Leopard Gecko Care and Breeding :
Leopard geckos are inquisitive lizards that are fairly easy to keep.
1- Leopard Gecko Care Sheet
BY RON TREMPER
Leopard Gecko (Eublepharis macularius)
The leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius) lizard has been captive bred in the United States for more than 30 years and is one of the most commonly kept lizards today. These hardy saurians come in a variety of colors, patterns and sizes. This is a great species for the home. Imagine a lizard that can vocalize and wash an eye with its tongue with ease. There is a friendly dinosaur in this small package.
Leopard Gecko Availability
Captive-bred leopard geckos can be found in pet stores, at reptile shows and on the Internet. Many breeders have websites where you can learn about, select and purchase healthy leopards, which range in price from $20 to $3,000. There is a huge collector market worldwide for the rarer variations of leopard geckos.
Leopard Gecko Size
Hatchlings measure 3 to 4 inches long. Adult females are typically 7 to 8 inches, and males are 8 to 10 inches. Some males of the giant bloodlines reach nearly a foot.
Leopard Gecko Life Span
Leopard geckos are long-lived compared to some reptiles. On average you can expect your gecko to live six to 10 years, but many males live 10 to 20 years. At least one male is still breeding at 27½ years of age.
Leopard Gecko Caging
A 10- to 20-gallon aquarium houses one or two leopard geckos from hatchling to adult size. Larger tanks tend to cause the geckos to stray away from their proper heat and hide box. Although visibility is reduced, many people use plastic storage boxes as housing. Any cage you choose should be at least 1 foot tall. Be sure to have a secure screen top on your gecko cage that will support a light fixture, provide good ventilation and keep out bothersome cats. A hide box filled with moist moss or vermiculite is needed, so your leopard gecko can shed its skin properly. This secure setting also is needed for egg laying if you plan on breeding geckos. Live or artificial plants can be added for a nice decorative touch.
Leopard geckos can live six to 10 years with males living to 20 years.
Leopard Gecko Lighting and Temperature
The best way to heat your leopard gecko is by using an undertank heating pad or tape. These are available at any pet store or online. Heating one end of the cage is best. This allows for a temperature variation that your lizard needs. Heat rocks tend to become too hot for leopard geckos and should be avoided due to the risk of burns. For viewing, a simple low-wattage light can be placed overhead on the screen-cage top and left on 12 hours a day. Because leopard geckos are active at night (notice their vertical pupils), they do not need to bask under a special UVB light.
The ideal temperature in the hide box is 88 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit at all times. The ambient air temperature of the room they are housed in should be above 73 degrees.
Leopard Gecko Substrate
Newspaper, pea gravel, artificial turf, flat stones or no floor covering are OK. A young or debilitated leopard gecko might consume sand or fine-particle products on the cage floor, and this could lead to intestinal impaction. Leopard geckos actually have a “bathroom” in one corner of their cages, and that area can be spot-cleaned without disrupting the entire system. Do not expose your gecko to commercial plant soils or sands that may contain fertilizer or pesticides.
Leopard Gecko Food
Live insects are a must for your gecko; they do not eat plants or veggies. The best items to use are mealworms or crickets, but you can treat your pet to waxworms or superworms once a week if you wish. Avoid feeding leopard geckos pinky mice. All insects must be first given a nutritious powdered diet for at least 12 hours before being fed to your leopard gecko. This process is called gut loading,” and it is very important to the health of your pet. Chick or hog mash is available at all feed stores, and several good commercial diets are available for this purpose, as well. Simply place the insects in a tub of gut-load diet with a piece of potato to serve as a source of water.
Dusting your insects is one way to deliver important vitamins and minerals to your leopard gecko. Insects and the dusting powder can be placed in a plastic bag or deep tin can, and shook gently to coat the insects’ bodies. When adding the dusted insects to the cage, be sure not to let the powder get into a gecko’s eyes. Another way to give the extra powdered supplements to your gecko is to keep a small jar lid filled with vitamin-mineral powder at all times. The gecko knows how much its body needs, and it will lick up the powder accordingly.
