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Sep 02, 2014 at 02:05 AM
 
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Leopard Gecko Care Sheet

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Leopard Gecko Care Sheet


The Leopard Gecko (Eublepharis macularius), is one of the least expensive and easiest lizards to keep for a beginner. Leopard Geckos are nocturnal, terrestrial geckos, that remain small and unaggressive. Hatchings are typically about 2 inches, where as a large adult male can reach 12 inches, although many adults only obtain lengths of 7 or 8 inches. Leopard Geckos provide not only an interesting but long-lasting experience, often living as long as 20 to 30 years.


Housing: Leopard Geckos do not need large enclosures, hatchings can be kept in a 10 gallon aquarium all the way through adulthood. Even multiple adults can be housed in a 10 gallon aquarium. There needs to be a significant heat gradient, being that these animals come primarily from desert areas of Saudi Arabia. they require a basking area that reaches temperatures of up to 100 F. Being ectothermic, or cold blooded, the animal has to control its own body temperature, so the coolest area of the enclosure should be as low as 70-75 F. This is best achieved by using external under tank heaters. NEVER USE HOT ROCKS! This way the animal is free to move to different points of the cage to regulate its body temperature.


Substrate: Leopard Geckos typically do very well on a variety of substrates. Paper towels can be preferable for very young individuals, with sand or aspen being great choices for larger geckos. Be sure any sand you buy is acceptable for use with a gecko, as some sands can have grains that are too large, which can lead to impaction in the animal.


Lighting: Since Leopard Geckos are nocturnal, meaning that they become active during the night, they do not require any type of special lighting. There is no need for a Ultraviolet B light.

 

Feeding: Leopard Geckos typically have a diet consisting almost exclusively of meaty foods, primarily insects. As hatchings, only offer crickets, many other insects have an exoskeleton to rigid for the hatchings to fully chew. As the animal matures, different prey items may be offered, such as wax worms, meal worms, and eventually even pinkie mice. NEVER FEED YOUR ANIMALS FIRE FLIES! When feeding, on a regular basis add a Calcium and Vitamin D3 supplement to the food.

 

Watering: Although the habitat that they come from is a very hot arid area, the micro habitat in which they live is very moist. Be sure to offer in their enclosure a moist refuge. This can be achieved by placing damp moss under a hide shelter. On occasion, these animals will drink from standing water, so a water dish is highly recommended.

 

Breeding: Leopard Geckos are undoubtedly the easiest lizards to breed. If one desires to breed these animals, a healthy adult female can potentially lay two eggs every 28 days, ten months out of the year.

With the proper husbandry, Leopard Geckos make an excellent animals for anybody in the hobby, regardless of their experience level. With their longevity and general ease of care, they are one of the most rewarding animals to keep.


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