Adorable, low-maintenance, and friendly, leopard geckos are fascinating animals both as pets and in the wild. Notably, they are known as the very first species of lizard ever widely domesticated. Starting in the mid-1970s, these plucky little geckos were transported from their native habitats to homes all over the world and kept as pets. Ever since, many gecko owners and reptile enthusiasts alike have asked: how long do leopard geckos live?
Part of the reason why these lizards are so hardy and easy to care for in captivity is that they have evolved to handle harsh conditions in their native habitats very well. There are many reasons why wild geckos lifespans are so short, from the numerous predators they have to look out for to a variety of illnesses they are far more susceptible to when not closely monitored in captivity.
Very high rate of predation by snakes , birds , spiders, and other larger carnivorous lizards Higher rate of parasites from eating wild insects (compared to captive geckos, who primarily eat insects that have been carefully bred in captivity) Illnesses and health conditions like malnutrition, impaction, dysecdysis (stuck shed) , respiratory infections, eye issues, retained eggs, etc. Additionally, leopard geckos have only one reliable defense mechanism in the wild: tail dropping, also known as caudal autotomy. As we learn more about leopard gecko husbandry and properly caring for these unique lizards, their lifespans will hopefully continue to extend even further.
Overall, the main reason why pet leopard geckos have longer lifespans is that they normally live in very strictly controlled enclosures.
How long do geckos live as pets?
The geckos that are most often kept as pets are usually under a foot long and have lifespans between 10 and 20 years. Because of their small size and long lifespan, geckos have become very popular pets but their care can still vary some between species.
How long do little geckos live?
They can be seen climbing walls of houses and other buildings in search of insects attracted to porch lights, and are immediately recognisable by their characteristic chirping. They grow to a length of between 7.5–15 cm (3–6 in), and live for about 5 years. These small geckos are non-venomous and not harmful to humans.
Do geckos make good pets?
Geckos are one of the most popular reptiles to be kept as pets – especially for beginners – and with good reason. They tend to be docile and easy to tame as well as being relatively easy to care for. In particular, the leopard gecko is the number one choice when it comes to choosing a reptile pet.
Leopard geckos live up to 15 years in the wild and up to 20 years as a pet. On average, the lifespan is shorter than both of these by a few years, with the wild geckos living typically shorter than the 15 years by anywhere from 3-5 years.
Look ahead for more details and advice on
how to help your gecko reach its potential. In the wild, a common leopard gecko is known to live up to 15 years.
Leopard geckos in the wild are given access to more nutritious insects. This is because the insects eat more natural foods than what we typically give them in captivity. Perhaps the weather is colder, which makes the common leopard gecko sluggish.
Leopard geckos are also more prone to
illness in the wild, which isnt treated by modern veterinary medicine and
lowers their appetite. In short, all the stress shortens their
life spans, and predators can cut it off quite early. Pet geckos tend to live for up to 20
years, with the average being around 15 or even a little higher.
The main difference causing this is the
stable habitat, diet, and lack of stressors. Of course, without proper care, your leopard gecko will still pass on earlier than youd like. Quite a few leopard geckos wont reach their maximum age due to poor care conditions.
However, with a watchful eye and steady
needs provided, your pet could live up to this 20-year mark. Its a simple matter of providing the
necessary corrections, removing stressors, and watching out for illness. The habitat needs of the leopard gecko are
pretty easy to reach.
20-gallon glass terrarium longer than it is tall 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 C) ground temp and 72 degrees Fahrenheit (22 C) air temp during the day and shut off heaters at night 10-30% relative humidity A safe substrate such as pea gravel or newspaper Shallow water dish Low rocks and branches to climb on Hide box for resting Feed
leopard gecko two insects the size of the distance between their eyes for every
inch they are long every other day. They hide quickly, stress out easily, and even drop their tails off if they feel genuinely threatened.
