- Scientific Name: Eublepharis macularius
- Lifespan: Approximately 20+
- Handling: Yes
- Size: Up to 6 – 9 inches
- Care: Easy
- Community: Females of the same size may be housed together fine, but males should never be housed together due to territorial aggression.
- Lifestyle: Nocturnal (active at night).
The size of the tank depends on the size of your leopard gecko. For babies and juveniles, a 10 gallon tank is recommended. For adults, a 20 gallon long tank is recommended. Although these are suggested tank sizes, feel free to go as big as you want. The more room you have, the better your leopard gecko’s experience will be. Having that in mind, you should keep baby leopard geckos in smaller tanks to allow them to hunt for food easier.
Make sure to include a screen top to keep your leopard gecko from finding a way out.
A leopard gecko is a low maintenance pet lizard requiring only a few items to thrive.
Hides offer your leopard gecko protection, security, and a place to sleep. There are three main hides needed in a leopard gecko’s enclosure.
- Dry hide on the cool side.
- Dry hide on the warm side.
- Humid hide in the middle, to help with the shedding.
The two dry hides can be any type of reptile hide, or a very cool hide like the Exo Terra Glass Reptile Den. I personally like the exo terra glass reptile den because of the room it saves in the tank. Instead of having one big bulky reptile cave, you have half of one inside the enclosure that serves the same exact purpose allowing your leopard gecko to have more room to move around.
A humid hide is a dry hide with a moistened substrate inside. Most people use wet paper towels, while others use a more naturalistic type of substrate like Eco Earth Loose Coconut Fiber Substrate. They both will serve the same purpose which is to help moisten your leopard geckos skin to help peel off during the shedding process.
Learn more about leopard gecko shedding.
Foliage is a great addition to the enclosure to help make it feel like a naturalistic environment. Similar to hides, foliage will also help your leopard gecko feel more protected and secured. Some popular items that a lot of leopard gecko users use are small desert reptile plants like the Exo Terra Star Cactus Terrarium Plant. There are a variety of fake plants to be used. The choice is yours. Just avoid any sharp edged plants that can possibly hurt your leopard gecko.
All living animals need to hydrate. Don’t forget a water dish.
Lighting & Heating
Leopard geckos are nocturnal and will not be needing any type of special lighting like most other diurnal lizards. Although they do not need any specific type of lighting, it is still important to add a light source on top of your enclosure to mimic their natural daylight schedule. Depending on where you live and the temperatures that are being reached, the wattage of the bulb(s) will vary. For most enclosures, this basking bulb combo pack will be suffice.
When measuring temperatures, it’s best to use digital thermometers like the Exo Terra Digital Thermometer. Dial thermometers tend to give off inaccurate measurements.
88 – 90 °F on the hot side
75 – 80 °F on the cool side
Temperatures of 70 – 75 °F are recommended.
Feeding & Diet
Feedings should vary as the leopard gecko’s size, weight, age, and gender does. Leopard geckos primarily eat insects which include: crickets, roaches, mealworms, silkworms, hornworms, and etc. Leopard geckos should be fed what they can consume within 15 – 20 minutes. Since they are nocturnal, you should feed them at night when they come out to hunt.
Their feedings must be dusted as follows:
- Calcium without D3 – every other feeding
- Calcium with D3 – 2-3 times a month
- Multivitamins – 2-3 times a month
Rule of thumb: do not feed anything bigger than the space between your leopard gecko’s eyes.
Humidity is the amount of water vapor in the air. Humidity levels should be below 30% throughout the entire enclosure. In the humid hide, you want humidity levels to be above 50% to help with the shedding process. Do not attempt to peel the skin off of your leopard gecko yourself while your gecko is shedding.
A water bowl must be in the enclosure at all times to allow your leopard gecko to hydrate himself when needed. Water must be changed out every other day to avoid bacteria and dirty water build up.
There are many choices when it comes to substrate, but the safest substrate is repti-carpet. Leopard geckos should not have any loose type substrates like sand, repti-bark, or etc… All loose substrate does is cause problems. It gives your feeder insects places to hide, causes impaction if your leopard gecko ingests it, and is sometimes quite expensive to keep switching out every cleaning.
Note: The information on this leopard gecko care sheet is not a substitute for veterinary care.