How Long Do Leopard Geckos Live? Leopard Gecko Lifespan

Leopard geckos are nocturnal lizards that are found in the desert environments of Pakistan, India, Iran, and Afghanistan and have been popular pets in North America since the 1980s. They have tiny claws and dry skin which enables them to easily live in sandy environments.

These popular pet lizards require optimal care to live a longer life span. In captivity, they can live up to 15 years but it depends upon the environment in which it is made to live. In wild, they may live up to 20 to 25 years.

Male and female leopard geckos have different lifespan. It is expected that female geckos usually live around 15 years whereas, male geckos live for around 20 years. The life expectancy of leopard geckos can be found by calculating the average lifespan of many leopard geckos.

Male leopard live longer than females

The average lifespan of a leopard gecko is 15 years but a male can live between 15 to 20 years with proper care and diet whereas female geckos have a shorter lifespan of 10 to 15 years because of reproduction.

Reproduction is not easy for females as developing eggs require lots of energy for reproduction. Female geckos that are not bred tend to live longer lives because they do not have to put energy into reproduction.

How long do pet and wild leopard geckos live

Pet leopard geckos can live for 10 to 20 years with proper diet and husbandry. They live longer than wild geckos. Wild geckos have a much harder life and they have a shorter lifespan of between 6 to 8 years. These geckos are easily preyed on by scorpions, birds, snakes, and jackals in their natural habitat. 

Have a look at this chart to get a clear idea of the gecko’s lifespan:

GeckoLifespan (years)
Male15-20years
Female10-15 years
Pet10-20 years
Wild6-8 years

Environmental factors that reduce gecko’s lifespan

Some environmental factors reduce the lifespan of leopard geckos:

High-stress environment:

If your gecko is stressed due to the surroundings or by other gecko mates then there are higher chances that they can’t live longer. If the gecko is spending a lot of time hiding in the tank, breathing quickly, waggling its tails, behaving aggressively then he might be stressed or is getting frustrated by its current environment which may reduce your leopard’s lifespan.

Disease:

If your gecko is suffering from any parasitic infection or another disease, then there are high chances of a shorter lifespan in your gecko.

Extended periods of drought:

Leopard geckos that live in deserts face extended periods of drought. It is very difficult for them to find food and water. As a result, they may face a shorter lifespan.

Not providing a humidity hide:

To get extra moisture for shedding and to maintain body temperature, geckos need a humidity hide in their tank. They need a hide with almost 60% humidity to shed. If geckos don’t get an appropriate level of humidity hide, they may suffer a shorter lifespan.

Too hot/cold temperature:

The temperature in your leopard gecko enclosure should be between 75 degrees to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Too cold or too hot temperature can cause respiratory problems and constipation. As a result, your gecko may have a shorter lifespan.

Wrong diet:

Feeding the wrong diet to your gecko can also reduce its lifespan. They should not be given fruits and vegetables. Feed high-quality prey like crickets and worms. Lightning bugs and fireflies are toxic to your gecko’s health and should never be used as a food source.

How to increase leopard gecko lifespan

Leopard geckos are easy to care for. You may keep your gecko healthy and happy and increase its lifespan by just following some simple steps. Have a look at them:

Provide a correct habitat:

The tank of the geckos should maintain a consistent temperature with a hot side of 89 to 94 degrees Fahrenheit and a cool side of 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The tank should have at least a 20 gallon long terrarium. Visit our page on recommended leopard gecko terrariums.

It should have hiding spaces to help your gecko to feel secure and safe. Use a substrate like reptile carpets such as pea gravel or newspaper. Avoid any substrate that may cause impaction to your gecko’s health. 

The tank should have a shallow water dish to drink easily and low rocks and braches to easily climb on.

Diet:

If you want your gecko to live a longer and healthy life, you should try to give a 100% insect-based diet to your gecko. Try not to fed fruits or vegetables to your gecko. Feeding a variety of nutritious food and gut-loaded insects like crickets, mealworms, dubia roaches, and black soldier fly larvae. 

Food that is enriched in minerals and vitamins is essential for your gecko’s health. You may also provide them calcium supplements for a healthy and nutritious diet. 

Watch for illness:

It is important to know the personality and behavior of your gecko. Take your gecko to an annual checkup even if it seems healthy. By doing this, you may easily figure out if your gecko is suffering from any disease or not. Watch for common signs of illness. When you see any symptom, take your pet to the vet immediately. Common signs of illness are:

  • Rapid weight loss
  • Lack of appetite
  • Visible injuries
  • Sunken eyes and wrinkled skin due to dehydration
  • Jerky movements
  • Head circling and tilting
  • Lethargy
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Changes in feces
  • Thin tail
  • Breathing from an open mouth

Morph:

Some gecko morphs are more sensitive to bright light and UV radiations than others due to the reduced melanin in their eyes. You should use a dimmer switch or a low-output bulb in the tank to keep your gecko eyes safe. 

By doing this, you may help your gecko to enjoy a long and healthy life.

Remove stressors:

Try to figure out what is causing stress to your gecko. If your gecko is hiding quickly, and even dropping off its tails, it means he is feeling threatened. All this stress can affect the overall health and lifespan of your gecko.

In captivity, try to remove these stressors from your gecko’s tank. Put the tank in a quiet place, so the gecko doesn’t get a lot of sounds and moving shadows. Keep away other leopard geckos from the tank to remove the element of stress and handle your gecko gently and smoothly. Read more about how to care for leopard geckos.

Wrapping up

A pet gecko lives for about 10 to 20 years. Their lifespan depends on gender, diet, and care. Most male geckos live between 15 to 20 years with a good diet and routine husbandry. Females do not live longer than males because of reproduction and they may usually live between 10 to 15 years. 

A wild leopard gecko lifespan is half as long as the pet geckos. They may live for only 6 to 8 years. Thus, in conclusion, taking proper care and providing good nutrition and habitat to your gecko can help in maximizing the lifespan of your pet leopard gecko.

Edward Jones is Editor-in-Chief at AZ Reptiles. He is a true reptile lover. He has a lot of experience in keeping and breeding most reptile pets.

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