The leopard gecko, also known as the common leopard geckos and the panther gecko, is a medium-sized lizard.
Their habitats include dry and semi-dry desert regions and arid grasslands.
The lifespan for the leopard gecko is about 15 years in the wild and up to 22 years in captivity.
Adult males are typically from 20 to 25.5 cm (8 to 10 in) in length and weigh from 60 to 80 grams (2.1 to 2.8 oz).
Adult females are from 18 to 23 cm (7 to 9 in) in length and weigh from 50 to 70 grams (1.8 to 2.5 oz).
Leopard geckos have large heads, big eyes with oval-shaped pupils, thin toes, and, unlike other reptiles, they have eyelids.
They have thick tails that narrow to a point and, like their bodies and heads, are slightly flattened from top to bottom.
Most of their scales are small and rough. Spaced rows of larger, bumpy scales give them a knobby, rough look, but they are actually soft when touched.
Leopard geckos cannot climb up smooth surfaces because they do not have toe pads like most geckos.
They geckos shed their skin to prevent their scent from being detected.
Common leopard geckos are polyphyodonts and able to replace each of their 100 teeth every 3 to 4 months.
Common leopard geckos range in color from a yellow to brownish-orange base with spots covering all or mostly half of the dorsal region of the body.
Leopard geckoes are nocturnal, sheltering under rocks or in burrows in daylight. During periods of activity, the gecko tends to be an inquisitive animal, and although a ground-dwelling species, the clawed toes of the leopard gecko allow them to climb rocks and branches where they can easily absorb heat.
These geckos are solitary, and do not usually live with other animals.
In captivity, leopard gecko diets usually consist of crickets, mealworms, waxworms, pinkie or nestling mice, locusts, grasshoppers, and springtails.
Once a breeding season begins, you can expect female leopard geckos to lay a clutch every 15 to 22 days over a 4 to 5 month period. Depending upon incubation temperature, they’ll start hatching in 35 to 89 days. Baby leopard geckos will have an “egg tooth”, a calcareous tip at the end of its snout to help break their egg shell. Their “egg tooth” will fall off within one to two days. In addition to this, their skin will usually shed within 24 hours of hatching.
Common leopard geckos have predators such as snakes, foxes, and other large reptiles. Their keen sense of hearing and sight help them escape from them during the night. Along with their exceptional sight and hearing abilities, their skin helps camouflage themselves from their predators.
The leopard gecko is probably the most popular pet reptile in captivity today.
Leopard geckos are friendly, docile creatures by nature, but they sometimes bite. If held in a human hand they will only bite if they mistake a finger for food, or if the person is holding the gecko too tightly.
Captive born and bred leopard geckos do not carry any diseases that are transmissible to humans.
Leopard geckos were first described as a species by zoologist Edward Blyth in 1854 as Eublepharis macularius.