Pet Profile: Leopard Geckos

The leopard gecko is a very hardy and easy to keep reptile species.  It is ideal for beginner reptile keepers and experienced keepers.


Unlike most other reptiles, leopard geckos are nocturnal and require no UVB or basking lights.  In fact supplemental light is more likely to stress this gecko out then help him.  They do not need UVB to prevent metabolic bone disease like other species.  They have very modest care requirements.

They are comfortable as singles or in male/female or female/female pairs.  Males will fight so don't house them together.  A 10 to 20 gallon tank is plenty of room for one or two.  They need a warm side to their habitat that is best supplied by using an under tank heater.  The warmest spot should be 90 degrees.  The cool side should be ambient room temperature.

Bedding, or substrate, can be paper towels, or commercially available bark bedding.  Sand is often used but can cause impaction if eaten so best to be avoided. 

They love to hide, so hiding spots are a must.  You can buy them made just for geckos, or you can make your own cave.  They even love hiding in empty toilet paper rolls!   A moist hiding spot should be provided on the warm side to help them shed their skin.  A covered container with moist peat moss and small opening to get in, is a favorite.  They love to hide in them even when not shedding.

The diet of these little guys is pretty simple also.  They should be fed live insects that have been gut loaded (fed a nutritious diet), such as crickets, meal worms, or dubia roaches.  These are readily available at pet stores.  The insects should be covered in a reptile vitamin and mineral powder including calcium and d3.  They also need a shallow dish of water that can't be tipped over.

Leopard geckos can be gently handled, but care should be taken to not grab them.  Their skin can be fragile, and once that beautiful tail falls off once, it will grow back, but not as thick or colorful.