The Earth we live in is inhabited by many other peculiar creatures. There are animals as big as an elephant and others who are the smallest—such as an Etruscan shrew. There are some mammals and reptiles that come in different sizes. A Leopard gecko is one such reptile—which can be found in a normal size as well as a giant size. The latter one is called a Giant Leopard gecko.
When looking for a pet, it is important to know about the size it will grow into. This will also help you make suitable living arrangements for your pet. Before we learn more about the size and appearance of the Giant Leopard gecko, let’s first learn about its origin and breeding history.
Origin and History
The breeding history of a Giant Leopard gecko dates back to the year 2000. It was first created by Ron Tremper. A large size baby was born when Ron Tremper bred two normal-sized Leopard geckos. One of the babies was bigger than the rest—measuring 4.5 inches in length. By the age of 10, it measured 11 inches in length.
The Giant Leopard geckos can be of three different types—Normal, Giant, and Super Giant. The Normal Leopard geckos do not show any trait of the Giant type. The Giant Leopard geckos are heterozygous, and they show the Giant trait. The Super Giants express the trait; they are homozygous and grow to be very large.
Appearance and Size: How Big Does a Giant Leopard Gecko Get?
The Giant Leopard gecko has a genetic inclination to grow big in size. As we already know, the Giant Leopard geckos can be of three types—normal, giant, and supergiant. A Giant Leopard gecko male can weigh around 80 – 110 grams while their females weigh around 60 – 90 grams by the time they are one year old.
A Super Giant Leopard male gecko can reach up to 110 grams, whereas the female Super Giant Leopard weighs around 90 grams by the time they reach the age of one. However, a Giant Leopard gecko cannot be told apart from a Super Giant unless you know both the parents are also Super Giants. The difference is visible only after they are 11 – 12 months old.
Regarding their appearance, Giant Leopard geckos are not very different than normal-sized Leopard geckos. They have bumpy outer skin and a smooth underbelly. They have different patterns and colors. Mostly, they have leopard-like spotted skin, large heads, and chubby tails.
Giant Leopard Gecko Care Tips
Caring for a Giant Leopard Gecko is the same as looking after any other Leopard gecko. For the food, your gecko would need live insects because they are not herbivores. The best foods to feed your gecko are mealworms, crickets, and other insects. If need be, you can also feed them waxworms once in a while, but they shouldn’t be fed too much.
If a gecko becomes used to consuming waxworms regularly, they may end up refusing other nutritious foods. You can place a vitamin-mineral supplement powder in a small jar in their tanks to keep them healthy. A leopard gecko will lick the required amount of powder from the jar according to its body’s requirements.
One way to ensure your gecko consumes adequate amounts of food is to measure the food by comparing it with its size. Two medium-sized insects for an inch of a leopard gecko’s length can be used as a measurement criterion. So, a 5-inch-long gecko should consume 9 or 10 mealworms every other day.
Geckos can go 10 – 14 days without food in certain cases, but they should have access to clean and fresh water all the time. You can keep a shallow dish of water in their tank or cage, so they can consume water whenever they feel the need to. Also, make sure the water dish is installed properly and is stable, so the water doesn’t get spilled in the cage. This can make their cage substrate wet.
For the cage’s flooring, you can use a newspaper, artificial turf, or pea gravel. Whichever flooring you use, it should be cleaned regularly. If a baby gecko consumes any particles of sand or other foreign substances from the floor, it can cause fecal impaction. Geckos shouldn’t be exposed to commercial soils as they can have toxic insecticides.
Geckos—being cold-blooded reptiles—need external heat sources to warm their bodies. So their tanks should have a well-maintained temperature setting. For this purpose, you can also use a heating pad, which is specifically designed for gecko tanks. They also need to have appropriate lighting in their tanks. They need to have exposure to light for 12-hours a day. As they are nocturnal, they don’t like bright lights. So it is advisable to invest in a black heat lamp or a red lamp. The lighting should be installed outside of the gecko’s tank, so it can receive an adequate amount of light in its enclosure.
Prices of Giant Leopard Gecko
As Giant Leopard geckos are a rare type of Leopard geckos, they can be found at a bit higher price than other geckos. On average, a Giant Leopard gecko will cost you around $250 – $450. Apart from their price, they are also considered high-maintenance—so keeping it as a pet will cost you more than owning a normal gecko.
So, we hope with our comprehensive article about a Giant Leopard gecko, we would have answered all the questions you had in your mind. These reptiles are undoubtedly unique and make good house pets. But they need special care, appropriate housing arrangements, and food. We advise you to do thorough research and gain experience before you bring one to your home.