Keepers can offer two appropriately sized insects for every inch of a leopard gecko’s total length. A meal every other day is fine. Therefore, a 4-inch-long gecko would receive eight mealworms three to four times a week. It is normal for leopard geckos to eat their shed skin.
Leopard Gecko Water
A shallow water dish with fresh water must be available at all times. It should also be stable, so it cannot be spilled. Cage substrate should be kept dry, so be careful about spillage. Make sure that young and adult leopard geckos can climb easily out of the dish you use. Vitamin drops should not be added to the water.
Leopard Gecko Handling and Temperament
In general, do not handle leopard geckos on a regular basis until they settle in and are more than 6 inches in total length. Once your gecko is large enough, it is best to sit on the floor, and let your gecko crawl through loose fingers and hand-over-hand for 10 to 15 minutes per day until they are accustomed to your touch. This taming process takes only five to seven days. Never grab or hold the gecko’s tail, or it might be dropped. Often the tail regenerates in less than 40 days.
Ron Tremper is the source for Leopard Gecko information and breeding. Please visit his site at www.LeopardGecko.com.
2- Leopard Gecko Breeding
The leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius) is native to the arid regions of Pakistan and India. Male leopard geckos reach a size of 10 to 12 inches long, and female leopard geckos can measure from 7 to 10 inches long. Leopard geckos are known to live more than 20 years. Due to the beautiful variety of captive-bred colors and patterns, leopard geckos have become one of the most popular lizard species kept worldwide.
LEOPARD GECKO CARE SHEET!
How To Care For A Pet Leopard Gecko (Leopard Gecko Care)
Leopard Gecko Care Tutorial; How to Take Care of your Leopard Gecko! : Citrus Reptiles
Videos on Care :
7 Care Tips for Leopard Geckos | Pet Reptiles
BY RON TREMPER
A 10- to 20-gallon aquarium houses two leopard geckos for their entire lives from hatchling to adult. Caging should be at least 1 foot tall, and have a secure screen top that will support a light fixture and keep bothersome cats from dining on your pet. Live or artificial plants can be added for decoration.
Newspaper, pea gravel, artificial turf, flat stones or no floor covering are good substrate choices for leopard geckos. Sand or fine-particle products on the cage floor can cause intestinal impaction if consumed by young or debilitated geckos.
The author was a pioneer in producing captive-bred albino leopard gecko hatchlings.
1- In about 4 to 5 weeks, the female will lay her eggs. Normally, you will see her digging in the laying box and laying the eggs in pairs. It will be easy to tell she has laid the eggs, particularly since she will be much thinner.
All leopard geckos, including this diablo blanco morph, are active at night and do not need to bask under UVB lighting.
A hide box measuring 6 to 7 inches in diameter filled with moist peat moss or vermiculite is required, so your leopard can shed its skin and lay eggs properly.
The ideal temperature in the hide box is 86 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit at all times. This is a leopard gecko’s hotspot. The ambient air temperature should be at least 73 degrees. An undertank heating pad or heat tape is the best way to provide the proper hotspot temperature. Avoid heat rocks because they tend to become too hot and might burn your pet gecko.
A simple 25-watt light placed on the screen top can provide daylight. Keep it on for 12 hours a day. Because leopard geckos are active at night, they do not need to bask under UVB lighting.
Feed to Breed
Feed breeding leopard geckos crickets at least every other day, or keep a dish of mealworms (Tenebrio molitor) in the enclosure at all times. Insects should be no longer than the leopard gecko’s head and no thicker than half its width. Whether you’re using crickets or mealworms, it is essential that feeder insects be given a balanced diet. Gut load insects with chick or hog mash for 24 to 48 hours before feeding them to your geckos.
It is important that you offer your leopard geckos extra calcium and vitamin D3. Instead of dusting feeder insects, place a jar lid filled with the supplement in the corner of the cage so the leopard geckos can decide how much they consume.
Use a shallow, sturdy water dish measuring 3 to 6 inches in diameter to keep fresh water available at all times.
Typically leopard gecko females are not sexually mature until they weigh 45 grams and reach 9 to 10 months of age.
