How Long Do Leopard Geckos Live (And Why)?

Exact Answer : Up to 20 years

The common leopard gecko is a popular pet reptile, that is small and can be easily handled by any first-time owner. They need small tanks, and a specific temperature to live a healthy life. They also have amazing predator evading capabilities such as camouflaging with the leopard print in deserts and grasslands, although they are very shy.

Leopard Geckos prefer remaining hidden for long periods to sustain themselves when exposed to any kind of threats. They utilize their fat-storing tails to provide the required nutrients to their bodies in times of crisis. Because of their docile nature, these lizards have become a favorite pet for beginners with no experience of having pets.

A happy and healthy Leopard Gecko stays active at night and only for a small portion of the day, as they are nocturnal organisms. If they are provided with enough warmth, at the correct humidity, and your reptile has no stress at all, these colorful lizards shall live for long periods, compared to their wild species, who have comparatively harder lifestyles living amongst the wild animals.

How Long Do Leopard Geckos Live?

The pet Leopard Gecko has a long lifespan of up to 15 – 20 years. These reptiles are very healthy and common diseases such as Metabolic Bone Disease, or other medical issues like impaction, can be prevented by managing their environment and diet, and taking advice from the vet. Depending on their gender, breeding, and care, geckos exhibit various life expectancies.

The average lifespan of a Leopard Gecko is said to be 15 years old. However, it is different for male and female geckos. Male geckos usually live longer than females, as males normally live for 15 to 20 years. Female geckos, on the other hand, have a shorter lifespan of 10 to 15 years. Buying a male gecko will not guarantee that he will live longer than a female, but there is just a slightly higher probability that he may survive for longer periods.

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Other factors that influence the life expectancy of geckos are their diet, size, genetics, and husbandry. Pet leopard geckos that have been pampered from hatching to adulthood will surely live the longest, assuming they have no underlying health issues. Wild Leopard Geckos have a much harder life, because of which they tend to have shorter lifespans of 6 to 8 years. Birds, snakes, lizards, and jackals prey on Leopard Geckos in their natural habitat, thereby, making the wild species life harder in comparison to the captive species.

In summary:

Gecko Lifespan
Male pet 15 – 20 years
Female pet 10 – 15 years
Wild species 6 – 8 years

Why Do Leopard Geckos Live So Long?

These colorful lizards may outlive many other popular pet reptiles like corn snakes and bearded dragons. 20 years can be considered to be the maximum lifespan for most pet geckos if they are provided with good care and routine husbandry. However, in rare cases, your male pet gecko may also live for more than 20 years.

Female pet geckos have a shorter lifespan due to reproduction. Developing eggs is an energy-expensive process, because of which reproduction is hard for females. Females that have not been bred will likely live longer, as they do not have to spend energy laying eggs.

There are also environmental factors such as stress, parasites, and disease that reduce the life expectancy of leopard geckos. Because of such factors, captive pets live longer, as these factors are usually eliminated by good care and proper diet. Wild geckos are exposed to other environmental hazards such as extended periods of drought as well, because of which they do not survive for more than 8 years in general.

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Conclusion

The lifespan of your favorite pet gecko depends on its gender, diet, and care. A pet Leopard shall easily live for 10 to 20 years, under the comfort of your care and love. Most male geckos shall live for 15 to 20 years, only if provided with a good diet and routine husbandry.

Females do not live as long as their counterparts because of reproductive reasons. Their energy is mostly used to produce and lay eggs. Females normally live for 10 to 15 years. However, pet females will still live a much longer life than any wild Leopard Gecko.

A wild Leopard Gecko’s lifespan is 6 to 8 years, which is almost half as long as their pet siblings. Environmental stress, disease, and predation have reduced their life span drastically.

References

  1. https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/254786
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