If you need a more accessible version of this website, click this button on the right. Switch to Accessible Site


You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

Close [x]
(207) 846-6515 H

(207) 846-6515





  • Eublepharis macularis

  • Native to deserts and rocky plains of Afghanistan, India and Pakistan

  • Nocturnal

  • Preferred temperature range 77 - 86 F; daytime 75 - 80, night 65 - 75, optimum 84 - 88

  • Should be provided a humidity box; preferred relative humidity 20 - 30%

  • Insectivores

  • Oviparous; breeding season January to September; clutch size 2; 6 - 16 eggs per year; incubation period is 55-60 days, with broader range of 6 - 15 weeks; incubator temperature 78 - 92 F and relative humidity 75 - 100%

  • Sexually mature at 10 months

  • Lifespan, 30 years, average 10-15 years; in our experience, 5 - 8 years is more realistic

  • Stature: length 7 - 10 inches, weight 45 - 60 gms, maximum 100 gms

  • Unlike most other geckos, LGs have movable eyelids; regularly wipe their eyes with their tongues

  • Have claws on their toes, instead of adhesive pads, so they are terrestrial and do not cling to surfaces

  • Sex determination: as juveniles, there is little difference between males and females; as adults, males have a V-shaped row of pores (preanal pores) along their inner thighs and females have small pits; males have a pair of swellings at the base of their tails; males are slightly more heavy-bodied with a broader head and thicker neck than females

  • Skin shedding occurs regularly, and LGs usually eat the shed skin


  • New geckos should be quarantined in a separate part of the home for 30 days

  • LGs can be housed in groups, but mature males are highly territorial and aggressive, so there should be only one per group

  • 10-gallon or larger aquariums work well

  • Cage size should be 36  x 15 x 12 inches; a height of at least 6” for groups of 2 to 3 LGs

  • Aquariums that emphasize horizontal space work well

  • Screen top for adequate ventilation

  • Substrate: acceptable substrates include paper towels, newspaper, orchid bark; unacceptable substrates include coarse sand, corncob, walnut shell, “calcium sand”, all of which have contributed to stomach and intestinal impactions; fine sand is probably acceptable but is somewhat controversial

  • Feces should be removed regularly and substrate replaced as needed for excellent hygiene

  • LGs should not be allowed to roam free in the house

  • A moist hide box filled with damp sphagnum moss, cypress mulch, or vermiculite is very important for stress-relief and healthy shedding; the box should be misted daily; the hide should be cleaned and the vermiculite or other substrate should be changed at least once weekly

  • Temperature: mid-80s is best, with a gradient in the enclosure from 70 at the cool end to 84-88 at the warm end; heat pads, heat tape, and basking lights are acceptable heaters; hot rocks and direct contact with other heating elements should not be allowed


  • UV light in the UVB range, 290-320 nm is necessary for activation of vitamin D3 in many reptiles, but not snakes, not leopard geckos, and not other nocturnal geckos; many gecko owners still prefer to have a UVB set up

  • UVB is almost completely filtered by normal glass and plastic; UVB transmissible glass and plastic is necessary

  • Sunlight is an excellent source of UVB, but, remember, it is filtered by normal glass and plastic

  • Light intensity decreases by the distance squared, so the UVB source must be close, usually within 12 to 18 inches of the reptile

  • The UVB source must be positioned so that the reptile will be frequently exposed to it; for example, if the light is close to a shelf or branch, but the pet rarely uses that shelf or branch, then the light is inadequate

  • Types of UV lights include fluorescent tubes, compact fluorescents, flood lamps and mercury vapor spot lamps; we think mercury vapor spots are best because they produce light and heat

  • UV output decreases long before visible light decreases, so bulbs must be replaced every 6 to 12 months, or when UV output drops below 70% as determined with a UV tester

  • Decreasing the light intensity can increase the daytime behavior of these nocturnal lizards



  • Water is the most important nutrient; provide water in a shallow container, changed daily

  • LGs feed primarily on live, moving insect prey

  • Prepared commercial diets are available, but LGs need to be conditioned to eat them and some may ultimately refuse them

  • Crickets, silkworms, roaches, mealworms, superworms, waxworms, and other live insects are appropriate (fireflies are toxic and should not be fed)

  • Large LGs will eat pinkie mice and other lizards, but these food items are not required

  • Insects should be gut-loaded for at least 24 hours before feeding

  • Live prey may be offered in shallow containers, which will decrease mealworms burrowing, cricket dispersal, and accidental ingestion of substrate

  • Insects should be of appropriate size; a rule of thumb is no larger than ½ the width of the LGs head

