We have two leopard geckos in our collection
Location in the Zoo:
Our leopard geckos can be found in an enclosure near the hunting dogs indoor viewing area.
In the wild
Leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius) are most commonly found in rocky deserts and sparse grasslands throughout Afghanistan, north west India, Pakistan, Iran, and Iraq. They are strictly nocturnal, keeping out of the heat of the day, and emerging at night from holes and crevices to hunt for food. Their diets is made up of other lizards, insects, spiders, and scorpions.
Adult reach a length of approximately 8 inches (24 cm), when fully grown and get their name from the leopard-like spots that cover their bodies. When baby leopard geckos hatch they have dark sloping bands, which lighten as they grow into the spotted adults.
Leopard geckos reach sexual maturity in 16 to 24 months and their breeding season runs from January through September. Females usually lay clutches of 2 eggs and can produce anywhere up to 6 clutches per year.
Like many other lizards, the leopard gecko also has a tail that breaks off when grabbed by a predator. The tail breaks at a crack in the vertebra and the surrounding muscles are arranged so that they can separate neatly and instantly. A muscle closes around the artery in the tail to prevent blood loss. A new tail is generally regenerated. This ability allows the gecko to get away if attacked, however they do leave a valuable resource behind as the tail is used as a fat store for lean periods.
Unlike other species of geckos which lack eyelids, leopard geckos have moveable eyelids which allow them to blink and close their eyes while sleeping. Also the toe pads, which other geckos use to climb vertical walls, are not present in the leopard gecko. Instead they have tiny claws on the end of their toes.