Leopard Gecko Facts
Leopard geckos are fun and interesting little lizards that are very popular reptile pets. Here is a list of interesting and fun leopard gecko facts for kids and adults alike
Please see our Leopard Gecko Care Sheet for a comprehensive guide on keeping these geckos in captivity.
The scientific name for leopard geckos is Eublepharis macularius. There are also several subspecies of leopard gecko that will be available in the reptile keeping hobby from time to time. One of the popular subspecies is Eublepharis macularius afghanicus.
The name “Leopard gecko” comes from the distinctive leopard style spots which cover the bodies of mature leopard geckos in their natural “wild-type” coloration. With their normal coloration, hatchling leopard geckos will come out banded.
Through captive selective breeding, leopard gecko breeders have been able to achieve a wide variety of color and patterns on leopard geckos. These traits and the combining of these genetics has created an unbelievable selection of leopard gecko colors including solid white.
There are currently three known stains of albino that are not genetically compatible with one another, these strains are known as Bell Albino, Tremper Albino, and Rainwater albino named after the leopard gecko breeders that originated each strain.
With proper care and nutrition, leopard geckos can live more than 10 years in captivity. In the wild, a leopard gecko life span can be expected to be less due to predators and the potential for food scarcity in their desert homes.
In the wild leopard geckos come from the rocky deserts of countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan and India. Leopard geckos are terrestrial lizards, meaning they spend their time on the ground.
Leopard geckos are nocturnal, meaning that they will spend the daytime in moist burrows and will come out to hunt and feed at night. Leopard geckos are known for having keen eyesight at night making them good hunters for crickets and other insect prey items.
A healthy leopard will use its tail to store fat reserves to help them maintain weight and health if their food source was to become limited in the wild. In captivity, where food is not scarce a fat tail is a good sign of a happy leopard gecko. Leopard geckos can also separate from their tail if grabbed by it. Their tails will usually regrow, but typically look different than they did originally.
Leopard gecko breeders have discovered that the incubation temperature for a leopard gecko egg can determine the hatchlings sex ratio. Higher temperatures produce more males and lower incubation temperatures produce mostly females. Many breeders also believe the warmer an egg is incubated at the brighter the hatchlings colors will be.