Can Leopard Gecko Live Alone?
Leopard gecko is one of the most commonly kept lizards today. Can Leopard Gecko Live Alone? Their docile nature and relative ease of care make them popular for home terrariums, as long as their habitat is representative of their native homes. The name “leopard gecko” is very appropriate, as the body color is often yellow with irregular black spots, but these charming little reptiles can be found in a variety of colors, patterns, and sizes.
Most captive leopard geckos retain the color pattern of their wild counterparts. The dorsal body is light to dark yellow with numerous black markings, the ventral body is white, and the tail is banded. However, several different color combinations have been produced through selective breeding programs.
“Leopard geckos generally prefer to live alone. If a male and female are kept together, their instinct is to breed. When two male leopard geckos are kept together, their instinct is to fight. When housing multiple leopard geckos together, it is wise to monitor their behavior and separate them if necessary. You’ll want to plan your leopard gecko habitat with ample space to keep all of your pets healthy and happy.”
A leopard gecko makes an excellent pet for many reasons. These colorful creatures are small, have minimal care requirements, and can be left alone for several days if necessary.
They are also quiet, don’t smell, and don’t need a lot of attention. Leopard geckos are inexpensive and easily available from pet stores and breeders. These tiny reptiles are also popular because they do not require a large amount of space. Leopard geckos come in a wide variety of colors and pattern variations too.
Habitat of Leopard Gecko
The climate in the leopard gecko’s native areas is arid and warm too hot for most of the year, but winter temperatures can cool down to 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius), driving the animals underground into semi-hibernation.
Family Life of Leopard Gecko
Leopard geckos are one of the most frequently bred species of geckos, and the majority of those kept as pets come from captive breeding rather than capture from the wild. Generally, fairly solitary by nature, leopard geckos can live alone, in a group with a single male and several females, or in a group of just females. Males should never be housed together because of aggressive behaviors.
As with most other species of reptiles, size or weight determines sexual maturity more than age does.
Leopard geckos become sexually mature when their weight reaches a little over an ounce (30 grams), at roughly 18 to 24 months of age.
Females produce one to five clutches of two eggs throughout the breeding season. Once the eggs have been laid, they are buried in the soft or loose substrate. The temperature of the incubation period in the first two weeks determines the sex of the offspring.
At a temperature of 79 degrees Fahrenheit (26 degrees Celsius), mostly females will be produced; at a range of 85 to 87 degrees Fahrenheit (29 to 31 degrees Celsius), an equal number of males and females will be produced; and at a temperature of 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius), mostly males will be produced.
The eggs hatch in 45 to 53 days. During the first week out of the shell, hatchlings live off the yolk from the egg. Like most other reptiles, they do not begin to feed on their own until after their first molt (shedding of skin), which should occur after the first week of hatching.
Can Leopard Kept Together?
You’ll commonly see a tank full of leopard geckos for sale in most of your large chain pet stores, often piled on top of each other vying for the best hiding places. When seeing this scenario in a pet shop after a pet shop, it may seem that it’s perfectly fine for leopard geckos to be kept together.
These are usually smaller juvenile leopard geckos that you see kept together in pet stores. They don’t take up as much space in the tanks or in the hides. Furthermore, under the circumstances, these lizards don’t have a choice. They’ve got to sit and sleep somewhere, and if there is only one space in the tank, it’s going to be overcrowded. This isn’t natural.
You’ll want to take a few things into consideration if you’re planning to have leopard geckos kept together;
- Leopard Gecko Sex
- Leopard Gecko Size
- Enclosure Size
- Leopard Gecko Health
Sex Matters; As leopard geckos become sexually mature, their sex affects how well they play together when sharing the same space.
Male/Male; Housing two male leopard geckos together is generally a bad idea. They can be territorial, and will very likely fight. Fighting between two males can result in injuries. It’s not uncommon for a leopard gecko to not only lose the fight but frequently lose its tail as well.
Female/Female; Two females are the safest combination if you’re keeping multiple leopard geckos in the same enclosure. They generally won’t cause problems with each other.
Even so, make sure each of your geckos has enough room and enough hiding places. You’ll still want to keep their relative size in consideration. If one is significantly larger than the other, the bigger one may dominate the tanks as well as the food supply.
Male/Female; Only put a male and female together if you want to breed them. Keep in mind that a female can produce eggs up to 8 times per mating season, and repeated egg production causes stress on the body and will ultimately reduce her lifespan.
If you’re housing a male and female together, consider how many eggs or baby geckos you’re ready for.
When not breeding, males and females should be kept separately. If your intent is to breed leopard geckos, it is best to house a single male with several females. Not only will this increase your egg production, but it will also reduce the strain on a single female. You’ll want to increase the size of your tank accordingly.
Leopard Gecko Size
Regardless of gender, a larger leopard gecko may monopolize the food supply. This could not only stunt the smaller gecko’s growth but will cause undue stress as it tries to get to the food but is denied by its dominant tank mate.
Enclosure or Tank Size
A 20-gallon tank should be the minimum size if you’re housing two (or more) leopard geckos together. Both geckos will want a hot and cool hide, and your tank will quickly become cramped.
When housing multiple leopard geckos, usually bigger is better. You’ll want to give them room to spread out and have their own territory and space.
Keep in mind that larger tanks are going to need ample heat. You still want a hot and cool side with a variance of the upper 70’s on the cool side to 90 degrees on the hot side. If you go big on the tank, make sure you plan your heating to maintain temperature.
The housing of Leopard Gecko
The housing for a leopard gecko is pretty basic and inexpensive. It’s best to have the materials you need for your gecko’s new home, all set up before you bring him home. This will give you an opportunity to make sure it is the correct temperature for him once he has arrived.
You will need an aquarium or terrarium with a screen top to prevent your gecko from escaping and help prevent any other pets from getting to your gecko. These can be purchased at any pet store. A 10-gallon tank should be more than sufficient for this tiny reptile. If you are going to have more than one gecko, the
So, to house two geckos you’d need a 20-gallon tank, and so on. Here’s what you’ll need to go inside the tank to complete his new habitat:
Lamp; placed on one side of the tank for light during the day. Because Leopard Geckos are nocturnal no additional UV or basking lights are necessary.
Heat pad; placed on one side of the tank, under the bottom of the glass. This creates a warm area and a cool area for your gecko to regulate body temperature. Do not use a heat rock. Your lizard may not know it’s too hot and can get burned. Geckos need access to a moist area to aid in shedding.
Hide box; a place for him to shelter himself during the day, as he is naturally a nocturnal creature.
Young leopards; should be kept on paper towels until they are 5-6 inches long. Leopard geckos are very active feeders and usually end up ingesting some of the substrates in the process of catching a cricket. Young leopard geckos have narrower digestive systems than adults, and it is easier for their system to become blocked or impacted if they consume the sand.
Adults; can be kept on sand, as their digestive tracks are capable of handling the tiny bit of sand they may ingest when they catch crickets.
Leopard Gecko Health
If you have multiple leopard geckos residing in the same space and one becomes sick, you’ll want to isolate the sick lizard for several reasons.
First, you don’t want the sickness to spread to other geckos. It’s best to treat your sick gecko away from the others as not to affect the healthy ones, and also let the sick gecko have a better chance to get better.
Second, the survival of the fittest. Your sick gecko may become a target for others. If nothing else, the healthy geckos can dominate the food supply, and the sick gecko will not have the strength to dominate. Lack of food will worsen the sick gecko’s condition.
- Two Males will Fight
- Males are Territorial
- Male and Female will Breed
- Two Females are Best Best