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Leopard Gecko (Eublapharis macularius) Care Sheet

     Leopard geckos are found throughout Pakistan, Afghanistan and Northern India.  Leopard Geckos are nocturnal and will rarely be active during the day.  These geckos become adults within two years and grow to eight inches in total length.  Sexing is fairly easy and males are typically larger than females.  The most reliable method to sex Leopard geckos is to look for enlarged preanal pores.  These pores are located on the underside of the gecko and are just above the vent.  Males’ preanal pores are darker and definitely noticeable when compared to a female.  Another characteristic present in males is enlarged hemipenal bulges, which are located below the vent at the base of the tail.  If you’re unsure of the sex of your Leopard gecko, bring it in and we’ll be happy to sex it for you.  Male leopard geckos usually live longer than females.  With proper care your Leopard gecko can live for 15 -25 years or more.

Temperature and UV Lighting

     Leopard geckos are a desert species and daytime temperatures should range between 84-88 degrees.  Temperatures can drop to 70-75 degrees at night.  Leopard geckos are nocturnal species and UVB lights are not usually necessary for proper health.  However, it is possible that wild geckos are active in the early morning and evening and are exposed to some UVB light from the sun.  Our recommendation is to use UVB lights especially if live plants are used to decorate the cage.  The UV light needs to be on 12 hours during the day and off at night.  Also it is very important to change your UVB light every 6-8 months, after this time the light stops producing adequate UVB.  Leopard geckos come from a dry environment and need low humidity.  We recommend that you provide a moist box inside the cage to help your Leopard gecko to shed.  This box can be filled with damp potting soil or moss. 

Housing

     Leopard Geckos should be kept in at least a 10 gal cage or larger.  These geckos can be kept in groups but the group needs to consist of only one male.  Adult male leopard geckos are not tolerant of each other and will fight.

Bedding

     The best type of bedding for Leopard geckos would be some type of sand.  Certain types of sand can cause impactions or blockages in the intestine of baby Leopard geckos.  Impactions can cause death and if you want to be totally safe, keep your Leopard gecko on newspaper or compressed carpet.  After your gecko reaches adulthood it can be safely moved to sand enclosure.

Calcium

     Leopard geckos also require a calcium and vitamin supplement for proper health.  This should be used every day as babies and reduced to 1-2 times a week as adults.  Calcium is sold in a powder form and is sprinkled on the crickets and other insects.  You should apply a very light coating to the food items, being careful not to waste any excess powder.

Food

     Baby Leopard geckos should be fed appropriate sized crickets and mealworms.  Your gecko should be fed about five to ten crickets each day.