Leopard Gecko Care Sheet

Eublepharis macularius

Leopard geckos are naturally found in Iran, Afghanistan, Western India, and Pakistan. India sent leopard geckos to the United States from 1960- 1973 for legal protection. They are naturally found in deserts and arid grasslands with dry and rocky landscapes, and because they are nocturnal animals, they spend the day beneath rocks and in burrows.

  • Handling: Leopard geckos are relatively docile animals, so when it comes to handling them, they are usually at ease. You must be careful when it come to picking them up. Never pick them up by the tail, as they may drop their tail.
  • Temperament: They rarely bite and are tamed easily with regular handling.
  • Lifespan: With proper care, they can live anywhere from 15-20 years.
  • Size: Usually leopard geckos will grow between 8-10 inches in length, but many individuals only reach the about 8 inches in length. Many times, breeders will breed geckos as to achieve specific lengths and sizes that are beyond the normal, average size.

Housing Leopard Geckos

Enclosure size: A 10 gallon aquarium is the minimum size for one leopard gecko, and a 20-gallon, long aquarium will house up to three geckos.

Substrate: Leopard geckos should not be housed on loose substrates, such as play sand, Calci-sand, or wood shavings, as these substrates can cause impaction. Paper towels, reptile carpet, and tile, make great alternatives.

Décor: Put at least 2 shelters in the terrarium: 1 on the hot side and 1 on the cool side. Make sure to have plenty of room so the gecko can maneuver around the terrarium with ease. A humid hide is also ideal to help increase humidity for easier shedding.

Lighting: Leopard geckos are nocturnal, so you don’t need UV lightning, but you can use a regular light for a 12 hour day/night scenario.

Heating: Daytime temperature should range between 85F-90F, and night temperatures can go into the low 70’s.

  • An under tank heating pad, which attaches to the bottom of the tank, is the best method to provide heat.
  • Hot rocks are not a good choice for heating, as they can badly injure and burn your gecko.
  • Use a digital thermometer to gauge the temperature. DO NOT estimate the temperature because temperatures that are too high or too low can harm your gecko.

Humidity: Leopard geckos require a low humidity level that doesn’t exceed 40%. When the humidity levels are too high, respiratory, bacterial, and fungal infections can occur. A humid hide can be provided to aid in shedding.

Leopard Gecko Diet

Leopard geckos are insectivores, meaning they eat insects. Roaches, mealworms, waxworms, butterworms, silkworms, and pheonix worms, are popular insects to offer. Keep in mind that waxworms are very high in fat, so you want to offer them at low quantities.

  • Insects must be at least ½ the width of the gecko’s head and no longer than the length of the gecko’s head.
  • Do not get insects from your backyard because insects travel and can carry pesticides and chemicals used by either you or your neighbors.

A shallow water dish should be available at all times.