Eublepharis maculariusLeopard Gecko

Family

  • Gekkonidae

Lifespan

  • Average captive lifespan: 20 - 22 years
  • Average wild lifespan: 10 - 15 years

Size

  • Average adult length : 8 - 10 inches

Range

  • Afghanistan
  • Iraq
  • Iran
  • Northwest India
  • Pakistan 

Habitat

  • Arid rocky areas
  • Semi-dry deserts
  • Arid grasslands

Diet

  • Carnivore
  • In the wild:scorpions, centipedes, spiders and beetles
  • At the zoo:crickets and wax worms

Reproduction

  • Oviparous (lays eggs)
  • Clutch size averages 2 eggs; a healthy female can lay as many as six clutches a year
  • Eggs usually hatch after 45-53 days
  • Sexually mature at 10-14 months of age
  • Eggs development is visible inside the female
  • Young have a black-banded pattern which turns to spots around one month old

Description:Leopard Gecko

  • Males are usually bulkier than females
  • Background colors can vary: orange, tangerine, yellow, blue, aqua, purple, or patternless (no spots)
  • They have movable eyelids (unusual for geckos)
  • Unlike many other geckos they do not have adhesive toe pads
  • Have small claws on feet

Conservation:

  • Very popular amongst the pet trade, most are now captive born.

Interesting Facts:

  • Gecko is a term derived from the call of a large Asian species of gecko
  • In some places of the world they are referred to as "chit-chat" lizards because of their vocalizations
  • Most of the captive born individuals have Pakistani ancestry
  • This species eats its shed skin to prevent predators from knowing its location and to derive additional nutrients
  • The thick tail is used to store fat for drought periods
  • The Leopard Gecko is nocturnal and takes shelter under rocks or other cover during the day
  • This species can hibernate in the winter and aestivate in the hottest months of the summer
  • This species practices autotomy - it can drop its tail when threatened!  This is a common practice in lizards

Sources

1.    Burnie, David and Don E. Wilson. Smithsonian Institution Animal: the definitive visual guide to the world’s wildlife. New York, New York. DK Publishing, Inc. 2001.
2.    Woods, V. 2001. “Eublepharus macularius” (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed September 04, 2009 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umish.edu/site/accounts/information/Eublepharis_Macularius.html