the main goal is always to provide a safe refuge for your Leopard Gecko to hide and sleep during daylight hours. Whether you like the more natural looking Reptile Caves, or you prefer the Skulls, Dinosaur Eggs, or other designs, always make sure that the moisture inside the cave is somewhat higher (60-70%) than the average humidity in the terrarium.

Exo Terra® created various ceramic caves designed specifically to facilitate recreating that natural micro-climate. The eco-friendly Exo Terra® Wet Rock & Wet Log Ceramic Caves offer your reptiles, amphibians or invertebrates a secure place to hide and sleep, while the moist microclimate will support thermo-regulation, hydration, and aid the natural shedding process of reptiles. The unique hygroscopic properties of the ceramic material regulate the cave’s humidity and temperature in a natural way by absorbing and slowly releasing moisture from the water reservoir.

By simply adding moistened Exo Terra® Forest Moss or Sphagnum Moss, the Exo Terra® Wet Rock, Wet Log or Gecko Cave provide an ideal egg-laying site for various species of reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates.

When housing multiple Leopard Geckos in one terrarium, ensure that multiple hide-outs are available to prevent stress.

Decor

Landscaping a terrarium will encourage activity and exploratory behaviours. Next to the necessary items like hide-outs and plants - the terrarium can be “beautified” with some additional decor items. Care however needs to be given to not over clutter the open space in the terrarium.

Exo Terra® offers a wide variety of innovative decor items like Reptile Caves & Hides, Rock Outcrops, Skulls, Dinosaur Eggs, Ground Cover Plants, Sandblasted Grapevine, etc. - all which add next to personalising accents, some more environment enrichment and features.

If you plan on keeping a small group of Leopard Geckos, make sure to provide multiple hiding places, in order to prevent stress.

The Exo Terra® Snake Bowl and Water Dishes, can be used as decorative planting pots, to prevent your Leopards from digging up your succulent plants.

Nutrition

Leopard Geckos are strictly insectivorous and should be fed with a variety of live, canned or vacuum-packed insects of appropriate size. As a general rule the maximum size of the insects should be the width of the gecko’s head. Offer as much variety of insects, in your Leopard Gecko's diet, as possible, to make sure that your gecko receives all possible essential nutrients. All live insects should be gut-loaded with nutritious foods, like apple slices, sweet potato, oranges, cereals, bee pollen, etc. 24-48 hours prior to being fed to your gecko.

Because commercially raised insects tend to be deficient in calcium and several vitamins, they must be supplemented by coating with a reptile vitamin and mineral supplement such as Exo Terra® Multi Vitamin blended with an equal part Calcium. Always dust your feeder insects with a 1:1 mix of Exo Terra® Multi Vitamin and Calcium + D3 supplement using the “shake & bake” method of coating insects.

Exo Terra® Canned or Vacuum-Packed insects can be fed right out of the can/pouch as these insects are well fed and vitamin-calcium coated.

Exo Terra® offers 11 varieties of Canned and Vacuum-Packed Foods which allow you to bring more variety in your Leopard Gecko's diet. Leopard Geckos will readily accept canned or vacuum-packed foods if you use tweezers to make the insects appear to be alive. Just hold the insect in front of the Leopard Gecko and slowly wiggle it so it appears to be moving. Loosen the tweezers as soon as the gecko grabs the insect. The Exo Terra® Canned and Vacuum-Packed Specialty Reptile Foods are a convenient way to feed insect eating reptiles, turtles, amphibians, fish and birds. These insects (and snails) have been cooked in the can to maintain nutritional value, flavor and aroma. The retorting process also softens the exoskeleton of the insects for easier digestion and breaks the bonds between the collagen protein to make it absorbable by reptiles. Collagen is an important fiber that aids in building bone, cartilage, skin and claw structures. Canned and Vacuum-Packed insects have the same nutritional value as live insects but are easier to digest. Visit our Canned and Vacuum-Packed Foods webpage for more information.

Feed juveniles daily and adults every other day.

Water

Although Leopard Geckos come from a rather arid environment, it is extremely important that you always provide them with clean, fresh drinking water. Exo Terra® offers various Water Dish designs to match everyone’s taste, all with the same purpose, to keep your animals well hydrated. Do not use an overly large Water Dish, as this might increase the overall relative humidity too much. An Exo Terra® Small or Medium Water Dish or Water Well will suffice.

