You’ve decided that the leopard gecko is your next vivarium pet. What’s not to love, with their spotted skin and thick tail? Now, you’re thinking you want two (they’re just so cute!), but you’re not sure if it’s okay to house them together. To get right to the point: you should probably not house two leopard geckos together, except in the case of breeding. Even then, they should only be together for a short while. We’ve gathered information from real leopard gecko owners to help explain why.
When It’s Not Okay to Have Two Leopard Geckos Together
Even though they look like they are smiling when they look at your, leopard geckos are solitary creatures that enjoy their alone time, and they can get extremely territorial. Although they are very curious when it comes to people, when another leopard gecko enters their area, they know exactly what’s going on and will usually immediately go into defense mode.
This is truer for male leopard geckos than it is for females. The male geckos have a bigger head and tail. They also have a different pore pattern than females. Male leopard geckos will almost always fight if housed together, and they can injure or kill one another.
You may see pictures of two leopard geckos seemingly enjoying a good time under their heat lamp, but they are likely only competing for the heat. They will also compete for space and food. When a leopard gecko feels threatened, it will swish its tail back and forth or raise it straight. If you see this happening, you need to separate your geckos right away.
Some people get away with having two leopard geckos in the same habitat with no issues. This is most likely because they have two female leopard geckos or two female geckos that have been together since birth. But there have been recorded cases of females fighting, too.
It’s just best to not take the risk. Keep one leopard gecko in one vivarium at a time to ensure the safety of your little reptile.
When It’s Okay to Have Two Leopard Geckos Together
So far, we’ve gone over why you should only have one leopard gecko in a habitat at a time. Are there any cases when it’s okay to have two leopard geckos together?
The only time it’s permissible to have two geckos, a male, and a female leopard gecko, housed together in the same unit is when you want baby geckos. Breeding geckos doesn’t seem to be too hard, and you can probably do it yourself. However, you need to be sure that you have all the necessary supplies to do it before you start, as well as enough space and enclosures to house all the geckos separately once they are hatched.
You may be surprised to find out that male leopard geckos aggressively breed with female geckos. It’s normal for males to bite the back of the female’s neck in the process. It’s also not uncommon for males to repeatedly mate with the female, even after successful breeding. This can be very hard on a female leopard gecko’s body, on top of an already arduous task of creating and laying eggs.
So, you can have a male and female leopard gecko pair when you want to breed them, just make sure to separate them into different enclosures once breeding was successful.
Do Leopard Geckos Get Lonely?
It might make you feel sad to know that it’s best to have one leopard gecko in a habitat at a time. You might only have the space and resources for one terrarium and feel bad. It’s easy to feel this way because our human species is very social and we thrive from others being around us. Leopard geckos are not this way, which should give you some peace of mind.
In the wild, leopard geckos live in “loose colonies.” This probably means that they are around certain geckos often, but interact minimally.
If you have a leopard gecko for a while, you may notice that it watches you come and go, and may even scratch at the door where your hand enters the terrarium. Leopard geckos are very motivated by curiosity, so you can interact with him by picking him up and handling him, as well as add or change up his terrarium objects.
Leopard Gecko Care Tips
- Related Read: Do Leopard Geckos Like to Be Held?
Owning a leopard gecko can be a rewarding experience. They are considered the first domesticated species of lizards and they require little care, making them a great beginner reptile pet. Leopard geckos can live up to 20 years, which means they can be around for a long time. Make sure you’re willing to commit to having one for this long before buying a leopard gecko.
Featured Image Credit: agus fitriyanto suratno, Shutterstock