Lack of appetite Rapid weight loss/thinning Changes in feces Visible injuries Dehydration (wrinkled skin & sunken eyes) Seeming paralysis Lying flat for prolonged periods Jerky movements Head tilting & circling Liquid excreting from nose, mouth, or eyes Lethargy Difficulty breathing While it is very common for a female leopard gecko to lay eggs without mating, it is possible to increase her lifespan by not breeding her. Producing and laying eggs takes a significant toll on the female geckos body.
When the female leo is gravid, you will need to provide her with additional calcium supplements and food to ensure she stays healthy. Dystocia often leads to cloacal prolapse, and it is fatal if left untreated. By not breeding your female leopard gecko, you lower her risk of dystocia along with several other health issues.
A female leopard gecko used for breeding purposes has a life expectancy between 6-10 years. Its important to know what the lifespan
of the leopard gecko is to prepare for adopting it. You do, so follow our recommendations and keep your oddly cute pet happy and healthy!
While this is not typical for leopard geckos, they will live for closer to 15-20 years with proper husbandry and care. The exact age of a leopard gecko is challenging to guess because its growth rate and size are highly dependent on the care the reptile receives. Generally, baby leopard geckos have bands on their body instead of spots.
The best way to know the exact age of your leopard gecko is to consult the breeder where you purchased your pet. If you did not purchase your leopard gecko from a breeder, it is possible to approximate the reptiles age by using a comparison table such as the one below. The table shows the typical size and weight range of a leopard gecko according to its age.
AgeAverage WeightAverage Body Length Hatchling2-5 grams3-4 inches1 Month15-20 grams4 inches2 Months18-30 grams5 inches6 Months25-60 grams5-6 inches18 Months40-80 grams8-11 inches As a general rule, male leopard geckos tend to live longer and have fewer health problems than females.
When selecting a pet, its important to consider its lifespan. Youll want to make sure you can provide care all throughout your pets life. So, if youre wondering How long does a leopard gecko live? read on to learn about leopard gecko life expectancy.
Due to the reduced level of stress of not producing eggs, a well-kept non-breeding female may live longer than 10 years. Since leopard geckos may live for several decades, take their long life expectancy into consideration when deciding to bring one home.
These lizards are easy to care for, have a simple diet, and can live for a long time. The oldest leopard gecko was a male who lived to be 28 years old!
These hardy lizards outlive many other popular pet reptiles like bearded dragons and corn snakes. With good care and routine husbandry, 20 years is considered to be the maximum lifespan for most pet geckos .
GenderLifespan (years)Male15 20 yearsFemale10 15 yearsThe life expectancy of each gender is found by calculating the average lifespan of many individual leopard geckos. Diet, size, genetics and husbandry also affect how long your Leopard Gecko will live. Pet leopard geckos that have an excellent level of care from hatching to adulthood will live the longest.
The care a gecko receives in their juvenile phase also has a big impact on their health and lifespan. Their growth will begin to slow around ten months old as they reach 7 to 11 inches in length. How long leopard geckos live will also depend on if they are a pet or wild species.
GeckoLifespan (years)Pet10 20 yearsWild6 8 yearsLeopard Geckos born in captivity have double the life expectancy of wild species. In their natural habitat Leopard Geckos are preyed on by birds, snakes, lizards, scorpions and jackals. Environmental factors, combined with more stress, parasites, and disease, mean that wild Leopard Geckos have an average lifespan of just six to eight years.
With good care, Leopard Geckos can stay healthy and active for 10 to 20 years . Adult Leopard Geckos settle into their final pattern between 300 to 950 days after hatching. Adult geckos do not have visible bands and instead have spots on a bright yellow or orange body.
Different morphs of gecko create different adult patterns, with more or fewer spots and brighter colors, but never bands. Once they reach adulthood, Leopard Geckos have roughly the same levels of activity and appetite for the rest of their life. Your Leopard Gecko will continue to act healthy and normal right up until the last year of its life.