Always treat tap water with Aquatize to remove harmful heavy metals, chlorine and chloramines, necessary to provide safe healthy water for your captive reptiles and amphibians. To keep your Leopard Geckos happy and healthy, we recommend that you always add Exo Terra® Electrolyte & Vitamin D3 and Exo Terra Liquid Calcium to the drinking water. The combination of Exo Terra® Electrolyte & Vitamin D3 together with Exo Terra® Liquid Calcium will ensure that your Leopard Geckos stay well hydrated, keep a healthy appetite and maintain a strong bone structure.

Maintenance

Leopard Geckos are very hygienic reptiles as they tend to establish a “toilet area” to defecate. Since they always poo in that same corner of their terrarium, they make spot-cleaning an easy task.

Daily routine:
1. Check the overall well-being of your animals, are they agile, do they lose weight, etc.
2. Check the terrarium temperatures
3. Clean the water dish and provide clean fresh water
4. Spot-clean the terrarium; remove feces and soiled substrate, dead insects and uneaten food
5. Feed canned, vacuum packed or live vitamin/mineral dusted insects daily or every other day depending on the age of your Leopard Gecko

Weekly routine:
1. Remove and clean hard surfaces if soiled
2. If a Sand Mat is used as substrate, remove and clean the Sand Mat thoroughly
3. If live plants are used in the terrarium, water these once a week
4. Clean the inside glass and decoration with plain water to remove any waste matter. The outside (NEVER the inside) glass can be cleaned with a paper towel and window cleaner

Breeding

A 12-hour day/night cycle is an adequate photoperiod for the healthy all-year-round keeping of your Leopard Geckos. Your Leopard Geckos can remain on this temperature, light cycle and feeding regime throughout the year without any disadvantage. The more natural approach, and to induce breeding, is to provide 14 hours of daylight and 10 hours of nighttime during the summer months, and reduce the daylight cycle to 10 hours daylight and 14 hours nighttime during the winter months.

In nature Leopard Geckos go through a yearly brumation (milder than hibernation) cycle that lasts about 1,5-2,5 months. When breeding your Leopard Geckos is your goal, then you need to simulate the brumation period. As described above, it’s best to reduce the daylight cycle from 14 hours per day to 10 hours, and shut off the Heat Mat to reduce the temperature from 90°F (32°C) to 70°F (21°C). During this hibernation period your geckos will eat less, drink less, and be less active. After 1,5-2,5 months you reverse the cycle, increase the daylight hours back to the normal 12-14 hours per day and plug in your heating device. If you keep a male and at least 1 female Leopard Gecko together in 1 enclosure, this brumation cycle will induce breeding behavior in your Leopard Gecko community.

About 3-3,5 weeks after copulation the female Leopard Gecko will lay a clutch of 2 eggs and might repeat this at 3-4 week intervals throughout the egg-laying season. Make sure you provide a moist hide, like the Exo Terra® Gecko Cave, with a layer of dampened Sphagnum Moss or other moisture retaining substrate to enable the females to lay their eggs. When removing the eggs from the egg-laying site, make sure to maintain the orientation of the egg, keeping the top surface up. Place the eggs in an Exo Terra® Incubation Box (Suspended Incubation Method) or in a plastic container (when using the conventional substrate method) and put the box in the Exo Terra® Precision Incubator PRO set at the desired temperature. Always have the Incubator operating for at least 24 hours to monitor temperatures before placing the eggs inside the Incubator. Regular temperature checks are required. The Exo Terra® Incubation Box comes with an integrated thermometer that allows you to check the actual temperature inside the egg incubation box rather than relying on the overall temperature measurement in the Incubator.

Leopard Gecko eggs will hatch at various incubation temperatures, ranging from 79°F to 90°F (26°-32°C) and are known to follow temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD) resulting in more females or more males depending on the incubation temperature. Following are the average temperature values for TSD in Leopard Geckoes:

79-83 (26°-28°C) – results in mostly female hatchlings
84-86 (29°-30°C) – results in a mix of males and females
87-90 (30,5°-32°C) – results in mostly male hatchlings

The incubation time ranges between 40 to 60 days, depending on the incubation temperature, the cooler temperatures have the longest incubation time, the warmer the shortest.

