Leopard Gecko Care

Leopard Gecko Care

Leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius)

are native to arid regions of southern Central Asia. These terrestrial geckos are nocturnal and eat live insects. They are relatively easy to care for and do not require a great deal of attention but can still make fun and wonderful pets.

HOUSING

A basic leopard gecko set-up includes a 10 gallon aquarium, screen cover,  with paper towels on the floor, as well as a dry and a humid hide. Leopard geckos prefer a warm environment which is best provided with an under tank heater (UTH). Some people use a light above the aquarium to provide heat, although this may not be optimal.  Unlike some reptiles, leopard geckos do not require a UV light source.

Leopard geckos can not climb the walls of a glass aquarium, but do enjoy having some habitat elements (flat rocks, for example) to get onto, as this provides a variety of temperature for their environment.

Hides: A place for your gecko to hide is important as this makes him/her feel secure. Leopard geckos do not require a great deal of humidity, but you should also offer a humid hide which helps with shedding. A simple humid hide can be made with a small plastic container lined with damp paper towels with a round hole cut in the top or side.

Temperature: a floor temperature of 85-95 F is best.

Substrate: the floor of the habitat can be as simple as paper towels, or a ‘reptile carpet’. Sand or similar substrate should be avoided for leopard geckos, especially for young geckos as they can accidentally ingest it, which can lead to impaction.

FOOD

Leopard geckos are insectivores and will usually only eat live, moving insects. Meal worms and/or crickets is the most common leopard gecko food. Other insects can include super worms, roaches (B. dubia), or silkworms. You should never feed your gecko insects you caught outside or in your house as they might contain parasites or have been treated with pesticides.

Insects need to be gut-loaded for 24 hr before feeding to your gecko. This means providing the feeder insect a high protein insect food, so that your gecko will get the most nourishment possible. It is also recommended to dust the feeder insects with calcium and vitamin D3 prior to feeding to your gecko. A good calcium/vitamin supplement is Repashy Superfood’s (Sandfire Superfoods) Calcium ICB.

You should feed young geckos every day, or at least every other day.  I keep mealworms in the cage basically all the time.  Older geckos will not eat as often. If feeding crickets, leave only as many in the cage as they will likely eat.

SUPPLEMENTS

Geckos need calcium for proper bone development and health. You should provide a small dish of powdered calcium (without vitamin D3) at all times. Your gecko will lick it up as needed.

WATER

A dish of fresh, clean water should be in the cage at all times. It is important to keep it clean by replacing it daily.

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