Feed high quality prey like black soldier fly larvae, crickets, and mealworms. These lizards should be housed in a calm, quiet room with a regular day/night cycle to simulate natural daylight. These lizards love crickets, mealworms, dubia roaches, black soldier fly larvae.
Vitamin supplements, including calcium and multivitamins, are also essential for your Leopard Geckos health. Taking a Leopard Gecko for an annual checkup is a great idea, even if it seems healthy. Albino Leopards are more sensitive to light due to the reduced melanin in their eyes.
You should use a dimmer switch or a low-output bulb to keep the lights at a comfortable level for any albino morph. Their tank should also have lots of hiding spaces to help them feel secure and reduce stress. Most males will live for between 15 to 20 years provided they are fed a good diet and given routine husbandry.
A wild Leopard Geckos lifespan is half as long as their pet siblings. Environmental stress, disease, and predation mean they live for just 6 to 8 years in the wild.
How Long Do Wild Leopard Geckos Live?
Leopard geckos are native to the dry, hot, mountainous deserts of the Middle East. More specifically, they reside in parts of Iran, India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. Part of the reason why these lizards are so hardy and easy to care for in captivity is that they have evolved to handle harsh conditions in their native habitats very well.Still, despite their robust, sturdy nature, a wild leopard gecko’s average lifespan is usually only around 3 to 8 years. Females tend to live slightly shorter lives than males. This is due to the physical and mental stressors involved with repeated breeding and egg-laying.There are many reasons why wild geckos’ lifespans are so short, from the numerous predators they have to look out for to a variety of illnesses they are far more susceptible to when not closely monitored in captivity.
How Long Do Pet Leopard Geckos Live?
Wild leopard geckos have far shorter lifespans than their domesticated counterparts for a wide range of reasons. Here are the main factors that cause them to live only around half as long as captive geckos:Additionally, leopard geckos have only one reliable defense mechanism in the wild: tail dropping, also known as caudal autotomy. While it can prove effective as a one-time escape, it takes several weeks to re-grow the tail.When their tail does grow back, it won’t be as large as the previous one. The gecko will also lose a significant fat store on their body in the meantime. Research shows that the process of autonomy even changes a leopard gecko’s posture and gait significantly!When a leopard gecko drops their tail too often, they become stressed and weakened as a result. They can also sometimes drop their tails out of fear or sudden anxiety, even if they aren’t being actively chased by predators. Without the fat normally stored in their bulbous, chunky tails, leopard geckos can’t survive without food for very long.
Lifespan In The Wild
In the wild, a common leopard gecko is known to live up to 15 years.This is the maximum, but it’s often a little lower than this.Leopard geckos in the wild are given access to more nutritious insects.This is because the insects eat more natural foods than what we typically give them in captivity.However, there will be periods when the leopard geckos go without eating as much as they should.It just happens to be this way in the wild.Maybe a predator has moved in nearby, and the gecko is waiting for them to clear out so the geckos won’t hunt for insects.Perhaps the weather is colder, which makes the common leopard gecko sluggish.Leopard geckos are also more prone to illness in the wild, which isn’t treated by modern veterinary medicine and lowers their appetite.There is also a great deal more stress on the leopard gecko.They have to avoid potential predators, which add stress to the body.This consistent stress shortens lifespans as well.Of course, there’s always the fact a predator may end up catching and killing them in the first place.In short, all the stress shortens their life spans, and predators can cut it off quite early.
How To Increase Leopard Gecko Lifespan
It’s a simple matter of providing the necessary corrections, removing stressors, and watching out for illness.Here is our quick advice on what you need to do.
The habitat needs of the leopard gecko are pretty easy to reach.Speaking of humidity, check out our tips for lowering humidity in a leopard geck tank.
