Leopard Gecko 101
LIFESPAN: Approximately 10-15 years
SIZE: Up to 10” (25 cm) long
EXPERIENCE LEVEL: BEGINNER
Socialization & General Care
- Leopard geckos are generally docile and inquisitive and can be easily handled with minimal socialization.
- Be certain to scoop them up from under the belly and support their belly in the palm of your hand.
- Allow your leopard gecko 3-4 days to adjust to his new habitat before handling.
- Leopard geckos will shed their skin every 6-8 weeks, more often for juveniles. The first sign of shedding is usually dulling of the skin (milky coloured).
- Leopard geckos require a moist retreat (shed box) to aid in shedding their skin.
- Leopard geckos often eat their shed skin as it is very high in nutrients.
- Reptiles may transmit disease to humans; make certain to wash your hands after cleaning your pet’s habitat or after handling.
- Leopard geckos are insectivores, meaning that their diet consists solely of insects.
- Crickets should be their primary food source, however, they will benefit from a variety of insects. Acceptable options are mealworms, waxworms and superworms.
- Insects should be dusted with a calcium and vitamin D supplement as well as a vitamin supplement on a weekly basis. Juveniles will benefit from a twice weekly dusting.
- To dust crickets, simply add ¼ of a teaspoon of the calcium powder to a small plastic bag and shake crickets gently to coat them.
- Crickets should be fed a commercial nutrient-dense diet (gut-loaded) prior to being fed to your leopard gecko. Putting pieces of vegetables (potatoes, sweet potatoes or apples) into your cricket enclosure will help provide the necessary nutrients.
- Insects should be offered daily to juveniles, and daily to every other day for adults. Leopard geckos should be allowed to eat until they are content.
- Never feed your leopard gecko insects that cannot fit into its mouth all at once.
- To avoid accidental ingestion of substrate, worms should be offered in a shallow bowl.
- Fresh water should be available at all times and food and water dishes should be cleaned daily.
Health Issues to Watch For
- Swollen joints and limbs
- Eating or drinking less
- Runny, discoloured or pungent stool
- Weight loss
- Gasping or forced breathing
- Discharge from nose, eyes or mouth
- Discoloured skin
- Shedding difficulties (skin stuck on toes)
Seek veterinary care if you notice any of the above signs.
Fun Leopard Gecko Facts
- The leopard gecko lacks sticky toe pads so they cannot climb and hang upside down.
- Leopard geckos originate from the dry deserts of Pakistan, India and Afghanistan.
- Leopard geckos are part of the Gekkonidae family and are further classified into the sub-family Eublepharinae. All geckos in the Eublepharinae sub-family are unique in that they have eyelids.