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Common Name: Leopard Gecko

Latin Name: Eublepharis macularius

Distribution: Afghanistan, Pakistan, Northern India Natural Habitat: Desert
Adult Size: 20-27 cm Diet: Insectivore
Life Span: 10-15 Years

NATURAL HABITAT

The Leopard Gecko is found in the arid scrubland and rocky deserts of Asia.

HOUSING

These may be kept individually or in groups. The more lizards kept in each cage, the larger the cage should be. The minimum cage size for a hatchling Leopard Gecko would be about 30 cm x 15 cm and this would increase to 60 cm x 45cm for an adult. Other species should be housed proportionately. Mature males will tend to fight and no more than one should be present in any one cage. In any case, there should be plenty of retreats and visual screens to allow the animals some privacy. Watch out for bullying, particularly among juveniles.

A reptile calcium sand should be used as the floor substrate and decor can consist of caves, hides and plants. A moss box or shed box should always be provided (a purpose built box filled with sphagnum moss) and should always be kept damp.

2% UVA & UVB lighting is necessary for the health and wellbeing of a Gecko and should be on for 12-14 hours a day dropping to 8 hours in the winter and a reptile heat mat should be used on the back wall (NOT FLOOR) of the vivarium and attached to a thermostat.

Daily maintenance is required which involves picking out droppings (sand sifters are available for this), changing water and ensuring the moss box damp (not saturated). Leopard Geckos are very clean and will choose one spot in their vivarium to go to the toilet.

TEMPERATURE:

To ensure the Gecko can thermoregulate effectively there should be a thermal gradient provided by using a heat mat on one end.
A day temperature should be gradient from 27-32°c (80-90°F).
Maintain night temperature range between 21-24°c (70-75°F).

HANDLING

Most will become tame with regular handling. The whole animal should be gently grasped and held in the hands. One hand beneath, supporting and the other over the head and body controlling it. The tail is easily shed and should not be grasped. Once shed, however, a new tail will usually grow in time.

FOOD & FEEDING

Insects like crickets and locusts form the staple diet in captivity. Mealworms can also be fed. Insects should be dusted with a good vitamin and mineral supplement. Alternatively gut 'load' the insect food by feeding with a nutrient rich mixture available from pet stores but do not do both! Other insects that are eaten including Wax worms but these are best given only occasionally as a treat. Try not to leave an excess of uneaten insects in the cage.

HEALTH

Leopard Geckos live for approximately 10-15 years in captivity (although we do own some Leopard Geckos who are in their twenties!). They do not suffer from many diseases and veterinary attention is rarely needed. An environment and diet as described in this leaflet will preclude most problems. The most often encountered disease will be a metabolic bone disorder caused by insufficient vitamin D3 or calcium. If any illness is suspected then consult a good exotic vet.

All reptiles possess zoonotic properties so ensure you wash your hands after handling your reptile.

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