Leopard gecko

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Leopard Gecko
Missing image
Meka_003.jpg



Leopard gecko, four months old
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Reptilia
Order:Squamata
Suborder:Sauria
Family:Gekkonidae
Genus:Eublepharis
Species:E. macularius
Binomial name
Eublepharis macularius

Eublepharis macularius, commonly known as the Leopard Gecko, is a nocturnal ground dwelling gecko commonly found in the desert areas of Pakistan, Northwestern India and Afghanistan. The etymology of their name is 'eu' = Good (=true) |'blephar' = Eyelid | 'macularius' = Spotted.

The leopard gecko gets its common name from the adult coloration of wild specimen, which is generally a cream to yellow ground color with black spots. Leopard geckos are considered one of the easiest lizards to breed. In captivity, a number of distinct breeds have been created possessing many varied colors and patterns. Some of these include: High yellow, orange, striped, patternless (no spots or stripes), lavender, "blizzard lizard" (which are solid white), and amelanistic (no black pigments in markings).

Leopard geckos are one of only a few gecko species that have eyelids. This helps the gecko keep its eyes clean and particle free in its dusty environment. Most geckos clean and moisten their eyes with their tongues. Another interesting difference in leopard geckos from most other gecko species is the absence of adhesive toe pads. Instead, they have small claws. Leopard geckos cannot climb walls or glass, although their claws give extra traction on the ground.Like all geckos they shed their tail if chased or grabbed though they will eventually grow a new one.

In its natural environment, the leopard gecko lives under rocks or in small caves to avoid temperature extremes. Like many desert dwelling species it is most active at night, hunting insects, scorpions, spiders, and small rodents as its prey.

Leopard geckos are only slightly sexually dimorphic with the males being somewhat more heavy-bodied than females. Males possess a V-shaped row of enlarged pre-anal pores and a pair of hemipenal swellings at the base of the tail. Females have pre-anal pits and lack paired swelling at the base of the tail. Gender is designated during egg incubation dependent on the incubation temperature but gender characteristcs are not visible in young geckos.

Leopard Geckos as Pets

Leopard Geckos are widely considered to be a very good pet for a begining herpetologist for several reasons. Some of the reasons they are considered highly desireable include their small size, ease of care, cleanliness (they deficate in one corner of their enclosure), long life span (20+ years), and wide color range. They can usually be handled well by children with the close supervision of an adult, as their tails can fall off if stressed or frightened.

References

External Links

de:Leopardgecko nl:Luipaardgekko

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