Leopard Gecko Selection
The Leopard Gecko Selection process is not complicated, but can impact how you initially care for your leopard gecko as well as choose your leopard gecko. This section of the leopard gecko care guide will help you in determining what questions you need to ask yourself as well as the seller.
There are 2 types of leopard gecko purchases. There are those that purchase the leopard gecko as a pet with no intent on breeding, and there are those that purchase the leopard gecko as a pet with complete intent on breeding. (Either now or in the future.) You should know which category you fall into because certain questions that need to be considered by breeders, or potential breeders, do not necessarily need to be considered by the simple pet owner. It is however a good idea to know this information because it expands your knowledge of the species you own.
Know what you are buying! That is crucial, especially if you intend on breeding. If you buy a normal phase leopard gecko and are considering producing an enigma phase leopard gecko, you are making a bad purchase. The genetic components and the bloodlines in which they stem from are crucial to creating specific morphs that are available on the market. By knowing the morph you are buying, and the bloodline in which it has come from, you enable yourself to determine what type of offspring you will be capable of producing.
In order to completely understand how the genetic make-up of your leopard gecko will impact the offspring produced, I suggest you take a little while and read from our genetics section. Make sure you completely understand the genetics aspect of breeding before you decide to breed.
The Leopard Geckos Age
Knowing the age of the leopard gecko allows you to know the commitment you are making to caring for this animal. Leopard geckos, with proper husbandry, can and should live 20 years or more in captivity. This is a large commitment for many people, and for some, too long. Ensure you are willing to commit yourself to this animals needs for 20 years before you jump into purchasing one of these animals.
If you intend on breeding this animal, knowing the age will also let you know if your leopard gecko is sexually mature, or how long it will be before it is sexually mature. This is especially important for those purchasing the leopard gecko to add to their breeding colony. The investment in a high quality breeder that is not sexually mature, but was intended for breeding purposes that season will be a severe blow to the breeding project.
The Leopard Geckos Enclosure Set-up
This information can be very important, especially if any medical issues were to arise following the purchase of the leopard gecko. Find out what type of substrate was used and what temperatures the enclosure was maintained at. You should also note if a moist hide was in use. These 3 components make up the basis for many illnesses that could arise. Knowing this will allow you to be able to offer your vet more information if something were to arise.
The Leopard Geckos Diet
Whenever you purchase a new reptile, you want to initially supply them with food items they are accustomed too. Some leopard geckos will stop eating for several days when they are first introduced to their new environment. This is normal and should be expected. They will begin eating again once they have adjusted to their surroundings. If the gecko decides it does want to eat, you want to make sure that it recognizes the prey as food.
If you believe the diet the leopard gecko was receiving was inadequate, you can begin introducing new prey without causing the gecko any unneeded stress.
The Leopard Geckos Supplements
Find out what type of calcium and vitamin supplements, if any, the previous owner was using. This is important because there are certain medical issues directly related to nutritional intake. In addition to what types of supplements were used, find out how often they were being utilized.
The Leopard Geckos Sex
If you intend on owning more than one leopard gecko, or currently own a leopard gecko and are looking to add another to the enclosure, you MUST know what sex the leopard gecko is that you currently own. You also need to know the sex of the leopard gecko you will be buying. If you own a male, you will need to have another enclosure for any new geckos that you purchase. Males should be housed by themselves until it is breeding season, and even then, should return to isolation after copulation has transpired.
If you place a male and a female in the same enclosure permanently, the male will eventually breed with her. He will stress her out greatly over time, as he will keep breeding with her throughout the entire season. This can lead to medical issues and should be avoided at all times.
Males can not be housed with other males. While on very rare occasions a single male will simply claim the dominant position and will leave the other male alone, most will fight continuously until one is either removed or has expired.
Females can be housed together successfully. Once the quarantine period for the new leopard gecko has passed, they can be introduced so long as the enclosure is large enough for both of them. You should pay attention to the housing of multiple leopard geckos in a single enclosure. A large female will sometimes claim a dominant position within the group and will bully the others. She should be isolated when this is observed.
You can learn more about sexing leopard geckos here: Sexing Leopard Geckos
The Leopard Geckos Past
Ask the seller if the leopard gecko you are purchasing has ever had any medical issues. If the gecko were housed with other leopard geckos, did any of his cagemates ever have any medical issues. A leopard gecko that was housed with other leopard geckos, which may have been treated for parasites, could very well have parasites themselves. Getting an honest answer to this question will depend on the honesty of the seller and should be taken at face value. The above are questions you should ask when purchasing a leopard gecko. They are not however the only things you will want to know. Now that you know the questions to ask, have a look at the next section and see what physical characteristics you should be looking for.