Posts Tagged Leopard Gecko

Choosing a Leopard Gecko

Leopard geckos are one of the best reptile pets as they are easy to care for, very tame, do not need a large cage, easy to breed, and available in a stunning variety of color morphs. However, they do need their share of proper care and attention.

It is important to know how to properly take care of a leopard gecko before buying one. You need to read all about the leopard gecko care instructions, and if you feel that you won’t be able to take care of your pet then don’t buy it.

How to Buy a Leopard Gecko:

Once you have decided to buy a leopard gecko, it is important to take into consideration a few things.

  1. Breeder reptiles – if you decide on purchasing a leopard gecko from breeders, it is a good idea because they take better care of their reptiles and any symptom of health problem that may have a bit chance of being hereditary, is removed from the breeding groups.
  2. Retail reptiles – if you purchase a leopard gecko from a retail reptile, you do not know whether or not the parents were in good health and not apt to genetic disorders.

When buying a leopard gecko from a pet store, consider the following things:

  • Their present husbandry may not be right
  • Unidentified genetic history
  • Overall unidentified history

It is up to you to decide where to buy a leopard gecko because not all pet store reptiles are unhealthy and housed improperly. You can also consider a local reptile show, where you can find more variety on cheaper prices.

Signs of a Healthy Leopard Gecko:

Generally, a healthy leopard gecko exhibits the following traits:

  • Well-developed body
  • Bright and watchful eyes
  • Clean nostrils (free of discharge)
  • Thick and round tail
  • Intact toes and claws
  • Closed and clean mouth
  • Alert and active behavior

Signs of an Unhealthy Leopard Gecko:

Generally, an unhealthy leopard gecko exhibits the following traits:

  • Sticking out hip bones is the sign of underfeeding.
  • Sunken eyes indicate a dehydrated or sick animal.
  • Discharge and bubbles around the nostrils indicate respiratory infection.
  • Flat and thin tail is the sign of improper feeding.
  • Gaps when trying to hold mouth closed indicate vitamin or mineral deficiency.
  • Missing toes indicate shedding concerns mostly because of improper husbandry.
  • Sluggish behavior is the sign of parasites.

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General Facts about Leopard Gecko

During past few years, leopard geckos have become quite popular as pets. They are available in appealing color patterns that attract a large number of pet lovers. Albeit keeping this exotic pet is similar to having the other pet animals, but it is essential to know some interesting facts about this reptile.

Following are some of the most interesting facts that you must know to acquire comprehensive information about leopard geckos.

  • Leopard gecko’s Latin genus or species name is Eublepharis Macularius (well developed eyelid and spotted).
  • Leopard geckos are nocturnal and usually stay out of the daylight and sun heat. They appear at night to hunt for food.
  • They have a voice similar to a small ‘bark’ they use if disturbed.
  • Unlike many geckos, leopard geckos have eyelids that they can not only blink but also close them while sleeping.
  • Although a number of geckos have sticky pads, however leopard geckos have little claws instead of sticky pads.
  • Similar to many reptiles, a leopard gecko also has a tail that can drop if grabbed by a predator, which allow them enough time to escape.
  • Leopard geckos are insectivores and like to eat locusts, crickets, worms, and all kinds of insects. They can also eat scorpions and other small lizards.
  • A leopard gecko’s tail serves as a fat storage lest of food scarcity.
  • When hunting, mating and defending their territory, they usually shake their tails.
  • One interesting fact about leopard gecko is that their gender is determined by incubation temperature. If the temperature is set on 90 degrees Fahrenheit then nearly all the eggs would be male. On the other hand, the majority of the eggs will be female at 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Moreover, an incubation temperature of 85 degrees Fahrenheit can produce almost an equal number of males and females.

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Leopard Gecko as Pets

Leopard geckos (scientifically named as Eublepharis Macularius) are belonged to reptile family. These lizards are native to Pakistan, India and Afghanistan where the land is rocky and dry. They are nocturnal and mostly live on and under the ground, and are easy to domesticate. Unlike other geckos, they do not have the toe pads therefore, they do not climb. Another feature that makes them different from other geckos is that they have eyelids and they can even blink their eyes.

The average size of a leopard gecko is between 8 and 10 inches in length. Its head is of a triangular shape and has a large, fat tail where it stores fat. Its skin is rough and wholly patterned. There are a number of color and pattern variations. These lizards use their patterned skin to camouflage them from predators.

If you want to own a leopard gecko as a pet, then you need to get all those things that are necessary for your pet. Among those things, housing is the most important one as your new pet’s health is highly depended on the place where you keep it.

When deciding on home you need to ensure that all bases are covered, which include the followings:

  • Home – cage, terrarium, vivarium (glass or plastic)
  • Warmth
  • Humidity
  • A place to hide
  • A substrate (bedding or floor covering)

A glass vivarium is the best option as it is better for cleaning than plastic, and also it gives an easy view of your pet gecko. The size of a vivarium should be at least 10 gallon, however, bigger is better.

The temperature of gecko’s home should be around 90 F (30 C) on one side and 70 F (23 C) on the other side. Keep the humidity level between 50 and 70 %. In addition to this, give you gecko a place to hide in order to make them feel safe. For this, you can use inverted plant saucers, rocks, dry wood, dried cactus skeletons, and old branches.

Lastly, choose a substrate that is not harmful for the geckos. Avoid using aquarium gravel, calcium sand, and walnut shells because the pet can swallow these things. Good options include newspaper, wood chips, and paper towels.

Leopard geckos are great pets, and if you take care of them properly then they can live 10 to 20 years.

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