Leopard geckos are skittish and troubled little critters.They hide quickly, stress out easily, and even drop their tails off if they feel genuinely threatened.Learn more about how leopard geckos regrow tails.All this stress puts a toll on their overall health and lifespan.In captivity, you have the power to remove the vast majority of these stresses.Put the tank in a place without a lot of foot traffic, so the gecko doesn’t get a lot of sounds and moving shadows.Don’t put the tank near any speakers or TVs, so the tank remains quiet.Keep other pets such as dogs or cats away from the tank or out of the room as much as possible.Get your pet used to you and be handled by taming your leopard gecko; click the link for our guide.
Do Not Breed Your Female Leopard Gecko
Illness happens with all animals, whether they’re in the wild or captivity.As pet owners, our daily checks will let us know if something is up.Then we can take them to the vet as soon as possible to get it fixed.Watch for these common signs of illness.When you see a few of them in combination, take your pet to the vet or give him/her a call.
It’s important to know what the lifespan of the leopard gecko is to prepare for adopting it.The tips we mentioned above will help it reach the full 20 years.Sadly, most leopard geckos don’t reach this ripe old age because most owners don’t know how to keep its need met.You do, so follow our recommendations and keep your oddly cute pet happy and healthy!
Female Leopard Gecko Lifespan
Though 6 to 10 years is a long time, females have a shorter life expectancy than males due to the strain that mating and repeatedly producing eggs has on the body.It takes considerable energy to reproduce and give birth (just ask any mother.) Females may lay 1 or 2 eggs in a clutch up to 8 times per mating season. A single female may produce 100 eggs or more during her lifetime.Not everyone breeds their geckos, and you may have (or want) a solitary female. Due to the reduced level of stress of not producing eggs, a well-kept non-breeding female may live longer than 10 years.
Male Leopard Gecko Lifespan
Male leopard geckos can commonly live 10 to 20 years with good care. There are numerous records of leopard geckos living as long as 28 to 30 years!
Life Expectancy Considerations
Since leopard geckos may live for several decades, take their long life expectancy into consideration when deciding to bring one home. These are pets that will be with you for many years. Buying a leopard gecko as a pet for a child often means they could be heading off to college and taking the gecko with them (or leaving it behind for you to take care of!)
Leopard Gecko Lifespan
The lifespan of a leopard gecko isWith good care and routine husbandry, 20 years is considered to be the maximum lifespan for most pet geckos. This means that if you buy a hatchling as a teenager, you may still have it in your thirties. Because of this, buying one is a long-term commitment!The average lifespan of a Leopard Gecko is 15 years old. But, this is different for males and females:The life expectancy of each gender is found by calculating the average lifespan of many individual leopard geckos. There is a large overlap in the lifespan of male and female Leopard Geckos. It is not rare for females to live longer than some males. Likewise, males may live shorter lives than some females.If you are lucky, your male may live to be older than 20 years old. This is rare but not unheard of.The oldest gecko in captivity, who lived to be 28 years old, was male! However, buying a male does not guarantee that he will live longer than a female. He just has a slightly higher probability.Females have a shorter lifespan of 10 to 15 years. They do not live as long as males because of reproduction. Reproduction is hard for females as developing eggs is very energy intensive. Females that are not bred are likely to live longer because they do not have to put energy in to laying eggs.Diet, size, genetics and husbandry also affect how long your Leopard Gecko will live.Pet leopard geckos that have an excellent level of care from hatching to adulthood will live the longest. This is one of the reasons it is so important to find a good breeder.The care a gecko receives in their juvenile phase also has a big impact on their health and lifespan. It is a good idea to know how to properly take care of your gecko before buying. If you are not sure, then read our Leopard Gecko care guide.Despite a Leopard Gecko’s long lifespan they grow very fast.Juvenile geckos grow very quickly during their first six months. Their growth will begin to slow around ten months old as they reach 7 to 11 inches in length.
How Long Do Leopard Geckos Live?
