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Leopard Gecko (Eublepharis macularius)

Care of your Leopard Gecko

Care of your Leopard Gecko

Hatchlings- The hatchlings are very hardy and easy to care for, especially compared to hatchlings of many other lizard species. They do quite well on a diet of crickets of an appropriate size (for hatchlings, 1/8 to 1/4 inch crickets or smaller). The right size food item will be no longer than half the width of the lizards own head. It is important to supply vitamins and minerals to your growing gecko. This can be accomplished by “gut-loading” crickets by feeding them such items as orange slices, carrots, salad greens, fish flake food, or a commercially available cricket food prior to giving them to your lizard. Additionally, the crickets can be dusted (coated in powder) with a quality commercial vitamin/mineral powder just before providing them to your gecko to eat. Hatchlings should be fed every day or two to maintain a healthy growth rate. It is a good idea to vary the diet from time to time by offering some other insect prey such as mealworms, waxworms, or butterworms. Remember to keep the prey size appropriate and use these worms sparingly, as they are mostly fatty or chitinous. I recommend keeping a small water bowl available at all times, just be sure to clean it regularly.

Adults- The adults are maintained in much the same way. Using a larger prey item feedings can be scaled back to two to three times a week. They don’t need vitamin supplementation quite as often either, maybe with every other to every third feeding. You can offer adult geckos an occasional pinkie mouse to vary the diet and supply a more complete diet. This is good for breeding females as well, to keep on a little extra body weight to compensate for reproductive energy expenditures.

How to Care for your Leopard GeckoGeneral- The leopard gecko comes from the dry, rocky, plains and steppes regions of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and northwestern India. They are most active at dusk and dawn, usually sleeping throughout most of the daytime hours. A 10-gallon tank will comfortably house an adult gecko or even a pair of geckos. I recommend a plastic shoe or sweater box for the hatchlings or juveniles only because it makes it easier for them to capture prey in the smaller area. Paper towels or newspaper make cleaning quick and easy and eliminates the possibility of ingesting any sand or gravel that may impede digestion and kill the gecko. The adults, however, can be kept on a sand (or Calci-Sand) substrate without problems. Add some rocks, branches, and small plants to make an interesting landscape for your gecko to explore. Provide geckos with an area where they can hide, such as a rock shelter or hide-box. Keep a heat pad, or thermostat controlled heat rock available at all times on one end of the tank. Lighting is a matter of personal choice since the geckos don’t seem to care, just be sure your geckos always have access to shelter from the light and heat if they so choose.

Other Helpful Info:

̃ Always buy a healthy captive bred animal and learn as much as you can from the source that you are buying it from, such as age, sex, what is it eating, etc.

̃ Find a local veterinarian who is knowledgeable about reptiles before any problems arise!

̃ Buy a good book about Leopard Geckos or at least a book with a decent section about these animals and keep it on hand for reference. This care sheet contains only initial information to get you started and is by no means complete.

̃ Enjoy your leopard gecko! These are fantastic and rewarding pets.

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