The leopard gecko is fairly easy to keep and a very good choice for keepers who are new to lizards or any form of reptile.
Male leopard geckos usually get quite aggressive with each other so that the recommended arrangements are one male plus a pair or group of females, or housing only females in the terrarium. There are variations on this but they are not particularly advisable for inexperienced keepers.
You can identify the sex of leopard geckos by:
- stronger build in a male’s appearance
- males are have a thicker base to their tail, caused by two visible small lumps underneath the base, and larger pores in this area than females
A large terrarium is best for a group of geckos as they are highly active at times and a larger space reduces the likelihood of squabbles over territory. The terrarium does not have to be high as geckos are not great climbers; their feet are not as well equipped for it as other lizards.
A good terrarium for geckos contains:
- a dry base, usually sand but gravel or bark are sometimes used
- a damp area, usually moss in a tray that is kept damp to facilitate egg laying
- flat rocks that geckos can rest under safely
- heat using a lamp and an under-floor heated pad placed at one end of the tank
- a water tray
The temperature required for geckos is around 90 degrees fahrenheit in the daytime, reducing to 68 degrees at night.
Be aware that leopard geckos are particularly quick to shed their tails as an escape mechanism from predators and though the tail will grow back it is very rarely as well-formed as the original so if trying to handle these lizards, try to avoid touching their tail.
Leopard geckos also shed their skin but will eat the shed skin. Their normal diet is insects and an adult will eat a lot. Baby mice will also be consumed plus the occasional sliced fruit treat.
Healthy leopard geckos are very clean reptiles but their droppings should be removed regularly to reduce any risk of infection.