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Leopard gecko. Leopard gecko care, habitat, lifespan. Albino leopard gecko
Leopard gecko. Common leopard gecko
Leopard gecko - or, as it is also called, spotted gecko is one of the favorite pets living in our gecko family terrariums. This species was first described by Blytom in 1854.
Adults of the leopard gecko have a size of 158 mm. (from nose to anus). However, amateurs often measure their entire pets, from nose to tail. If measured in this way, some animals may be up to 28 cm long.
On average, the size (with tail) and weight of the gecko is the same:
- Males are 20-28 cm long. Weight 60-80 g.
- Females 18-20 cm. Weight 50-70 g.
- Newborn geckos have the size of 7-10 cm and 2-5 g. weight.
The back of the adult is painted from straw yellow to light grey violet, often with shades of pink. On the dorsal part there are blue-black spots, in some cases separate and rare, and in other cases they can merge into a grid, which is located in place of dark stripes of juvenilic coloring of the geckon.
The back of newborn geckos is colored in dark (from brown to black) color. Two or three yellow stripes run across the body. The neckline is white and runs from the neck through the ear holes to the lip region.
The dorsal tubercles are widely spaced, clearly marked and pointed. The middle side of the backrest is usually large in size compared to the interhillock space. The chin plates are usually adjacent to the first lower lipstick.
Abdominal scales of round shape are located in 21-30 rows in the middle of the body. In each tail scroll there are 3 transverse rows of abdominal scales. The tail scales are rounded and slightly convex from the dorsal part. The eyelids consist of 46-57 bordering scales.
The elements of the dorsal pattern are not arranged linearly. There are several separate hillocks on the scallops. The end flange blades are bifurcated. The height of the ear canal is 11/2 of the intercurrent distance.
Leopard gecko care. How to care for a leopard gecko?
Before you start a leopard gecko, you need to prepare a terrarium for it. The size of a reptile's home will depend on how many geckos you decide to buy. For a single reptile perfectly suited to an aquarium size of 30x30x30, if the reptiles will be three, you need to choose a larger aquarium, optimally - 50x30x30.
At the bottom of the terrarium you need to place branches, pebbles, places for shelter, as well as living plants.
To make your pet feel as comfortable as possible, provide the gecko with the necessary conditions. The temperature in the terrarium should be at least 24⁰С during the day and at night at least 20⁰С To do this, you will need to install a daylight lamp inside the terrarium.
The easiest way to keep one leopard gecko is to keep one leopard gecko, but if you're planning to breed exotic pets, don't forget that males are quite aggressive animals. The best way to breed is to choose from a single male and female family.
Leopard gecko morphs
Morpha is a group of animals of the same species that differ from other groups in this population by certain external signs. This difference can be not only in body colouring, stains, body shape, etc., but also in the behaviour of animals.
Gecko morphs are different in appearance and hereditary features or a set of features of leopard geckos. For example, different coloration, presence or absence of stains, etc. These morphs are maintained within certain animal breeding lines. That is to say, that when you breed babies of the same morph, you need to have parents from one such line, which has the genes responsible for making the offspring turn out to be of a certain color.
Currently, there are already hundreds of different selection lines of geckos. Some of them are better known, some are not. Every breeder can try to develop his own morphine. This is not an easy thing to do, but it is interesting and useful for the whole community of animal lovers.
The most common morphs of the geckon:
Normal is the ancestor of all morphs. Normal - natural colored geckons, plenty of black spots on yellow background, tail most often white with spots, juvenil coloring - black and yellow transverse stripes.
High Ellow - very similar to Normal, but their body has a rich yellow color and fewer black dots on the body. It's a bred morph. Juvenil coloring is no different from the kids Normal, teenagers become brighter and gain their main color by the year.
Leopard gecko habitat
Leopard geckos were found in the south-east of Afghanistan, in the north-western part of India, in Pakistan. Previously it was believed that this species is also found in Iran, but recent data (2008) did not confirm this data.
Spotted geckos are residents of semi-deserts and arid steppes. Their habitats include sandy stony soils, rocky placers and heavy clay soils. Vegetation is represented by drought-resistant shrubs and herbs. In the natural habitat it is a protective color and it provides excellent camouflage and allows to merge with the surrounding area.
In the homeland of leopard geckos, water and food may be inaccessible for several months, and temperatures range from 5-15ºC in winter to 40ºC and above in summer. Because of the low temperatures in winter, animals fall into a semi-hibernation. This is not an anabiosis, but a kind of "wintering", during which geckos hiding underground in shelters and burrows wait until the cold season, living off the fat stored in the lizard's tail.
Perhaps because of these harsh conditions, spotted geckos are able to adapt well to different conditions, including home maintenance.
Leopard geckos lifespan
At large, males live for 8-10 years, single females for 5-8 years, and females that breed constantly for 3-4 years. In terrariums, the life expectancy of geckos reaches 20 years.
Baby leopard gecko
The cubs are 80 to 85 mm long and weighing 2-3 g. They have brownish coloring with white stripes. At the age of 8 months they acquire an adult coloring.
Adult gecko can be easily distinguished by the floor. First of all, we look at the goosebumps. On a stomach near a fold of cloaks in males it is visible a number of scales in the form of a triangle, with the open pores (preanal pores), and below folds of cloaks, at the level of the base of a tail - protruding tubercle.
Females also have a triangle in the lower abdomen, but it is weaker and there are no visible open pores. The gut is much more flat and short.
How to sex a leopard gecko?
Additional features include the shape of the base of the tail, if we look from above - in males this place is more even and wide, and in females the tail has a "waist" - a narrowing at the base and then the expansion of the magnificent tail.
Of course, all this applies to healthy, well-nourished geckos. If a person was kept in unsuitable conditions and was poorly fed, or sick and exhausted, and has a thin tail, it makes no sense to look at the shape of the base of the tail.
Another additional feature is the shape of the head and neck of an adult. Males usually have a larger head and a wider, more powerful neck, a stronger skeleton. Females are usually more elegant. But here more and more individually, and of course, when determining the sex of teenage geckos, we will not pay attention to this sign, they have not gained their full weight and size.
The behavior of males and females is absolutely different, and calm melancholic females and quick sociable males, and vice versa. Adult males mark the territory during the breeding period - when changing napkins on the floor of the terrarium, the first thing my males do is to wipe the entire territory, crawl low on their feet all around the perimeter, pressing down on the butt, or rather, preanalytic pores, to the surface. I have not noticed such behavior in teenage males and adult males outside the breeding season.