  • Juveniles can be fed every 1 to 2 days, adults 2 to 3 times per week

  • Feed no more than can be consumed in  15 minutes, which is usually 4 to 6 items

  • Hungry juveniles housed together might nip the toes and tail tips off of each other

  • Prey items should be dusted with calcium powder; this should be done daily for juveniles and weekly for non-breeding adults

  • A small shallow container of calcium powder should be always available

  • Other than calcium, vitamin and mineral supplementation is somewhat controversial, but generally well-tolerated


  • Most carnivorous and insectivorous reptiles, including leopard geckos, and some ominivorous reptiles lack the enzyme needed to convert dietary precursors to active vitamin A, so they are susceptible to deficiency

  • Many reptile vitamin supplements do not have the correct form of vitamin A, so check the label carefully; beta-carotene is not an acceptable source

  • Adequate sourced include vitamin A, retinol, retinal, retinyl ester, retinyl palmitate

  • Most store-bought and internet-bought insects are deficient in the fat soluble vitamins A, D3, and E

  • Supplements should have a ratio of vitamins A : D3 : E of 1000 : 100 : 10; many do not, so, again, check the label carefully

  • It is a misconception that vitamin A injections help sick tortoises; tortoises are herbivores and can convert beta-carotene in vegetables to vitamin A (box turtles and aquatic turtles are more carnivorous and thus are susceptible to vitamin A deficiency)


  • The most important thing about feeding insects is to feed a wide variety of them

  • Store-bought and internet-bought insect options include crickets, waxworms, mealworms, superworms, Dubia roaches, silkworms, and tomato hornworms

  • Wild insect options, caught at night around lights or in funnel traps, include moths, cicadas, fruit flies, flies, grasshoppers, bees (stingers removed), and cockroaches

  • Fireflies are toxic to bearded dragons; we do not recommend feeding them to any lizards

  • Sowbugs (pill bugs) are crustaceans; they are an excellent source of calcium and readily consumed

  • Pesticide hazards are not a practical concern when feeding wild-caught insects

  • Many large LGs can be trained to eat pinky mice

  • Larval insects are high in fat and protein; feeding a high proportion of them can cause fatty liver disease

  • Assume store-bought and internet-bought insects are deficient in calcium


  • A healthy calcium to phosphorus ratio (Ca:P) is between 1:1 and 2:1; commonly purchased insects have the following calcium-deficient ratios: crickets 0.2:1; mealworms 0.1:1; waxworms 0.1:1; superworms 0.06:1 - It is obvious that feeding store-bought and internet-bought insects without calcium supplementation will cause calcium deficency

  • Juveniles require a much higher ratio; for example, juvenile salt water crocodiles in the wild eat a diet with a ratio of 6.7:1); failure to adequately supplement juvenile lizards with calcium is a major reason for failure of many of young ones to thrive

  • Insects should be fed a high-calcium insect diet and they should be dusted with calcium before feeding

  • One study showed 3 out of 4 “high calcium” insect diets contained no more calcium than what is found in non-calcium fortified insect diets

  • Only one insect diet, Mazuri High Calcium Gut-Loading Diet, has been proven to increase the calcium content of crickets; at YVC we purchase this product in bulk and repackage it for sale to pet owners requiring smaller amounts; it can be fed to crickets, mealworms, superworms and Dubia roaches, and it greatly improves their calcium content within 24-48 hours; most insects will readily eat this diet, but it can be mixed with a small amount of tropical fish food flakes to perhaps improve palatability

  • Insects should always have a water source such as a wet cotton ball, but should not have fruit or vegetables, because they will eat these instead of the calcium-enriched diet

  • In addition to feeding insects a high-calcium diet, they should also be dusted with calcium before being fed to the pet

  • To dust them, place the insects in a plastic bag with calcium powder and shake

  • Calcium powders vary in quality; calcium carbonate is most biologically available; Rep-cal (Zoo Med) is one excellent calcium product

  • Multivitamins never contain enough calcium, no matter what the label says

  • The calcium powder should not contain phosphorus (insects are high enough in phosphorus, and does not need to contain vitamin D as long as the reptile has an effective UVB light


Yarmouth Veterinary Center


Office Hours

Saturday8:0012:00; Also, 4 pm Boarding Pick-up
Sunday4:00pmBoarding Pick-up
Day Open Close
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
7:30 7:30 7:30 7:30 7:30 8:00 4:00pm
6:00 6:00 6:00 6:00 6:00 12:00; Also, 4 pm Boarding Pick-up Boarding Pick-up