Leopard geckos may not be as common as dogs or cats, but they are still popular in the US. If you are thinking about adding one of these spotted reptiles to your home, then you need to know how long leopard geckos live.
As with any pet, you should be prepared to care for a leopard gecko for its entire life before you get one. They are living creatures that will require your care and attention for years to come.
Keep reading for a complete breakdown of a leopard gecko’s life expectancy in captivity. I will also tell you about the stages you can expect your gecko to go through as they grow from a hatchling to an adult.
Leopard Gecko Life Expectancy
Leopard geckos are small lizards that live in dry, desert climates. They originated from the Middle East and surrounding countries such as India and Nepal. In an ideal climate, these tiny predators can live up to 20 years or more.
There are several factors that can affect how long a leopard gecko lives, including:
- Quality of diet
- Environment and Climate
Leopard geckos need a regular diet of small insects in order to survive. They are also reptiles and need to live in a warm climate between 75 and 85 degrees due to being cold-blooded. In captivity, their reptile habitats need to be kept warm.
A leopard gecko’s genetics can also play a big part in how long it lives. Some geckos are more susceptible to health problems such as seizures, vitamin deficiencies, and certain diseases.
How Long Do Leopard Geckos Live In Captivity?
Leopard geckos are extremely popular lizards to own as pets. This is good news for the geckos themselves because they can live up to 20 years in captivity. Responsible owners can provide domesticated geckos with several advantages over their wild counterparts.
According to the RSPCA, an adult leopard gecko needs a 60 cm x 40 cm x 30 cm tank. There are other things you can do to increase your leopard gecko’s lifespan, too, including:
- Regular health checkups
- Coating their food with multivitamins and calcium
- Providing a well-maintained living environment with plenty of space
- Offering sufficient enrichment activities
Also, you should make sure that you get your leopard gecko from a responsible breeder. This will help to decrease the chances that your new lizard friend will have chronic health issues.
How Long Do Leopard Geckos Live In the Wild?
Wild leopard geckos do not have all the advantages of pet geckos. They also need to deal with predators, such as foxes, birds, and bigger reptiles.
As a result, wild leopard geckos generally do not live past 15 years old. Environmental factors such as droughts, natural predators, and even parasites cut down geckos’ life expectancy even more. The average leopard gecko only lives up to eight years in the wild.
Life Stages of A Leopard Gecko
Owning a leopard gecko can be a decades-long commitment. Here are the life stages you can expect your gecko to go through as they age.
All leopard geckos start out as hatchlings and are usually 1.5 to 2 inches in length. This is typically the stage geckos are in when you purchase them from pet stores. They will remain in the hatchling stage for roughly two months and shed their skin on a weekly basis.
The next stage of a leopard gecko’s life is the juvenile stage, and, just like humans, this is when your gecko will grow the most. Your gecko will put on weight and grow in length, too, until it reaches approximately 5 inches long. Growing this much can really work up an appetite, too, so make sure you increase the amount of food your gecko is eating.
At around seven months, your leopard gecko will move into the sub-adult stage. Your gecko will continue to grow, but at a slower pace, and reach sizes of up to 7 inches in length and weigh up to 40 grams. Some leopard geckos will also begin to reach sexual maturity during this stage.
Finally, at around 12 months, your leopard gecko will officially enter the adult stage. By now, most geckos will be at least 7 inches long and weigh over 50 grams. Your gecko will reach sexual maturity, if it hasn’t already, and will shed its skin less frequently.
How Old Is Your Leopard Gecko?
A leopard gecko can live up to 20 years in captivity in a well-maintained environment. This is much longer than the six to eight years they typically live in the wild. Leopard geckos are great reptiles to have as pets, too. They are quiet, easy to care for, and do not require a ton of maintenance other than leaning their tank.