Leopard Gecko (Eublepharis macularius)
Contributor:Barrie Harwood Nature / Alamy Stock Photo
File size:49.4 MB (1.7 MB Compressed download)
Releases:Model - no | Property - noDo I need a release?
Dimensions:3600 x 4800 px | 30.5 x 40.6 cm | 12 x 16 inches | 300dpi
Date taken:16 March 2007
The Leopard Gecko (Eublepharis macularius) is a nocturnal ground dwelling gecko commonly found in the desert areas of Pakistan, Western India Afghanistan, and the Mojave desert. The leopard gecko is one of the few geckos that don't have pads. Pads are the visible "flat" areas on the toes. These "flat" areas are covered in many microscopic hairs that allow the gecko to stick on to trees, leaves, rocks, glass etc. The leopard gecko does not have these pads and instead uses claws for climbing. The average size of Leopard Geckos is 6-8 inches. Leopard geckos are one of only a few gecko species (all of them members of the subfamily Eublepharidae, a small family of tropical/subtropical species found in the Americas, Africa, and Asia) that have eyelids. This helps the gecko keep its eyes clean and particle free in its dusty environment. Most geckos clean and moisten their eyes with their tongues. Another interesting difference in leopard geckos from most other gecko species is the absence of adhesive toe pads. Instead, they have small claws. Leopard geckos cannot climb walls or glass, although their claws give extra traction on the ground and are helpful in digging; the same applies for the same group of old world geckos having eyelids. Like all geckos, they shed their tail, in a process called caudal autotomy if frightened or disturbed. Muscles at the base of the tail constrict to snap the vertebrae, severing most of the tail. The tail distracts the predator (wiggling and writhing on the ground) as the gecko makes its escape. Although they will eventually grow a new one, the regenerated tail will differ from the original, appearing bulbous and inferior. In its natural environment, the leopard gecko lives under rocks or in small caves to avoid temperature extremes. Like many desert dwelling species it is nocturnal or active at night. It hunts spiders, and small insect species. Occasionally they will hunt very small mammals.