North of the equator, leopard geckos experience a breeding season running from January to September. Individuals hatched late in the year may not start laying eggs until April of the following season. While we do cool down females prior to breeding, never cool down first-year females because they are still growing. With our other females, we stop feeding 10 days before cooling, then keep them at 74 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit with water present 24/7 for six to eight weeks.
Geckos such as this raptor morph require a hide box measuring 6 to 7 inches in diameter.
When introducing a female leopard gecko to a male leopard gecko, the first thing you may hear is the male going through his tail-vibration routine, which sounds like a very fast rattle. A receptive female stands perfectly still while the male grasps her neck skin in his mouth and engages in copulation. A male restraining a female in this way is normal. A successful mating takes only two to three minutes from start to finish. Remove the female leopard gecko soon afterward.
Leopard gecko females lay eggs 16 to 22 days after copulation. Once a breeding season begins, you can expect female leopard geckos to lay a clutch every 15 to 22 days over a four- to five-month period. Female leopard geckos may lay one or two eggs for the first clutch of their lives, resulting in eight to 10 eggs for their first breeding year. Leopard geckos can produce 80 to 100 eggs over a lifetime.
These two super giant albinos weigh 150 grams each. Their size resulted from a random mutation.
Provide an egg-laying box at least 6 to 7 inches in diameter and 4 inches tall. For cages housing three to five females, a plastic shoebox is ideal. All will lay their eggs in that same spot. Make a 2-inch-diameter hole in the box lid, so the geckos can get in and out of the box. Fill the egg-laying box with peat moss, vermiculite or Bed-A-Beast litter, which must be kept moist — it should feel like fresh earth — but not too wet.
Poor nutrition, not male sterility, is the leading cause of infertile eggs. Another cause of infertility occurs when virgin female leopard geckos aren’t introduced to a male once they reach 45 to 55 grams, or when females have not been bred at least once a month.
The most common containers used for leopard gecko egg incubation are plastic deli cups or shoeboxes filled with 1 to 2 inches of vermiculite or perlite. Achieve proper moisture by mixing equal parts of incubation medium to water by weight, not volume. Slightly bury leopard gecko eggs, and space them at least a half-inch apart. Cover the egg box with a tight lid, and add five to 10 pushpin-sized air holes to the top.
If you see dents occurring in leopard gecko eggs during incubation, then your medium is too dry. If that happens, spray the inner sides of the egg container — not the eggs directly — four or fives times.
Incubation temperature determines a leopard gecko’s sex. If eggs are incubated at 80 degrees, then 100 percent of the hatchlings will be female. At temperatures around 87 degrees you basically get an equal number of male and female leopard geckos. At 90 degrees 98 percent of the hatchlings will be male. Temperature conditions below 74 degrees can be lethal.
If you need to control egg temperature, a number of simple incubators are available. Never place leopard gecko eggs in an incubator without substrate or moisture. They turn into raisins if you do. Eggs incubate 35 to 89 days depending upon the incubation temperature.
Until hatchling leopard geckos reach a length of 7 inches, they are best raised alone in a simple shoebox setup measuring 12 inches long, 6 inches wide and 4 inches tall. This cage is ideal because it offers close proximity to water, food, heat and shelter. A continuous temperature of 90 degrees under the hide box is optimum for juveniles. The cool end should be the same as the adult’s requirement: 73 degrees. Paper towels can serve as the floor covering.
Hatchling leopard geckos shed their skin and begin eating after the first three days of their lives. Regular 1-inch-long mealworms are the best offering for baby leopard geckos at this time. Place five to 10 mealworms in a jar lid every other day.
3- How to Breed Leopard Geckos
courtesy to : www.wikihow.com/Breed-Leopard-Geckos
Leopard geckos can be easy to breed for some, but difficult for others. In this article, you will see the simplest way to breed leopard geckos. The simplest way, is the best here.
PART ONE : Preparing to Breed
1- Get a male and female leopard gecko. The males have hemipenal bulges below the vent whereas females do not. Males and females both have a V-shaped row of scales above the vent but only the male's scales here are hollow and produce wax. This wax is for scent marking their territory.
