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Learn everything you need to know

THE LEOPARD GECKO HANDBOOK

This book is packed with easy-to-understand information on selecting and setting up a habitat, feeding, breeding, and all other aspects of proper leopard gecko care.

How Big Does A Leopard Gecko Get?

If you are thinking about getting a leopard gecko, one factor to consider is how large the reptile will be.

It is important to know how big your leopard gecko will grow, so you are able to provide your new pet with a large enough enclosure.

While leopard geckos are relatively small animals, how big do they actually get?

On average, adult female leopard geckos are 7-8” inches long and weigh between 45-70 grams. Adult male leopard geckos tend to be slightly larger, growing from 8-10” inches long and weighing between 60-90 grams.

Both sexes of leopard gecko start out very small. 

As hatchlings, they are only 2.5-3” inches long and weigh 3-5 grams.

There are different care requirements for leopard geckos, depending on their age and size.

For instance, baby and juvenile leos need a smaller enclosure than the larger adults, and they need to be fed more frequently to keep up with their rapid growth.

Keep reading to learn more about how big leopard geckos get, as well as issues which may affect their growth.

 

how big does a leopard gecko get

Leopard Gecko Growth Table

The table below shows the average length and weight of a leopard gecko, according to its age.

Leopard Gecko AgeAverage LengthAverage Weight
Hatchling3-4” inches2-5 grams
1 Month4” inches15-20 grams
2 Months5” inches18-30 grams
6 Months5-6” inches25-60 grams
18 Months8-11” inches40-90 grams

How Big Are Hatchling Leopard Geckos?

Leopard gecko hatchlings are tiny, typically measuring about 2.5″ – 3″ inches long from snout to tail tip, and weighing around 3-5 grams.

Since they start so small, they need to receive special care and attention. 

Hatchling Leopard geckos should be housed in a small container measuring around 10″ inches long by 8″ inches wide by 6″ inches high.

This little space (compared to a large, full-sized tank) ensures they won’t get lost or have problems finding their food and water. 

Another thing to keep in mind if you have a small, hatchling Leopard gecko is only to use paper towels as a substrate.

Their small size puts them at a much higher risk of substrate impaction (experiencing intestinal blockage after accidentally consuming substrate particles).

Lining their container with paper towels helps prevent impaction problems.

Due to their small size, hatchling Leopard geckos require a very shallow water dish.

You may try using a plastic milk bottle top or something similar.

Just make sure whatever you use is shallow enough to prevent them from drowning. 

How Long Does it Take For a Leopard Gecko to Grow Full Size?

Although hatchling Leopard geckos are tiny, they grow relatively quickly, reaching full size around the one year mark.

Although technically full-grown at one year of age, leopard geckos, like all reptiles, continue to grow their entire lives.

This is why they regularly shed their skin, even once they’ve reached adulthood. 

Are Male Leopard Geckos Bigger than Females?

An adult male Leopard gecko is typically bigger than its female counterparts.

They will generally grow about 2″ – 4″ inches longer, have broader heads, thicker necks, a wider tail base, and bulkier bodies.

These size differences will most likely not be noticeable until they reach adulthood. 

Male Leopard geckos also have post-anal swellings and a V-shaped row of pre-anal pores.

While both sexes have cloacal spurs, the males are typically larger. 

How Big Does a Leopard Gecko Get?

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As we already learned, when Leopard Geckos hatch from their eggs, they are quite small, measuring about 2″ – 3″ inches in length and weighing only around 4 grams.

But Leopard geckos, the largest of the gecko species, grow quickly, reaching their adult size in about a year. 

Adult females are usually around 7″ to 8″ inches long from snout to tail tip and weigh between 45 to 70 grams.

Adult males are typically 8 to 10″ inches long from snout to tail tip and weigh anywhere between 60 to 90 grams. 

Why is my Leopard Gecko Not Growing?

If your Leopard Gecko isn’t growing and appears much smaller than the average size and weight we mentioned above, there are four different possible reasons. 

Bullying

Yes, you read that right! Bullying is a common problem among Leopard geckos, especially between males.

If your Leopard gecko is housed in the same enclosure with other geckos, it may be getting bullied.

This means they may be fighting over food, water, or hiding spots, leaving the loser of the fight (usually the smallest or weakest of the bunch) without access to these necessities. 

The best solution to this problem is to house your geckos in separate enclosures.

Another possible solution is to only house males with females, never with other males. 

Nutritional Problems

Another reason why your Leopard gecko may not be growing correctly is because of a poor diet.

Your gecko may be eating regularly and getting enough quantity, but if the quality of its food doesn’t meet its nutritional needs, it will have a hard time growing and maintaining weight. 

Learn more about what leopard geckos eat.

Leopard geckos are insectivores and should be given a diet full of variety.

In other words, don’t make the mistake of only feeding it one or two different insects as this can lead to nutritional deficiencies.

