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Friendly reptiles: Leopard gecko
12 November 2018
Another friendly reptile that features in Petcover’s list is the Leopard Gecko and there are many compelling reasons to welcome this cute little lizard into your household. Compact, tame, low maintenance and with a relatively long life span these resilient lizards make ideal pets.
The gecko’s namesake comes from its skin which is commonly yellow with dark spotted markings, resembling a leopard’s. But they are now bred in a variety of colours and patterns so you can choose one that appeals to you.
5 interesting facts about leopard geckos
1. Claws instead of pads
You won’t see leopard geckos traversing walls and vertical surfaces like other lizards do. This is because they have little claws instead of sticky pads on their feet.
2. Movable eyelids
The leopard gecko is one of the few gecko species with movable eyelids. Their eyesight is also far superior to their relative’s – their vision is thought to be comparable to that of cats.
3. Can tolerate roomies
Reptiles are usually solitary creatures who exhibit aggressive behaviours when placed in confined spaces together. However, the leopard gecko is an exception to this rule as their docile temperament has allowed owners to safely house a group of geckos in the one enclosure. But you still need to be wary of housing males together as there is a chance of fighting.
4. Tricky tails
Their tails are an unusually useful survival tool in more ways than one. The tail serves as a defensive device against predators as they can detach their tail if bitten in order to escape and then regrow it later. They can also store fat in their tails, which evolved as a way for them to survive for long periods without food.
5. Long lifespan
Leopard geckos have been known to live up to 20 years or older in captivity, although the average lifespan is between 6 to 10 years.
Leopard geckos are easy to handle and their care requirements are minimal. The most important factors to get right are diet and temperature. A diet of live insects dusted with vitamin and calcium supplements is all they need. Juvenile geckos should be fed daily while adult geckos can be fed every other day. As they hail from the desert they like a dry and toasty environment, so aim to keep the terrarium between 29 to 35 Degrees Celsius and the humidity around 30 to 40%. Ask your vet for a care sheet for your lizard- with proper care your little lizard with hopefully live a long and prosperous life!
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