A Leopard Gecko Introduction.

The leopard gecko is a fantastic pet lizard that in nature is found living on dry, hot, rocky grassland and desert regions. The are easy to maintain and have captive bred since the 1970’s. They are one of the most popular pet lizard in the hobby. The are hardy and readily available.
Leopard Geckos are long lived with most living 10+ years when well cared for with some living as long as 20 years.
Adult Leopard Gecko can reach a length of 7-8″ and some adult males of the bigger giant bloodlines growing to 10-11″.


Leopard Geckos come from a warm climate, here in the UK the gecko would not survive in with our relative cold temperatures and humidity levels. The leopard gecko enjoys a temperature gradient within their enclosure, starting nice and warm at one end and getting cooler as they move away from this area. Most keeper would choose and wooden enclosure for adults and smaller plastic enclosures for hatchlings as they will feed it easier to catch the feeder insects in a smaller home and a very large one. Regardless of enclosure size a temperature gradient must be provided.


In their natural environment the leopard gecko would basking in temperatures of around 90 degrees Fahrenheit. As keepers we must keep 1/3 of the enclosure at this temperature and then provide a gradient to 70 degrees Fahrenheit on the opposite side. We can achieve this by using basking heat lamps attached to the enclosures ceiling on one side of the enclosure. This should be controlled by a dimmer thermostat to ensure the correct temperature is maintained. The heat guard must also be provided for the basking lamp as a leopard gecko may be able to reach the the heat lamp even without the aid of enclosure decor to climb on. The basking lamp should be used for a period of 10-12 hours per day.

Alternative accepted heating is by using a heat mat attached to a thermostat set to 90 Fahrenheit covering 1/3 of the enclosure, normally if a heat mat is used the enclosure chosen is designed for heat mat use or you can get glass inserts to put the mat inside so that the substrate is not sitting directly on the heat mat which prevents thermal blocking.

At night time, all enclosure and room lights should be turned off provided complete darkness. This will give the gecko a clear day/night cycle.

During the evening a leopard gecko requires a temperature of 80 degrees Fahrenheit. If the gecko evening room ambient temperature is below this then a additional supplementary heat source should be provided is the form a reptile heat used in conjunction with a on/off thermostat.

All temperatures in the enclosure should be monitored with the use of at least one additional thermometer.

UVB Lighting

UVB lighting is not general recommended for leopard geckos as they are naturally nocturnal and are more active at night. A low UVB output lamp 2% or 5% UVB for a normal leopard gecko, however for albino morphs a 2% UVB is a better option. Any UVB lamps/tubes should be mounted towards the back of the enclosure on the warm side to provide a uvb gradient.
At all times a leopard gecko should be provided with several hides to provide partial or full shade if desired.

Decorations, Hides & Substrate

Wild leopard geckos thrive in low humidity conditions and are used to climbing over hard surfaces when basking. When choosing the substrate its best to have products that do not increase the enclosures humidity. Many keepers use beech chips as they are cheap and easy to spot clean while others choose soil and clay mixes which also work well. 
Leopard gecko enjoy the heat from basking lamps but the also enjoy belly heat that radiates from warm objects like a piece of slate or heavy decor/ornaments. Its important to monitor the temperature of this type of decor so ensure they do not get too hot and burn your new friend.
Decor that provides hiding areas and shade is also required..

We tend to have tides all over the enclosure so the leopard gecko can go where it wishes. It’s important to have hides both on the warm side and cool side of the enclosure.
A damp hide on the cool side of the enclosure should be provided for the leopard gecko as it will tend to use this when it is time to shed.

Food & Water

The leopard gecko is a carnivore and will feed aggressively on crickets, locusts, mealworms, morio-worms, wax worms, cockroaches and beetle grubs of an appropriate size.
Crickets and locusts tend to be the staple diet whilst grubs and wax worms should be offered as a treat as they are fattening and some geckos will take a liking to them a refuse other insects.
A water bowl should be provided in the enclosure at all times even if you are unlikely to see the leopard gecko use it.


Babies may go off their food if handled every day. Adults will tolerate more handling, within reason.


Use a reptile multi-vitamin and calcium supplement.

Cleaning & Maintenance

Like with most pets its important to maintain a clean environment for your gecko to thrive.
It is recommend that your spot clean as often as possible normally every few days is a good idea.
A complete clean and change of substrate should be carried out every 4 weeks.
If its a bio-active enclosure then once every 6 months in recommended.
During cleaning all animals must be removed from the enclosure so that you can properly clean all the decor, fixtures and fittings with a good high quality reptile safe disinfectant.


If a make and female are kept together they could breed.
You need to consider if this is something you wish to happen.

A gravid female with need a nest box to lay her eggs.

A suitable incubation such as hathrite should be used.

The eggs would then need to be incubated at:-
81/83 degrees Fahrenheit to get mostly females 65 days roughly.
84-86 degrees Fahrenheit to get a 50/50% mix of males/females 55 days roughly
87-89 degrees Fahrenheit to get mostly males 40 days roughly

Further research should be undertaken if you are serious about breeding your leopard geckos.

Summary Of Recommended Supplies

Glass, wood or plastic vivarium
Heat mat with thermostat
Thermometer gauge
Full spectrum lighting if required
Multi-vitamin and calcium supplements
Small water bowl
Live food
Hides and climbing decorations
Damp humid hide
Gut load for live food