Pet Leopard Geckos canHusbandry and diet are also determining factors of a leopard gecko’s lifespan.How long leopard geckos live will also depend on if they are a pet or wild species.Leopard Geckos born in captivity have double the life expectancy of wild species.Wild Leopard Geckos live a much harder life. They tend to have much shorter lifespans of between 6 to 8 years. In their natural habitat Leopard Geckos are preyed on by birds, snakes, lizards, scorpions and jackals.There are also environmental factors that reduce their lifespan.Leopard Geckos live in deserts that have extended periods of drought. During these droughts it is more difficult for them to find food and water. Though these geckos have the ability to store fat in their tails, they may drop their tails when attacked by a predator.Environmental factors, combined with more stress, parasites, and disease, mean that wild Leopard Geckos have an average lifespan of just six to eight years.This shortened life expectancy is another reason not to buy wild-caught lizards. It is highly unlikely that it will live as long as a pet leopard gecko.With good care, Leopard Geckos can stay
How Old Is My Leopard Gecko?
As they age Leopard Geckos go through pattern changes. This makes it easy to tell how old a gecko is.Hatchlings typically have thick, dark bands across their backs and tails. These bands remain unbroken for the first 70 to 90 days after hatching.After 90 days, geckos are considered subadults. This coincides with the breakup of their juvenile stripes into blotches and spots. For 90 to 450 days after hatching, subadults will develop spots but will still have visible bands. These bands will fade over time.Subadults will also start to develop sex characteristics around 45 to 50 weeks old.Adult Leopard Geckos settle into their final pattern between 300 to 950 days after hatching.Adult geckos do not have visible bands and instead have spots on a bright yellow or orange body. Different morphs of gecko create different adult patterns, with more or fewer spots and brighter colors, but never bands.When buying or adopting a Leopard Gecko, it is important to know what stage of life it is in.Their age determines both what you feed a Leopard Gecko and their behavior.Juveniles and subadults are greedy eaters. Some have been known to eat several times a day to help fuel their rapid growth. The appetites of Leopard geckos slow as they age. Adults over one-year-old only need to eat every other day.Subadults are also more flighty and faster than adults, though their activity levels are about the same.Once they reach adulthood, Leopard Geckos have roughly the same levels of activity and appetite for the rest of their life. Compared to mammals, the aging process in reptiles is very slow. Your Leopard Gecko will continue to act healthy and normal right up until the last year of its life.
How To Keep Them Healthy
Leopard Geckos are healthy lizards. They do not die easily and are actually considered a hardy species.Unlike some exotic pets, these lizards are forgiving of beginner mistakes. They are also resistant to many diseases, and heal quickly from injuries.While hardy compared to most lizards, this species is still an exotic lizard. They are not completely immune to poor health. You should make sure that you are providing your lizard with the best nutrition, enclosure, and environment.Here are a few key mistakes that can unintentionally shorten your Leopard Gecko’s lifespan:Overall, this species isThey have simple husbandry needs and a long lifespan of between 10 to 20 years. All of these factors contribute to their popularity with new and experienced reptile keepers.
Reducing stress is one of the best ways to increase your leopard gecko’s lifespan.These lizards should be housed in a calm, quiet room with a regular day/night cycle to simulate natural daylight. Lighting is very important to Leopard Geckos.You should also be very careful when handling them.Do not be rough with your gecko and make sure to support its tail. Signs of stress during handling include:
Reptiles rarely show signs of disease. If they do, it will only be a very subtle sign.It is important to know your Leopard Gecko’s personality and behaviors. That way, you will be able to tell if they are not acting normally.Signs of disease in geckos include:Taking a Leopard Gecko for an annual checkup is a great idea, even if it seems healthy. This will help to identify any illnesses early. You will also gain more knowledge about caring for your Leo.
Adults need at least a 20-gallon-long terrarium. But, a 50-gallon tank is better.Their tank must maintain a consistent temperature, with a hot side of 89 to 94°F and a cool side of 75 to 80°F. Their tank should also have lots of hiding spaces to help them feel secure and reduce stress.Finally, use a substrate like reptile carpet or paper towels. Avoid any substrate that is likely to cause impaction.