Leopard gecko facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Leopard Gecko
A 'High Yellow' morph leopard gecko.
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Lacertilia
Family: Gekkonidae
Subfamily: Eublepharinae
Genus: Eublepharis
Species: E. macularius
Binomial name
Eublepharis macularius
Blyth, 1854

The Leopard gecko, also known as the Panther gecko or the Common Leopard gecko, is a medium-sized lizard of the genus "Eublepharis". They can be found in the southern part of Central Asia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, northwest India, and parts of Iran; living mostly in dry rocky regions, dry grasslands and deserts.

Description

Leopard geckos are around 7-9 inches (17.8-22.9 cm) long, with large heads, big eyes with oval-shaped pupils, thin toes, and, unlike other reptiles, they have eyelids. They have thick tails that narrow to a point and, like their bodies and heads, are slightly flattened from top to bottom. Most of their scales are small and rough. Spaced rows of larger, bumpy scales give them a knobby, rough look, but they are actually soft when touched. Baby Leopard geckos are 85 mm long when they hatch, and when they hatch they have dark bands which go around their bodies.These bands lighten as the babies grow into adults which have spots instead of bands. Leopard geckos are normally lavender or yellow in colour, but pet Leopard geckos come in different "colour morphs" like albino, "Banana blizzard", "Blizzard", "Ghost", "High Yellow", "Hyper Xanthic", "Jungle", "Leucistic", "Normal" or "Wild", "Patternless", "Red-stripe", "Snow", "Tremper Albino" and many more.

Like many lizards, the Leopard gecko has a tail that breaks off when grabbed by a predator. The tail breaks at a crack in the vertebra, and the surrounding muscles are arranged so that they separate neatly and instantly. A muscle closes around the artery in the tail at the point of the break and stops blood loss. Normally a new tail grows back. This method helps the Leopard gecko to escape when attacked.

Eublepharis macularius fg01
A Leopard gecko that has lost and grown back it's tail

Habitat

The Leopard gecko is found in dry rocky regions, dry grasslands and deserts of southern Central Asia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, northwest India, and parts of Iran. The temperatures of these areas during winter can be quite low, below 10 °C (50 °F), forcing the animals underground into semi-hibernation, called brumation, and they live on fat reserves. Leopard geckos are crepuscular reptiles; during the day they hide in burrows, but they are active at dawn and dusk when the temperature is favorable.

Behaviour

Leopard gecko adultfemale
A small female

Leopard Geckos are friendly, docile creatures by nature, but they sometimes bite. If held in a human hand they will only bite if they mistake a finger for food, or if the person is holding the gecko too tightly.

Feeding

In the wild, Leopard geckos feed mainly on insects, fruits, spiders, snails, small lizards, birds, and bird eggs. In captivity they feed on mealworms, crickets, and sometimes baby mice.

Reproduction

Leopard geckos can lay up to five clutches of one or (usually) two eggs during the five month breeding season, and may use some of the stored sperm to fertilize each clutch. The eggs hatch after around 55 days.

Subspecies

Exotic-pet-reptile-leopard-gecko-
Carrot Tailed Leopard Gecko looking at camera

There are five subspecies of the Leopard gecko:

  • Afghan leopard gecko, Eublepharis macularius afghanicus
  • Eublepharis macularius fasciolatus
  • Eublepharis macularius macularius
  • Eublepharis macularius montanus
  • Eublepharis macularius smithi

Images for kids


Leopard gecko Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.