Leopard geckos are nocturnal ground-dwelling lizards, subsisting on insects for food, and are naturally found in the Southern Central Asia, from the regions of Afghanistan, Pakistan, to the territories of India and Iran. The interesting feature of the leopard gecko as compared to other species of geckos is that they possess eyelids that they use to adapt to the rocky, dry and desert terrain of their natural habitat.
Furthermore, this helps them to keep their eyes clean and particle-free in their dry and dusty environment. Nevertheless, despite the nature of these lizards to come from rigid terrains, it had been one of the most commercially available lizard species that are considered and bred to be pets. They have been observed to be non-aggressive to their owners and less threatening. In this regard, it is important for those who plan to get these animals as pets to know the eating behavior and diets of these breed.
The leopard geckos are considered to be insectivores, lizards that feed on insects, spider and even worms. In their natural environment, they prefer to hunt for their food. They have adapted various skills and techniques to catch their prey to feed themselves. This should also be the case for geckos that are considered as pets.
Even in their tanks, most of these animals prefer to hunt for food. Most geckos in tanks will refuse dead insects served to them as food. They possess a keen sense of sight and smell whenever they go about in catching their prey. Young leopard geckos may be fed with small crickets, locusts or meal-worms given in small amounts. Adults prefer to eat insects that it could hunt for like fruit-flies, small cockroaches, meal-worms and crickets.
Among these preys, crickets are the most excellent food to give them as they can pursue these insects while in their tanks or cages, the same way they behave if they were in the wild. Moreover, crickets last longer and can be kept alive in various rubber storages and containers. The opportunity for them to catch their food while in their enclosures will also sharpen their senses, as well as increase their mobility and attentiveness.
Apart from insects, leopard geckos also have the adaptive ability to consume their own shed skin for protein and other nutritional requirements. This process is called "ceratophagia". The adult geckos shed their skin every month on the average, while young geckos tend to shed twice as much. These skins are eaten by the geckos to obtain nutritional value for growth. Many hobbyists are not aware of this that they tend to remove and throw these skins whenever they clean up the tanks. Since the shed skins provide extra nutrients that are needed by the leopard geckos, these should be handled and kept for their consumption.
Another important thing to consider when feeding leopard geckos is that they should also be given sufficient calcium and vitamin D3, which insects provide poorly. There have been several pet stores that sell calcium powder with added vitamin D3. It is advised to gently sprinkle these insects with calcium powder before placing them in the tanks. This has been the easiest way to give calcium supplements to your pets. Furthermore, purified water should be provided regularly, changing them four or more times a week or when needed.
Leopard geckos treated as pets should be handled with responsibility and commitment. It is one of the basic principles between the relationship of man and animals - man, as the superior specie, should take care of the animals. This principle is very much highlighted whenever a person takes an animal as pet. One should know their basic needs, understand their intricate behavior and provide them the necessary care that they deserve.