6308 Monona dr, Monona WI 53716
LEOPARD GECKO Caresheet
Common Name: Leopard gecko
Scientific Name: Eublepharis macularius
Origin: Asia, Pakistan, northern India
Size: 8-10" males being the larger
Lifespan: 10-15 years
You will find many ways on the internet on "how to" take care of this animal. This care sheet is showing the way we found works best for us from our many years of experience of breeding and caring for this species.
Housing & Decor
Leopard geckos are terrestrial in nature. So you will want an enclosure that has more ground space than height. Adults can live in a 20 long enclosure or an Exo Terra 18" x 18" x 12". That size can comfortably house one adult leopard gecko for their whole life. For adding more than one gecko, you will want to add at least 10-gallons of space for each gecko you add. If introducing a new gecko to an existing gecko tank, make sure you rearrange the enclosure. That way the environment will be new to both of them. This will help decrease the chance of bulling. Groups of one male and two females or all females work well. If you have more than one adult male, they will fight. Keep them in separate cages. It's also important that your leopard geckos are of similar sizes. Don't house a baby with an adult. If one is significantly larger than the other, the smaller one usually ends up being bullied by the bigger. Normally Leopard geckos in the wild are solitary animals. You do not have to have more than one for them to thrive, but they will house communally fine if done correctly. Always be prepared to have a backup enclosure if you notice any signs of bullying. Bullying can include things such as biting or guarding resources such as food and water. There will always be a more dominant gecko, but you want to make sure that is not hindering the other gecko's chances of thriving.
For a loose substrate, you can use about 1-2" of eco earth / Coconut fiber substrate. Alternatively, you can use a solid substrate like the Exo terra moss mat, terrarium liners, or regular paper towels. Always provide a humid hide or damp corner on your cool side (opposite side from where your heat elements are placed). Leopards are a low humidity but will need the slight humidity to aid with shedding.
LIGHTING & TEMPERATURES
Leopard geckos are hardy little guys. Being nocturnal, they usually sleep in a hiding spot during the day and are active at night. UVB lighting is not necessary for these lizards. You will still need to provide a Calcium supplement like Repashy's Calcium Plus. You'll want to turn any daylight off at night. Your leopard geckos hiding spot should be kept at 88°-90°F during the day. They are comfortable with the rest of the tank being daytime temperatures of 78° to 80° degrees Fahrenheit. Use a good quality temperature gauge, like Zoo Meds digital temp gauge or Exo Terras Thermometer. Don't guess. It's OK if the temp drops to 75°-78°s at night, as long as you still have a warm hide in the 88°-90° for the gecko to retreat to. The easiest way to create a warm hide is to use an Exo terra or Zoo Med heat pad placed underneath one half of the tank, with the hide positioned above it inside the enclosure. If your house is extra cold, we recommend an overhead heat source such as a heat lamp or ceramic heat emitter. Keep this to the same side as your heat pad. You always want half of the tank to be cooler so your gecko can regulate its own body temperature, choosing what area to hang out in. The side without the heat pad and/or light should be where its humid hide will go. This is another hide with moist sphagnum moss inside. This is necessary for your gecko to shed properly. You can also use damp paper towels, but they do dry out faster. Whatever you choose, keep an eye on the moisture in your humid hide and remoisten when needed.
You shouldn't have to mist your enclosure if you have a humid hide. You will need a water bowl to drink from. Flukers rock dish is a nice naturalistic non-porous water bowl, or you Exo terra's bowls are nice too.
Leopard geckos typically eat crickets or mealworms. You can also try other bugs such as Dubia roaches, phoenix worms, small hornworms, or the occasional wax worms. You can let the crickets loose in the enclosure for your gecko to hunt but put any worms in a shallow dish. That way they won't hide under anything so your gecko can't find them. The insects should be gut loaded with a high-quality gut load such as Flukers cricket diet or Natures zone cricket gut load. Alternately, you can feed your crickets dry oatmeal and carrots or potatoes.
When you are ready to feed your gecko, you will want to dust the bugs you are feeding with a calcium powder. When using regular reptile calcium with D3 dust the bugs every feeding and a multi-vitamin once a week. Repashy Calcium Plus is a combo of calcium and multi vitamin and can be used instead at every feeding.
Leopard geckos are naturally fairly calm and tolerate quite a lot of handling. Start slow. With your new pet and gradually increase the amount of time you hold it until the lizard gets used to being handled. Babies like to wiggle and have little bursts of energy. To help calm them, use your hands like a treadmill. When your gecko walks or jogs onto your hand, put the other one in front and repeat. It will get tired and should calm down after a few minutes. Do this a few times and your leopard should feel more comfortable being handled.
As with most Reptiles. Never pull on your gecko's tail. It could naturally break off as if the lizard is trying to escape a predator. Once dropped, a leopard gecko's tail will grow back, but it will never look as good as the original. Plus, it will take away their natural method of fat storage until it grows back.