Always ensure to provide sufficient calcium and multivitamins when feeding live insects to egg-laying geckos.

Handling

Leopard Geckos are animals that are best observed, but many owners choose to handle their geckos just so they become used to being picked up and occasionally held.

Leopard Geckos tolerate moderate handling very well; for the well-being of the geckos however, we do not recommend excessive handling. Refrain from handling hatchling and young Leopard Geckos until they’re about 13-15 cm / 5"-6", as they have a temper and will make hissing and squeaking noises and feel uncomfortable being picked up.

Do not approach your gecko from above, as this may be misinterpreted as a predatory attack and result in a panic reaction. Make sure to use slow and gentle movements. Do not pick your up gecko by its tail or limbs. Do not interrupt your Leopard Gecko while it is eating. Place your hand on the floor in front of your gecko and let the gecko move freely onto your hand. Use your other hand to offer a feeder insect, that might do the trick to let the gecko move onto your supporting hand. In case the gecko does not move onto your hand voluntarily, you can gently scoop it up from under its body. Try to support the whole body if possible, including its tail and limbs. You will notice that during the whole process, the Leopard Gecko is constantly licking. This is a natural behavior and signals that the gecko is “smelling” and “tasting”, getting acquainted to its environment. If the gecko makes a squeaking noice it means it feels threatened, and you should not proceed with handling your gecko. Do NOT grab the gecko by its tail as in a defence reaction, the gecko might drop its tail. If the gecko drops its tail due to a fight with another gecko, or because it got stuck, the tail will regenerate. The regenerated tail however, will not fully resemble the original tail.

DISCLAIMER Always make sure to thoroughly wash and rinse your hands with warm water before and after handling any reptile, amphibian or invertebrate.

Eublepharis macularius

Conclusion

Leopard Geckos are very common in their native countries, that is why they have the IUCN predicate conservation status: LC “Least Concern”. Almost all Leopard Geckos available in the market today are captive bred specimen.

Leopard Geckos are an ideal beginner’s animal, they're a docile and “easy-to-care” for species. Their cute smiley faces, their ability to clean their eyes with their tongue and their somewhat clumsy, tail-wiggling movements make them appealing display animals for both the beginning reptile enthusiast as well as for the advanced hobbyist.

The fact that captive bred offspring is available at most reptile stores, and that there's a huge variety of color morphs, contributes to the popularity as well.

Eublepharis macularius

Did You Know?

Leopard geckos tend to go to the toilet in just one corner of their habitat, making it easy to spot-clean their terrarium

Leopard geckos can close their eyelids, but they can also clean their eyes with their tongue

They can reach adult size in 12-16 months and live up to 25 years if well fed & maintained

Leopard geckos eat their shed skin to avoid wasting valuable nutrients.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a Leopard Gecko the right choice for me?

Leopard Geckos are an ideal beginner’s animal, they're a docile and “easy-to-care” for. Their cute smiley faces, their ability to clean their eyes with their tongue and their somewhat clumsy, tail-wiggling movements make them appealing display animals for both the beginning reptile enthusiast as well as for the advanced hobbyist. The fact that captive bred offspring is available at most reptile stores, and that there's a huge variety of color morphs, contributes to the popularity as well. Just bear in mind that Leopard Geckos are crepuscular and night-active animals.

Can I keep 2 Leopard Gecko males together?

Do not house 2 or more male leopard geckos in 1 terrarium, they are very territorial and will fight.

Can I feed my Leopard Geckos wild caught insects?

We do not recommend feeding wild caught insects as these can harbor harmful bacteria. They may also have come in contact with gardening chemicals, making them poisonous for your gecko.

Should I feed a variety of food items to my Leopard Geckos or can I stick to just 1 type feeder insect?

Bring as much as possible variation in your Leopard Gecko's diet to make sure that your gecko receives all possible essential nutrients. With Exo Terra's Canned or Vacuum-Packed insects it's easy to offer a wide variety to make sure that your geckos receive all the nutrients they need. The Canned and Vacuum-Packed insects have the same nutritional value as live insects but are easier to digest.

My Leopard Gecko is turning white! Is it sick?

No, like all reptiles, Leopard Geckos shed their skin regularly. When about to shed they will turn to a whitish colour. Shedding will then generally occur within 24 to 48 hours.

