40 Fun Facts about Leopard Geckos

1. The scientific name of a leopard gecko is Eublepharis macularius.

2. The name “Eublepharis” means “well-made eyelid”.

3. The name “Macularius” means “spotted”.

4. Many hobbyists refer to leopard geckos simply as “leos”.

5. Leopard geckos are estimated to be one of the most commonly kept reptiles in the world, along with bearded dragons (Pogona sp.) and corn snakes (Pantherophis guttatus).

6. There is an estimated 3 million captive leopard geckos in the United States alone.

7. Some leopard geckos can reach lengths of 10-12 inches.

8. Most captive leopard geckos will live over 20 years, provided their owner’s husbandry is suitable.

9. Leopard geckos are ground-dwelling, but can be occasionally be found climbing rocks, walls, and enclosure decorations.

10. In the wild, leopard geckos have been recorded as high as 6800 feet above sea level.

11. Due to selective breeding, leopard geckos come in hundreds of different morphs (variations in color or pattern)

12. As leopard geckos are crepuscular, UVB is not entirely necessary, but has been proven to be beneficial.

13. Unlike most other geckos, leopard geckos have moveable eyelids, meaning they can blink and close their eyelids while asleep.

Image: Flickr

14. Leopard geckos can also see much better than many other geckos: herpetologists estimate their vision is similar to that of a cat’s.

15. Furthermore, leopard geckos also have surprisingly good hearing capabilities to avoid natural predators.

16. A leopard gecko’s ears are found on either side of their head and protected by a thin membrane.

17. If you look into the ears of your leo, you might be able to see light coming through the other side!

18. Leopard geckos lack toepads — and therefore, the ability to climb walls — in contrast to most other geckos.

19. Leopard geckos are insectivores, meaning they eat exclusively live invertebrates.

20. Leopard geckos are native to the arid regions of Pakistan, Iran, and Afghanistan.

21. In the wild, leopard geckos are found in crevices (such as holes in the ground and underneath rocks)

22. They have also been found frequenting the interiors of stone walls.

Image: Flickr

23. Leopard geckos occasionally form loose “groups” in the wild, but it’s still best if they are not cohabited in captivity.

24. In the food chain, leopard geckos are secondary consumers (insects eat plants, and geckos eat insects)

25. The natural predators of a leopard gecko include larger reptiles, large mammals, and birds.

26. If caught by a predator or frightened, leopard geckos will purposefully drop their tails as a distraction.

27. Once a leopard gecko’s tail is dropped, it can grow back, although usually it doesn’t look the same as it did before the incident.

28. While losing a tail is far preferable to being eaten, it is still an enormously stressful experience.

29. Most of a leopard gecko’s excess nutrients are stored in the tail, so if they do lose it, they will need to eat more protein and fat than usual to help it regrow.

30. Fat and other nutrients can also be stored in the armpits and sides, but when this occurs it is generally a sign the gecko is overweight.

31. Leopard geckos shed their skin frequently and regularly. This process is usually preceded by a lightening in the appearance of their skin.

Image: Flickr

32. After they have shed, leopard geckos will eat their old skin.

33. They do this to regain nutrients lost in the shedding process, and to not leave a scent trail behind for potential predators.

34. Leopard geckos will “scream” or chirp vocally when annoyed or even hungry. This is more common in babies and young juveniles.

35. They can also use this chirping sound to communicate, if the need arises.

36. When angry or frightened, leopard geckos will slowly wave their tails in a defensive manner. When hunting, the tail moves much faster and almost appears to rattle immediately before they attack an insect.

37. A leopard gecko’s sex is determined by their incubation temperature.

38. Warmer incubation temperatures (90° F) will result in almost all eggs being male.

39. Cooler incubation temperatures (80° F) will result in most of the eggs being female.

40. An incubation temperature of around 85° F will result in an equal amount of males and females.

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