Leopard Gecko Caresheet
The information on this care sheet is the result of knowledge I have gained through reading other care sheets and books, discussions on various web forums, veterinary advice and my own experiences with leopard geckos. This information represents what I have personally found useful and interesting.
This page is copyright of Pauline Smith 2004
A basic leopard gecko caresheet is also available.
1 - Natural History
1.1 - Classification
Leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius) are members of the subfamily Eublepharinae (which derives from the Latin Eu meaning good/true, and blephar meaning eyelid). The possession of a "true eyelid" distinguishes members of this subfamily, from other geckos- other geckos do not possess eyelids. The second part of the species name, macularius, derives from the Latin macula meaning spot or blemish, which is self-explanatory (although it might not be so obvious in the future given the current popularity of selectively bred colour morphs, particularly the patternless and hypo-morphs; the best of which have no black spotting at all!).
1.2 - Characteristics
The leopard gecko is native to dry, rocky habitat in Pakistan, India and Afghanistan. Being a nocturnal species they sleep during the day in humid burrows, coming out to hunt at night. Leopard geckos can live for up to 20 years, some sources have reported up to 25 years! (something you should consider before getting one as a pet). Adults can reach up to 12 inches in size (from snout to tail tip), however a more average size would be approximately 8 inches. Adults can weigh anything from 50-100g. Generally, females are smaller, averaging 7-8 inches, 55g, while the males average 9-11 inches, 70-90g. Having said that, two of my biggest leos are female (10 inches; 80g, 9.5 inches; 87g). Adult size (lengthwise) should be reached at around 1 year, by which time the leos should also be sexually mature. Once the adult size has been reached the leos may fill-out, continuing to gain weight for another year or so.