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Leopard Gecko

continued from page 1

Use a 6" wide plastic container for a hide box. Fill the container with moist potting soil and cut a 1 1/2" diameter hole in the lid or side to serve as an entrance for your pet.

Mist the hide box soil daily. This aids in skin shedding, which they eat.

Provide a screen top for your cage; especially if you have young children or cats.

Keep the gecko cage off the floor and create a temperature of 82-88 F for the daytime. The night temperature can go as low as 64 F with no ill effects. Heat can be gained from commercially available reptile heat tapes, hot rocks or a 40-watt light bulb placed over to screen cage top to reach the needed daytime high temperature. Twelve hours of light is fine.

Feed four live food items daily per gecko.

Never let direct sunlight strike your cage, since it will overheat quickly, like a closed automobile standing in open sun, and kill your pet.

Never have more than one male gecko per cage. Adult males of all types of lizards will fight each other, and sometimes to the death, if they come into contact. A male will vibrate its tail rapidly when it sees another gecko. If the other gecko in turn vibrates its tail in the same fashion then each of them knows that contact has been made with another male and a fight will occur. If, however, a male signals his presence via the tail shaking and the other gecko does not respond in like fashion, then the male knows that the gecko near him is in fact a female. This behavior is one means of determining their sex.

Sexing your gecko is not very difficult. Male geckos are larger, heavier in the neck region, have a line of small pores on their belly between their hindlegs which are just in front of the anal opening or vent and they exhibit two swellings at their tail base and just past the vent. Females lack the large size, in general, and the pre-anal pores and post-anal swellings are missing. Sex can't be easily seen until your gecko reaches 5-6" in total length. Most of the geckos sold in pet shops are females.

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