For those who want to have an unusual pet at home, experts advise paying attention to the leopard gecko eublefar. This lizard is suitable for both advanced lovers of reptiles and beginners. Caring for her is easy, and her character will not create problems: she is a peaceful and positive creature, easily attached to a person and able to show her love.
The leopard gecko, or spotted leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius), is common in northwestern India, Pakistan, southeastern Afghanistan, and eastern Iran. It dwells on stony slopes of low mountains, almost devoid of vegetation, in dry and semi-dry steppes; leads a nocturnal and twilight lifestyle, hiding under stones and in caves during the day.
The body length of the leopard gecko is 25 to 30 cm, the female is slightly smaller. The coloration of the back is yellow, gray-yellow, or gray. The sides are light, almost white. Small dark spots of irregular shape are scattered on the upper part of the head, on the lips, back, and tail. In addition, two or three transverse rings of lilac color are sometimes noticeable on the tail. Cubs have a different color: on a light gray, almost white background, there are wide black transverse rings throughout the body and tail. This gecko accumulates fat in its tail, which helps it survive long periods of drought.
Like other lizards, in nature, the leopard gecko feeds on live food and catch it on their own. Therefore, in captivity, it is worth giving him such food. The following insects are best suited:
- various types of crickets: banana, brownie, two-spotted;
- Turkmen and marble cockroaches;
- Madagascar cockroach larvae;
- grasshoppers and locusts.
Social Behavior and Reproduction
This type of lizard is social, lives in groups of one male and several females. Males actively defend their territory from other males. They reach sexual maturity at the age of 9 to 12 months. Their breeding season begins after hibernation. Eggs are laid approximately 3-4 weeks after mating. There are only 1-2 eggs in a clutch, but there can be up to 10 clutches per year. The incubation period is highly temperature-dependent. Under the condition of the controlled temperature, the cubs hatch in 40-65 days. The sex of the cubs also depends on the temperature.
At temperatures below 26 ° C, only females appear, and at temperatures above 31.5 ° C, males appear more often. In nature, hatching occurs more often after 90-100 days. Cubs are 80 to 85 mm long and weigh 2-3 g. They are brownish in color with whitish stripes. At the age of 8 months, they acquire an adult color. In nature, males usually live for 8-10 years, single females for 5-8 years, and females that constantly breed for only 3-4 years. In terrariums, the life expectancy of eublephars reaches 20 years. They are easily tamed and over time begin to distinguish the owner from other people.
Content in the Terrarium
The best fit for one leopard gecko is a 40 cm long, wide and high terrarium. For a pair of geckos, it is worth increasing the length to 60 cm, but if there are more of them – from 3 to 7 – it is better to buy a terrarium even longer, up to 100 cm. The height is not as significant for them as the ground area, so you can reduce it to 35 cm.
The walls of the terrarium should be glass, not plastic, as the lizard will scratch them with its paws, and over time, many scratches will appear on them. The gecko’s home should have good ventilation and good UV lighting.
The ideal temperature for this type of animal is between 27 and 31 degrees Celsius. Since these are tropical inhabitants, it is difficult for them to survive in conditions of cold weather below 24 degrees. To maintain a suitable climate, you can put an infrared lamp or some kind of heated decor element in the terrarium.
At the bottom, it is best to place stones of a sufficiently large size or a rug that imitates grass. Other types of soil can be dangerous for the gecko: it can swallow small stones, and sand can get into the lungs or digestive system.