Instead, give them a varied diet full of:

  • Crickets
  • Waxworms
  • Silkworms
  • Beetles
  • Cockroaches
  • Butter worms
  • Tomato hornworms
  • Dubia roaches

Mealworms, waxworms, and superworms, though popular with Leopard geckos, should only be fed in moderation. 

It is also essential to gut load the feeder insects for a minimum of 24 hours before feeding them to your gecko.

Why? Since gut-loaded insects are well-fed themselves, they provide excellent nutritional value to your Leopard gecko.

If your gecko is young, you may consider coating the feeders with a calcium or Vitamin D3 plus Calcium supplement. 

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Tail Healing

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Another common reason why Leopard geckos experience stunted growth is due to tail dropping.

If your Leo recently dropped its tail and since then you’ve noticed a decline or stunting in its growth or size, it may be because most of its nutrients are going towards repairing the tail. 

This is a natural process, and once the tail is healed, your gecko should continue to grow or regain the lost weight.

Just make sure you continue to offer it plenty of nutrient-rich food during this time. 

Learn more about the interesting tail regrowing process for leopard geckos in our article here.

Health Issues

Finally, if your gecko looks thin and hasn’t been growing correctly, there may be a more significant health issue.

If you’ve made any necessary adjustments to your husbandry (separating geckos, offering a varied, nutrient-rich diet) and still your Leopard gecko is thin or not growing, it may be time to take it to the vet. 

Our full guide to leopard gecko husbandry is here.

Weight loss and stunted growth are sometimes an indication of more severe health problems going on, so it’s best to let an experienced reptile vet examine your Leo to ensure no other health problems are going on. 

Poor Habitat Conditions

Improper lighting, temperature, and humidity in your leopard gecko’s enclosure will all affect the reptile’s growth.

Provide your gecko with 10-12 hours of light each day, according to the time of year.

Not giving your leo enough light during the day or too much at night will disrupt the reptile’s circadian rhythm. 

This disruption will stress the gecko out, and it may eat less, which will affect its growth.

Leopard geckos also need heat to help with digestion, so a proper temperature gradient in the enclosure is vital.

Temperatures on the cool side should range from 75-80° degrees Fahrenheit (27° C) and 80-85° degrees Fahrenheit (29° C) on the warm side.

The enclosure also needs a warmer basking area with temperatures between 90-95° degrees Fahrenheit (35° C).

Optimal humidity levels in the enclosure are 30%-40%. 

Humidity levels higher or lower than this range put your leopard gecko at risk of skin infection and respiratory illness.

A sick or injured gecko will suffer from appetite loss, and its growth will be stunted from the lack of nutrition.

Conclusion

If you’ve been wondering how big a Leopard gecko gets, we hope this article answered your question.

Upon hatching, Leopard geckos are around 3″ inches in length and only weigh about 4 grams.

They grow quickly, reaching adult size within one year.

Female adult Leopard geckos are typically around 7″ to 8″ inches long from snout to tail and weigh about 45 to 70 grams.

An adult male leopard gecko is usually 8″ to 10″ inches long from snout to the tip of the tail and weigh anywhere between 60 to 90 grams.

Commonly Asked Questions

How long does it take a leopard gecko to grow?

A leopard gecko is considered to be an adult between the ages of 10-12 months, but it will not be fully grown until 18-24 months.

Sexual maturity in leopard geckos is determined by weight rather than age.

Leopard geckos are able to breed once they reach a weight between 35-45 grams, but it is best to wait until the gecko is at least 12 months old. 

This waiting period is crucial for female leos because producing and laying eggs takes a significant toll on their bodies.

Breeding an underweight or malnourished leopard gecko is very dangerous for the animal.

Do leopard geckos grow to the size of their tank?

Tank size does not have an effect on how large your leopard gecko grows.

However, the size of your leo’s enclosure will definitely have an impact on its quality of life.

Baby and juvenile leopard geckos will feel more secure in a 10-gallon tank.

Once the leo is an adult, a 20-gallon or larger tank is better because it gives the lizard more space to explore and exercise.

How often should I feed my leopard gecko?

Baby leopard geckos are fast growers, so they need to be fed 5-7 small crickets daily.

When the gecko reaches four inches in length, begin offering larger insects one time every other day.

A leopard gecko will eat 6-7 large crickets 2-3 times per week as an adult.

Insects should never be larger than the space between a leopard gecko’s eyes.

Why is my leopard gecko’s tail so fat?

A leopard gecko uses its tail to store fat, so it is able to survive when food is scarce.

If a leopard gecko has dropped its tail, the regrown tail is usually shorter and broader than usual.

It is normal for a leo’s tail to be fat. 

But if there are fat rolls on the stomach or air bubbles in the armpits, these are signs your gecko is overweight.

Seek a veterinarian for a health exam and a diet plan for your leo.

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