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Arid Gecko

includes leopard geckos and tibetan frog-eyed geckos

Arid geckos come in a variety of interesting colors and are great for first-time lizard pet parents.

Arid Gecko

Arid Gecko Facts

Average Adult Size 4 to 9 inches long, depending on species
Average Life Span up to 20 years with proper care
Diet insectivore

Will reach adult size in 9 to 18 months, depending on species and under ideal conditions; upgrade habitat size as your reptile grows.

Diet

A well-balanced arid gecko diet consists of:

  • A variety of insects, including crickets, small mealworms and waxworms. Use gut-loaded (recently fed) crickets no larger than the space between the gecko's eyes.

Feeding

Things to remember when feeding your arid gecko:

  • Fresh, clean, chlorine-free water should be available at all times.
  • Feed juveniles and adults daily.
  • Sprinkle food with calcium supplement daily and a multi-vitamin supplement once or twice a week.

Housing

  • Size - appropriately size habitat with secure cover.
  • Habitat - provide hiding areas with non-toxic plants, branches, logs, and cork; keep hiding areas away from the heat source. Maintain humidity below 50%.
  • Substrate - Use forest bedding, calci sand or terrarium carpet.
  • Temperature - temperature gradient (88°F for the warm end and 78°F for the cool end).
  • Lighting - provide lighting for 10 to 12 hours a day; an incandescent bulb can be used for basking area during daylight hours only; can use a ceramic heater or nocturnal heat bulb at all hours.
  • Arid geckos will need UVB lighting if they are not nocturnal.
  • Do not house males together and do not house different reptile species together.

Normal Behavior

  • Nocturnal (active during the night) and hide under rocks or burrow into the sand during the day.
  • Never grab a gecko by its tail as they may drop their tail.

Habitat Maintenance

  • Thoroughly clean and disinfect the habitat at least once a week: place gecko in a secure habitat; scrub the tank and furnishings with a 3% bleach solution; rinse thoroughly with water, removing all traces of bleach smell. Dry the tank and furnishings completely and add clean substrate.

Grooming & Hygiene

  • Geckos regularly shed their skin; ensure humidity of habitat is at appropriate level to allow proper shedding. To facilitate shedding, bathe in a container that allows the gecko to immerse its entire body or provide a shed box, a hide box with sphagnum moss, that will aid in the shedding process.

Health

Signs of a Healthy Animal

  • Active and alert
  • Clear eyes
  • Body and tail are rounded, filled out
  • Healthy skin
  • Clear nose and vent
  • Eats regularly

Red Flags

  • weight loss or decreased appetite
  • mucus in mouth or nose
  • swelling
  • lethargy
  • bumps, sores, or abrasions on skin
  • labored breathing
  • paralysis of limbs
  • abnormal feces
  • retained shed

If you notice any of these signs, contact your veterinarian.

Common Health Issues

Health Issue Symptoms or Causes Suggested Action
Health Issue Gastro-intestinal disease Symptoms or Causes Runny stools, caked or smeared stool around the vent area, and loss of appetite caused by bacterial or parasitic infection. Suggested Action Consult your veterinarian.
Health Issue Metabolic bone/vitamin deficiency Symptoms or Causes Inability to absorb calcium due to insufficient UVB light, or not being provided the proper amount of calcium/vitamin D supplements. If untreated, can lead to a disorder characterized by deformities and softened bones. Swollen limbs and lethargy. Suggested Action Consult your veterinarian and provide ample UVB lighting and proper calcium/vitamin supplements.
Health Issue Respiratory disease Symptoms or Causes Labored breathing and mucus in the mouth or nose. Can be caused by a habitat that is too cold or damp. Suggested Action Consult your veterinarian and ensure habitat is the proper temperature.

Sources

Ask a store partner about Petco's selection of books on arid geckos and the variety of private brand products available for the care and happiness of your new pet. All private brand products carry a 100% money-back guarantee.

Because all reptiles are potential carriers of infectious diseases, such as Salmonella, always wash your hands before and after handling your reptile or habitat contents to help prevent the potential spread of disease.

Pregnant women, children under the age of 5, senior citizens and people with weakened immune systems should contact their physician before purchasing or caring for reptiles and should consider not having a reptile as a pet.

Go to the Centers for Disease Control at cdc.gov/healthypets for more information about Geckos and disease.

This care sheet can cover the needs of other species.

Note:The information in this Care Sheet is not a substitute for veterinary care. If you need additional information, please refer to the sources on the following page or contact your veterinarian as appropriate.

Developed with and approved by a qualified veterinarian.