Leopard Geckos For Dummies


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Common leopard geckos will eat until they're full and live insects that are left uneaten in their tank can become troublesome for the gecko, particularly crickets which will nibble at the lizard's tail.

Common leopard geckos are larger than many other gecko species. Those found in the wild typically have more dark, dull, and drab colorations than those kept in captivity as pets. Those in captivity generally have an assortment of skin colors and patterns. The skin of a common leopard gecko is very durable, which provides protection from the rocky grassland terrain of their dry environment. Their dorsal side is covered with small bumps, which gives a rough texture and appearance while their ventral side is thin, transparent, and smooth.

Like all reptiles, common leopard geckos shed their skin. In the few days before the shedding, the skin will turn color to a translucent whitish gray. One is that in the wild, common leopard geckos eat their shed skin so there is no trace that the common leopard gecko was there.

Pet Leopard Gecko Care, Facts & Information

Common leopard geckos are ectothermic. They absorb warmth and energy during the day as they are sleeping, so they can hunt and digest food at night. In addition, they have short legs, which enable them to be quick and agile while their small nails allow them to climb twigs and rocks. Common leopard geckos have openings on either side of their head as ears. A tympanic membrane covers and protects it. They use their ears to locate their prey. Healthy common leopard geckos have thick, fleshy tails; a thin tail is an indication that the gecko may be lacking good health.

Although, when in captivity, the tail can be fattened by the feeding of waxworms wax moth larvae , they are not recommended as a staple diet.

A beginner’s guide to leopard gecko housing and setup

They can also be fed "pinkies", a one-day-old mouse to fatten up the tail. Common leopard geckos' thick tails can regenerate when lost; however, the regenerated tails appear stumpy and never have the same appearance as the original tail. Unlike many other geckos, but like other Eublepharids, their toes do not have adhesive lamellae , so they cannot climb smooth vertical walls. Common leopard geckos are polyphyodonts and able to replace each of their teeth every 3 to 4 months. Common leopard geckos are not immune to injury, and their tails often take the brunt.

In the wild, if a severe injury occurs to a common leopard gecko's tail it will shrink until the injured part is shed off.


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For pet geckos, if injury necessitates an amputation of the tail, it will also shrink. Common leopard geckos range in color from a yellow to brownish-orange base with spots covering all or mostly half of the dorsal region of the body. Their color is derived from pigment-containing cells known as chromatophores.

These cells are responsible for an array of coloration seen in all reptiles, amphibians, birds and some species of insects. Chromatophores come in a variety of types based on the color they correspond to. Chromatophore types include xanthophores responsible for yellow coloration , erythrophores responsible for red coloration , iridophores responsible for iridescence , leucophores responsible for white coloration , melanophores responsible for black coloration , and cyanophores responsible for blue coloration.

Why Leopard Geckos?

The skin of wild common leopard geckos contains xanthophores yellow and melanophores black spots. Designer common leopard geckos may possess erythrophores and leucophores since commercial breeding and artificial selection have allowed novel coloration to arise.


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Common leopard geckos have predators such as snakes, foxes, and other large reptiles. Their keen sense of hearing and sight help them escape from them during the night. Along with their exceptional sight and hearing abilities, their skin helps camouflage themselves from their predators. Their sense of taste and smell also helps them with survival. They also stay in underground holes and burrows during the daytime, not only to avoid the heat but to also avoid the risk of getting eaten.

Common leopard geckos also have the ability to voluntarily detach their tails if it is attacked, grabbed by the tail, bitten during copulation, or nipped by another during feeding. This is called caudal autotomy. After autotomy the tail can continue to twitch for as long as 30 minutes, allowing the gecko to escape from its predator.

This detaching of the tail causes a high level of stress on the gecko due to the loss of the valuable storage of fat it once had.

Leopard Geckos For Dummies

A lost tail may increase the chance of sickness in the gecko and in some cases kill it, but this is very rare. The tail will also be shorter and often fatter than the previous tail. Sexual dimorphism is defined as a phenotypic difference between males and females of a species.


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  4. It can be commonly found in animals, such as the common leopard gecko and other reptiles. The underside of a gecko truly determines the sex of the gecko.

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    FAQs What do I feed my leopard geckos? A healthy diet consists of mealworms and medium-small silent crickets in roughly equal proportion. As a treat no more than once a week offer them a wax worm. How do I heat my leopard gecko vivarium? The best and safest option is to use a good quality heat mat with a thermostat to ensure the correct temperature gradient is set up across the tank typically 20 to 30 degrees centigrade. How long do leopard geckos live as pets? Adult females are typically 7 to 8 inches, and males are 8 to 10 inches. Store fat in the tail for times of low food availability Behavior Nocturnal Able to live alone or in pairs Generally docile animal that tolerates some handling Will drop their tail as a defense mechanism if frightened.

    If lost, the tail will usually regenerate in a matter of months. Geckos normally eat their shed skin. Diet Mostly insectivorous — feed a variety of prey items such as crickets, mealworms, superworms, phoenix worms, flies, roaches, etc. This powdered gut loading diet for feeder insects is available at most pet stores. Dust feeder insects with a calcium supplement times per week. You may also provide the calcium powder in a shallow dish.

    Leopard Geckos For Dummies Leopard Geckos For Dummies
    Leopard Geckos For Dummies Leopard Geckos For Dummies
    Leopard Geckos For Dummies Leopard Geckos For Dummies
    Leopard Geckos For Dummies Leopard Geckos For Dummies
    Leopard Geckos For Dummies Leopard Geckos For Dummies
    Leopard Geckos For Dummies Leopard Geckos For Dummies

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