Leopard geckos are friendly, docile animals by nature. They got their name from the leopard-like spots that cover their bodies. Leopard geckos are in the family Eublepharinae, which means that they have eye-lids.
Leopard geckos are calm, gregarious and usually non-aggressive and very curious animals. In order to get to know them better you can read these interesting things about such beautiful creatures.
1. Physical Characteristics
Leopard geckos are ground dwelling, short-legged lizards. The most common color of leopard gecko is yellow with dark spots, even though many color varieties are now present in the pet stores. These cute geckos have short, stubby toes, full, rounded bodies, and large, fatty tails. This gecko type has eyelids, in a difference to their arboreal cousins. Juveniles are much different in their appearance, being boldly colored. The banding and color of these geckos intensity gradually fades as the young gecko matures. Typically, adults are about 8 -10 inches from tip of nose to tip of tail and weigh 40 to 60 grams.
2. Where Do Geckos Live?
Leopard geckos live in India, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. They are terrestrial lizards, living on the ground, inhabiting arid areas and prefer grasslands or rocky desert areas over open sand areas.
3. Leopard Gecko Shedding
Same as every other kind of reptile on the Earth, there will come time when they start shedding their skin. Leopard geckos, however, shed their skin all at once, instead in pieces or over time. This varies for certain ages and maturity level but it is going to happen a lot more with tiny baby geckos than in their adult stage. Depending on the age and maturity, they can shed at different frequencies and there is no set timer under which this is going to happen or when this might happen.
4. What Do They Eat?
In the wild they will eat mostly insects like scorpions or spiders, but are quite opportunistic and will eat almost anything they can crush with their strong jaws (for their size) and swallow. Leopard geckos can be quite a while without water, because most of their water needs come from the insects they eat.
Gecko has become a really popular pet. It can live for even 20 years if you treat it well. Their hunting methods are really interesting to observe. The gecko first watches the prey from a distance until it crosses gecko’s vision. When the gecko has a clear focus on its target, it moves slowly, and like a cat, lifts one leg and holds its posture still before carefully stepping forward.
6. Breeding and Sex Determination
Another unique nature of leopard gecko morphology is that the sex of this lizard is determined by the temperature at which the eggs are kept during the incubation process. At temperature ranges of between 28.9oC and 30.6oC, both sexes will come out, at temperatures below 28.3oC, high number of females to males will be produced, and at temperatures above 31oC, high number of males to females will be produced.
7. Fun Facts
- After shedding these geckos actually eat their own skin. It is also a defense mechanism that keeps the predators unaware of their presence.
- Young geckos usually have alternating bands of color on their skin. These eventually turn into splotches and spots.
- Some leopard geckos have lived for more than 30 years!
- Leopard geckos are very unusual among reptile kingdom because they have eyelids.