Exotic animals like geckos are popular with animal lovers that want to keep them as pets. However, keeping an exotic gecko as a pet isn’t always easy. They require a lot of time, commitment, and care.
Therefore, there is a lot to think about before you consider buying a gecko. For starters, you should opt for a gecko that’s quite easy to care for. That’s where the panther gecko comes in.
Best known for its unique markings, the panther gecko is a great pet, as it is a lot easier to care for than other species of gecko (see also “Tokay Gecko Care Sheet“).
Having said that, there are still a lot of things you need to know. Today, we’re going to show you what it takes to care for a panther gecko.
In this post, you’ll find a panther gecko care sheet that covers everything it takes to keep a panther gecko as a pet (see also “Cuban Knight Anole Care Sheet“).
If you’re keen to learn more, keep reading!
An Overview Of The Panther Gecko
Let’s start with an overview of the panther gecko. Known scientifically as Paroedura pictus, the panther gecko is an exotic gecko that has origins in Madagascar.
The species is usually found in the island’s forests amongst the leaf litter.
Growing between 4 and 6 inches in size, the panther gecko is most famous for its unique markings. This species of gecko is primarily black and brown in color with large eyes.
When kept in a suitable environment, the panther gecko generally does very well in captivity.
The panther geckos’ diet typically consists of insects, primarily crickets. The average panther gecko kept in captivity will live for 6 to 10 years.
It is important to note that this species of gecko is quite timid, so it shouldn’t be handled unless absolutely necessary.
Behavior And Temperament
Their unique appearance isn’t the only thing the panther gecko is known for. Despite its timid nature, this species of gecko is also well-known for its interesting personality. Young juveniles tend to be bouncy and lively until they get older.
As the panther gecko gets older, it will start to become more docile. More often than not, the panther gecko is generally quite quiet and relaxed. They are also nocturnal, so they aren’t usually too active during the day.
They might not be the best gecko choice for families with pets as they don’t like to be held, but a panther gecko is a solid choice for first-time lizard owners. They are relatively easy to care for.
The only time you might encounter any trouble is if you try to pick the panther gecko up. This might cause the lizard stress. Their reaction to stress is to bite.
Housing A Panther Gecko
One of the key things you have to get right when keeping a panther gecko as a pet is its housing. Luckily, housing a panther gecko is quite easy.
Panther geckos have the ability to climb and in the wild, they will hang from fallen leaves. Therefore, an enclosure that has a secure lid is a must.
You can put some climbing branches in a panther gecko tank but some owners avoid them just in case their gecko falls and hurts itself.
When it comes to tank size, a 10-gallon housing tank will be more than enough. However, if you plan on keeping more than one gecko in the same tank, you will need a 20-gallon unit. It is crucial that you never house two males together.
Inside the tank, place five or six small hides, and a small water dish. There’s no need for a food dish as you’ll feed your gecko live insects.
Wild panther geckos don’t get much exposure to sunlight so a UVB light isn’t normally necessary. However, if you notice a change in your lizard’s behavior, primarily how lethargic it is, you could add light to see if it feels any better.
You should only expose the gecko to 10 or 12 hours of light a day.
Panther geckos don’t require too much heat either. In fact, a basking area with a temperature of roughly 85°F will suffice. It is also important that the owner prevents the tank’s overall temperature from dropping below 70°F at night.
A basic heat light will prevent this from happening. The heat light you choose should emit white light during the day and red, blue, or purple light at night. Using a ceramic heater is acceptable too.
Using a reptile hygrometer, you should ensure that the humidity in your panther gecko’s tank never falls below 60%. You can maintain humidity in the tank using the water dish and through misting.
The substrate is the material that sits at the bottom of a panther gecko tank. This material helps maintain humidity and a natural habitat for the gecko. You can use natural materials like a jungle dirt mix or bark chips to line the tank.
You could also throw in some small branches and sticks.
Reptile carpeting is a good option too, as it’s cheap and easy to clean.
Feeding A Panther Gecko
Feeding a panther gecko is surprisingly easy. This type of gecko is an insectivore, which means it feeds off insects. You can feed your gecko dead insects, but for your reptile’s sake, providing them with live insects is more fulfilling.
They will eat whatever insects you give them, but they primarily enjoy eating crickets. Young panther geckos should eat once every day, whilst older geckos can be fed every other day.
When it comes to feeding your gecko the right-sized insects, a general rule you can follow is to feed your gecko insects that are as long as the distance between the gecko’s eyes. As far as water is concerned, always make sure the water dish has water in it.
Health And Hygiene
To keep your panther geckos healthy and clean, we recommend sticking to the following rules.
- Change the water dish every day.
- Disinfect the water dish once a week.
- Spot clean the substrate daily.
- Agitate the substrate once a week.
- Replace the substrate once a month.
- Check the enclosure for security and good airflow every day.
- Clean the walls of the enclosure once a week.
- Wipe down and disinfect the enclosure’s decor once a month.
Caring for a panther gecko isn’t actually that difficult.
As long as you set everything up correctly, provide your gecko with the basic things it needs to live a healthy and happy life, and regularly monitor the health and well-being of your panther gecko, you won’t have any problems.
This care sheet has shown you everything it takes to care for a panther gecko (see also “Green Anole Care Sheet“). Now you have this guide at your fingertips, you should be able to effectively and safely keep a panther gecko as a pet.
Now all you have to do is decide if you want to buy one or not!
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