My gecko lost its tail, does it harm him/her?

<p>Tail loss does not harm the animal. Other than physical appearance, the missing tail will not impair you geckos' movements in any way.</p>
Eublepharis macularius

Other species

Hyla cinerea (Dryophytes cinereus)

Hyla cinerea (Dryophytes cinereus)

American Green Tree Frogs are native to the Southeastern United States roughly from Eastern Virginia to Florida in the East and from Central Texas all the way to the West. There's also records of introduced populations in Puerto Rico and even some invasive American Green Tree Frogs have been noticed in Hawaii.

They can be primarily found around lakes, ponds, swamps, streams and in wetlands. They prefer habitats with floating vegetation, reeds & grasses, and shrubs with branches overgrowing the riparian zone. American Green Tree Frogs easily adapt to various habitats and can be found in urban environments, like garden ponds in private gardens, hotel gardens and industrial complexes.

American Green Tree Frogs are hardy, long-lived and “easy-to-care-for” amphibians. Their engaging personalities, their bright yellow-green back and cream-white lateral stripe running from just under their big golden eyes all the way to their groin, make them appealing display animals for both the beginning reptile enthusiast as well as for the advanced hobbyist.

American Green Tree Frogs are a fairly social species and are best enjoyed when kept in small groups of 4 to 8 animals. The interaction between the animals in these small groups increases the viewing pleasure but also stimulates their mating behavior.

The American Green Tree Frog has been successfully bred in Europe and the USA for decades. American Green Tree Frogs are available as wild-caught specimen as well as captive-bred. We do recommend starting with captive-bred specimen, so you know their age and can rest assured that the youngsters are healthy.

Phyllomedusa hypochondrialis (Pithecopus hypochondrialis)

Phyllomedusa hypochondrialis (Pithecopus hypochondrialis)

Tiger-Legged Monkey Frogs are native to Colombia, Venezuela, Suriname, Guyana & French Guyana, Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay. They prefer tropical & subtropical dry and moist forests but can also be found in seasonally flooded grasslands. The type locality of the Tiger-Legged Monkey Frog referenced in the original description is Suriname.

The Tiger-Legged Monkey Frog's common name refers directly to the striped tiger markings on the inside of the frog's thighs. These frogs really deserve their common name as being Monkey Tree Frogs. Rather than jumping like other frogs do, they prefer to use their long, skinny legs to slowly walk in the trees in a monkey-like fashion. They're also one of the only frogs with opposable thumbs, allowing them to use their monkey-like "hands" to get a firm grip on the thin branches, while walking through the vegetation that they live on.

Tiger-Legged Monkey Frogs are stunning, long-lived and “easy-to-care-for” amphibians. Their engaging personalities, their bright green dorsal color, their orange with black tiger striped inner thighs and partially orange with irregular black stripes and blotches on the flanks, make them one of the most stunning display animals for both the beginning reptile enthusiast as well as for the advanced hobbyist.

Tiger-Legged Monkey Frogs live an arboreal lifestyle, sleeping on the back of the leaves in the trees and shrubs that they live in.

Tiger-Legged Monkey Frogs are a fairly social species and are best enjoyed when kept in small groups of 4 to 8 animals. The interaction between the animals in these small groups increases the viewing pleasure but also stimulates their mating behavior.

Tiger-Legged Monkey Frogs have been captive bred in the USA and Europe for decades. The somewhat larger cousin of the Tiger-Legged Monkey Frog (Phyllomedusa hypochondrialis), the Super Tiger Leg Monkey Tree Frog (Phyllomedusa tomopterna) is also being captive bred, but to a much lesser extent.

Dendrobates leucomelas

Dendrobates leucomelas

Yellow-banded poison dart frogs are endemic to the western Guiana region and the northeastern Amazon basin of South America: southeastern Venezuela and small, adjacent parts of Colombia, Guyana and northern Brazil. They are long-lived, intriguing and “easy-to-care-for”. Because of their typical color combination consisting of a yellow to orange base color with contrasting black splotches and bands, they are also sometimes referred to as "Bumblebee dart frogs".

Like other poison dart frogs, their bright colours are actually a warning sign (called aposematic coloration) to inform predators that they are poisonous and should not be eaten.