It is best to check yourself to ensure you have a male and female, rather than trust people at a large pet store. Smaller specialists or Reptile show people typically will know their stuff.
Never house two males together or they will fight to the death.
2- Get a large cage for the male and female to live in together. Geckos can be kept together without the need to separate them unless you see major aggression. It is sometimes normal when first introducing a male and female for there to be a little squabbling but this usually stops within the first week.
For a pair you will need at least a 20 gallon (75.7 L) long tank.
You may also choose to house one male with 4-5 females, add 10 gallons (37.9 L) of space for each additional gecko.
3- Get the incubator ready for the eggs and provide a lay box. You can use a plastic sandwich container with a lid for this purpose. Cut an entry hole on one side and fill it with damp moss (This can be used as the moist hide too).
4- Ensure you have customers who will buy your babies when they are ready.
PART TWO : Breeding
1- Introduce the female to the male. You can introduce them into the same cage right away, usually.(If you have a female that isn't healthy, do NOT try to breed her. She could die.)
Females should be at least one year old and have a healthy weight. Provide a shallow dish full of calcium plus vitamin D3 powder that the female can lick up as needed. Females use their calcium reserves to make eggs and if those reserves should deplete she will end up dying from metabolic bone disease.
You must also take care to feed her generously with calcium dusted insects and make sure she always has access to water. Producing eggs takes a lot out of a female.
2- Let nature take its course. Breeding should occur within a week.
If you see major drama/fighting, separate the pair. You'll want to confirm they are not both males. If one male and one female, you can reintroduce them again later.
3- Ready the laying box to put in the cage. Females dig to lay their eggs, so you will provide a place for them to dig.
PART THREE : Taking Care of the Eggs
2- Place the eggs in the incubation medium. Remove them from the laying box and be careful not to rotate or jiggle the eggs. After 24 hours of being laid, the embryo inside attaches itself to the side wall of the egg. Rotating or jiggling this egg could cause the embryo to come loose and drown inside, killing it.
Take a deli cup filled two inches high with incubation medium and make a dent in the medium with a finger right where you are going to put an egg.
Carefully place the egg in this indentation and mark the top with a sharpie or pencil with a dot so you know what is right side up. In the event the egg gets moved, you will be able to place it right side up and hope for the best that it didn't drown.
If you want girls, set the incubation temperature 80 to 85 degrees, if you want males, set the temperature 90 to 95 degrees, and if you want a mix, set the temperature in the middle!
3- Observe the developing embryos. After a few weeks you will be able to "candle" the eggs using a small flashlight. You don't have to touch the eggs, just take them into a dark room and shine the light as close to the shell as you can. You should see pink inside with red blood vessels. The further along the eggs are, the more you will also see the baby inside as a dark mass.
4- After around 60 days, give or take depending on the incubation temperature, the eggs should hatch.
PART FOUR : Taking Care of the Babies
1- Set up the cages for the babies. Before they hatch, set up each individual with it's own small cage. You can also use a 10 gallon (37.9 L) tank with plastic dividers so each baby is housed by itself. Each cage should have a small water bowl as well.
2- Have tiny crickets readily available. Babies will start eating insects within a day or two of being hatched.
3- Most importantly and before you breed your leopard geckos, make sure you have homes for all the babies. A single female can lay 12 to 20 pairs of eggs a year, that's 24 to 40 babies!
Things You'll Need :
Cage for Geckos (20 Gallon for two, 10 Gallons more for each additional female)
Laying box. A piece of tupperware of equivalent filled with damp moss for the female to lay in.
Incubation Medium (usually Perlite)
Lots of crickets dusted with calcium for egg growth
Place for each baby to stay
Very small crickets for the babies
Other Important WIKIHOW sites :
- How to Have Fun With Your Leopard Gecko :
- How to Care for a Leopard Gecko:
- How to Build a Habitat for Leopard Geckos :
- How to Take Care of a Pastel Leopard Gecko :
- How to Care for a House Gecko :
- How to Catch a Gecko :
- How to Care for a Leopard Gecko Egg :
- How to Take Care of Your New Leopard Gecko :
- How to Take Care of a Leopard Gecko That Won't Eat
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Geckos Species :
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