We all have a soul animal. We do!
Sometimes we find them out immediately, and sometimes it takes a while.
You may have walked in to get yourself a pet to have some company, but when you walked out with that pair of leopard geckos, we bet you didn’t know for the life of you how interesting your life was going to become!
These lizards, with striking patterns on their bodies, are so inquisitive and cute that your days will be filled with fun and frolic playing with them and then again watching their antics and laughing your head off.
The Leopard geckos are used to living in captivity:
It must be 30 years by the most conservative estimates since these cute lizards have been making homes out of people’s houses. They bring in so much cheer and laughter that you can easily not need any companion as long as they are with you.
They can live pretty long:
The average lifespan of lizards is around 5 to 7 years if they are in the wild. But in captivity, their average age is pegged safely approximately 10 to 15 years. Some can live up to 20 years even. And we are so heartened to tell you that one male leopard gecko still exists at a ripe age of 28! Whoa!!
Their size is not intimidating at all:
Hatchlings will not be more than your palm. But they can grow amazingly fast. By the time they are adults, make can be 8 to 10 inches in length, and a female will gracefully be 7 to 9 inches. Some geckos that have a wild gene can grow up to a foot, but you would rarely come across them in pet stores. They are sold at premium rates on the specialized breeder’s websites.
Where can you find your gecko companions?
Your neighborhood pet store is an excellent bet because these are the most preferred reptile pets across the US. In case you are looking to buy unique morphs, you can try online hunting them with specialized breeders who will give you a choice till you drop!
Pet expos, classified in newspapers and hands me down rescue animals, are also up at some point or the other. Keep your eyes open, and you will surely hit the right place when a leopard gecko is looking for a loving home and owner like you.
What the asking price?
The leopard gecko is called Eublepharis Macularius, and it is a breed that is relatively easy to keep. The asking price for a pair of the gecko can be easily in the range of $50 to $500.
The premium morphs with colors and inane designs can fetch the breeders anywhere in the range of $300. Untie the strings of your wallet if you are looking for fabulous patterns and colors. But if you are someone who has fallen for those earthy colored ones with dark striped patterns till the tail, you will get some great deals. Also, why not put some bargaining tricks to use!
Where you can house them:
Like we said already, these geckos are not fussy with most things. You can keep them in plastic containers, and they will happily stay. But if you are someone who thinks that they deserve a sturdy house, we would highly recommend a 20-gallon aquarium or enclosure that will nicely serve for two.
The leopard gecko is not territorial like the Bearded Dragons, and so there is no real danger in letting them cohabit. Too big enclosures can mean that they get lost in the space and not be able to benefit from the light and the heat sources. Go for small or medium compounds for them.
Other things to keep in mind:
- The enclosure must be at least one foot in height
- There must be a secure screen on top that keeps cats and other predators away
- A secured light fixture
- Good ventilation
- A box of moist moss or vermiculite that will be particularly helpful in the gecko’s skin shedding
- Plants and small pebbles for them to climb and pass the time.
If you intend to breed them, you must provide them with all the conveniences of egg-laying and hatching.
The ideal temperature:
The enclosure must be ideally at 80 to 90F. Use a low wattage bulb for providing heated light in the compound. You could keep it on for about half a day. There is no need for UVB radiation light because they do not need it as the beardie does.
The cage can be lined with newspaper or some form of artificial turf. It can even be left by itself. Didn’t we tell you, in the beginning, itself that these are no-fuss pets!
Create a corner in the enclosure, however, to earmark it as their relieving zone. Clean that area every day to make sure that the enclosure is neat and clean for daily habitation. Avoid laying sand and other chemical planters like the plague. Sand ingestion by the gecko can cause intestinal impaction, and chemicals and pesticides in the plants can be harmful to the Lizzies if they swallow it.
Food and water:
Geckos are particular about food only. Come on, this much is allowed.
They will not entertain all your coaxing and cajoling to eat veggies and fruits. No, thank you! But they will readily acknowledge your hands if it is live crickets, mealworms, wax worm, or fly larvae that you are offering. Who refuses reasonable offers, by the way, eh!
Clean water, please, and regularly cleaned and refilled. The dish must be shallow for them to climb in and out at will. And of course, no vitamin and mineral drop in water.
Handle with care in the beginning:
Geckos, even if bred in captivity, will need to be tamed for a period of 7 to 10 days. They need to get accustomed to your touch. Give them a little time and your patience. Sit down beside it and let them take their time in trusting you. A general advisory is not to handle them too much unless they are decently sized, say 7 inches. And never hold it by the tail because, like all lizards, they will drop it, and it will invariably take 40 – 45 days for it to regrow.
There you are, gecko experts! Go for them!!