Stoida

Leopard Gecko

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  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Reptilia
  • Order: Squamata
  • Family: Eublepharidae
  • Conservation status: Not Evaluated
  • Lenght: 20 - 25 m (8 - 10 inch) with tail
  • Weight: 5 - 15 g
  • Food: Carnivore
  • Speed: 39km/h (26mph)
  • Habitat: Rocky deserts and mountainous regions
  • Lifespan: 2-9 years
  • Litter size: 2 eggs
gecko-leopard reptile
Origins

The leopard Gecko (Eublepharis macularius) is a species of lizard with origins in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq and is one of the most suitable species to possess as a begginer reptile owner. It is a docile species, extraordinarly beautiful and delicate!

Leopard geckos live in arid areas especially rocky deserts, avoiding sandy deserts. They are strictly nocturnal!!! They stay away from the day’s heat hiding in cracks and caverns, and at night they go out hunting for insects (they eat scorpions and other lizards too!). They live in colonies and are exclusively terrestrial (they don’t have the ability to climb vertically on all surfaces like the tokay gecko or bibroni).

It was first described as a species in 1854 by the zoologist Edward Blyth. It is also called the ”desert leopard”.

Food Leopard Gecko

In general the leopard gecko is insectivorous, meaning that it feeds on crickets, worms, moths, spiders, ants and other insects. It is good to know that the gecko does not feed on corpses.

Features Leopard Gecko

They reach 20-25cm in size and the name comes from the spots covering their body (at maturity), leopard-like spots. The background color is yellow (for those with standard color) although there exist several varieties of color (albino, jungle, striped, etc...), most being mutations produced by selective breeding of parents with special coloring.

It has eyelids ( can blink, and when they sleep, they do it with their eyes closed). They have claws and they can not ”climb” vertically like other gecko species (eg bibroni gecko, Phelsuma, etc).

The tail is very sensitive, the phenomenon of autotomy specific to lizards is present (they break their tail when threatened), but because this, a great care is required when handling because in the tail there are fat and water reserves, that help them live without food and water for a period of time ( which can vary depending on the ambient temperature).

Reproduction Leopard Gecko

Leopard geckos are known as heat-dependent in sex determination. Research show that more females can go out in lower temperatures (26-30C) and higher (34-35C). Males usually go out in intermediate temperatures (31-33C). Females reproduced at high temperatures (hot females) usually can not reproduce.

Sexual maturity is reached at the age of 8-9 months. The mating is done with a male and several female geckos. The females will sit in front of him and the male will choose the one he will mate with. When ready, he will wiggle his tail and follow the female. After he catches her the mating will occur. During the act he can bite her neck and sometimes her tail may break off. Do not worry, it will grow back.

The leopard gecko usually mates during the summer. Females may store sperm, so they don’t need the male for a while after first mating. After mating the female lays two eggs after 21-28 days. After 45-60 days moisture droplets appear on the eggs, and they may get slightly smaller, a sign of hatching. The leopard offsrping will have an ”egg tooth” on the muzzle to help him break out of the shell. This tooth will fall in 1-2 days.

Diseases

Gastoenteritis or diarrhea. It is a disease caused by an infection for hygiene reasons in the terrarium.

Metabolic bone diseases. Due to lack of calcium and vitamin D. They are critical for bone formation during development.

Anorexia. It can be caused by stress or other illnesses.

Stomatitis. It occurs when the gecko shows swelling in the mouth.

Pneumonia. Severe respiratory tract infection caused by bacteria in the lungs.

Cryptosporidiosis. Also known as Cripto, is a contagious disease usually fatal if not detected and treated.

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