Yellow-banded poison dart frogs live a mainly terrestrial lifestyle: they are bottom dwellers that spend most of their time on and in between the leaf litter that covers the forest floor. They do, however, also frequently climb vines and trees.

Their amazing colours and the fact that they are easy to care for make them appealing display animals for both the beginning amphibian enthusiast as well as for the advanced hobbyist. Yellow-banded poison dart frogs are best kept as pairs or groups consisting of a majority of males: females might express dominant and aggressive behaviour towards other females when there is a conflict of interest in a specific male.

Phyllomedusa sauvagii

Phyllomedusa sauvagii

Waxy Monkey Tree Frogs are native to the South American rainforests, humid montane forests, and dry forests in the Chacoan region of eastern Bolivia, northern Paraguay, Mato Grosso do Sul of central Brazil, and Northern Argentina. They primarily prefer moist and semi-moist forest habitats but can also cope with drier environments.

They are sometimes referred to as Chacoan Monkey Leaf Frogs as well, because of the Chaco Region they originate from, and because the females lay their eggs on leaves suspended over water, which they then fold to hide the eggs and protect them from drying out.

Waxy Monkey Tree Frogs are hardy, long-lived, docile and “easy-to-care-for” amphibians. Their engaging personalities, their waxy green skin, their adorable smile and big golden eyes make them appealing display animals for both the beginning reptile enthusiast as well as for the advanced hobbyist.

Waxy Monkey Tree Frogs are very tranquil and get accustomed to handling by their caretaker fairly easily. For the well-being of the frogs, however, we do not recommend excessive handling. Waxy Monkey Tree Frogs can be kept individually or in small groups of 2 - 8 animals. The interaction between the animals in these small groups increases the viewing pleasure but also stimulates their mating behavior.

Waxy Monkey Tree Frogs have been captive bred in the USA and Europe for more than 25 years.

Chamaeleo calyptratus

Chamaeleo calyptratus

Veiled Chameleons or Yemen Chameleons are native to Yemen and Saudi Arabia. There are also introduced populations in Hawaii (thought to be eradicated but still persisting), California and SE and SW Florida, USA. They primarily prefer montane subtropical to tropical vegetation in the deep valleys (called wadis), in the Hijaz Mountains in Saudi Arabia and Yemen.

Since Yemen is suffering for over a decade of war and is not an easy country to travel to, or to export animals from, it is amazing how this species was established so well in the hobby. One of the first to study this species in nature, as well as establish the captive husbandry guidelines, was the world-renowned herpetologist Petr Necas. He bred tens of thousands of Veiled Chameleons and introduced these to the hobbyists in Europe and the USA. In the meantime, this species has become not only the most readily available chameleon, but also one of the more popular reptile species in general. Due to selective breeding, there are "bloodline" variations of the Veiled Chameleon available that show more yellow/orange or bluer and there's even a partially leucistic color morph available (called translucent in the USA).

Furcifer pardalis

Furcifer pardalis

Panther Chameleons are native to Madagascar, but have also been introduced to Réunion Island somewhere between 1750 and 1836. They were first brought to Réunion by sailors who left them at the landing port of the island during that era, which was in the vicinity of Saint Paul. The Panther Chameleons thrived and over time, they spread to various parts of the Island. There have also been sightings of Furcifer pardalis on Mauritius Island, but these populations are expected to have been introduced quite recently.

They primarily prefer warm and humid lowland coastal forests, rainforest canopies, secondary forests, plantations and hotel or home gardens and planted fences.

Ever since the Panther Chameleon was imported in Europe and the USA, starting around 1980, herpetologists and reptile breeders have worked on enhancing the captive husbandry guidelines continuously. For instance, the use of UVB lighting was a game changer and after a decade or two, the Panther Chameleon became well-established in the hobby.

Due to the hardiness, the gentle character and the striking colors, the Panther Chameleon, rapidly became a popular terrarium animal. The Panther Chameleon is currently available, as captive bred animals, in many geographic color morphs.

There's currently a wide array of captive bred, geographic color forms of the Panther Chameleon available from breeders as well as in stores and on reptile shows. There are also color morphs available that have been selectively bred to increase a certain color or color combination by mixing various natural, geographic color forms. Panther Chameleons have now been captive bred in Europe and the USA for more than 30 years.

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