A Hepetologist's notes: Leopard Geckos in the Wild

Embrace Calamity

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That's a great read. A lot of people on here insist that leos should have 100% rock (or slate) enclosures because they allegedly come from almost entirely rocky environments, but I can't say I ever bought that. (That's why I choose a rocky soil for my leo instead of the more common slate.) It's nice to see some real research on what their actual habitat is like. :)

~Maggot
 

Lindz0518

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I have always personally thought that it is fine to keep a leopard gecko on loose substrate, I had kept a leo on sand for almost 3 years. I just recently (in the past week) went to slate simply because of the convenience for cleaning purposes. Since bringing in my 3rd leopard gecko, my nightly feeding/cleaning round takes quite a while. I think with good husbandry practices that loose substrate is ok. Great article!
 

bronxzoofrank

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Thank you, much appreciated. I find that natural history tends to less attention than it should these days; we can't in anyway recreate nature, of course, but there are important lessons, and much of just plain great interest.

Best regards, frank
 

bronxzoofrank

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I have always personally thought that it is fine to keep a leopard gecko on loose substrate, I had kept a leo on sand for almost 3 years. I just recently (in the past week) went to slate simply because of the convenience for cleaning purposes. Since bringing in my 3rd leopard gecko, my nightly feeding/cleaning round takes quite a while. I think with good husbandry practices that loose substrate is ok. Great article!
Thanks for your feedback. There are some variables - i.e certain species that live on sand, moss, mud, gravel in the wild experience impactions and such in captivity (leopard geckos do seem to fare well on sand, as you mention), so we need to look at each individually. The exact nature of the substrate may matter, and hydration is important in determining how well waste and such moves through the animal; Calcium levels affect the strength of muscular contractions that are needed to expel waste (and eggs, young); the rest of the diet may play a role, and so on...complicated but interesting...Best regards, Frank
 

Embrace Calamity

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Sorry to double post to revive this thread, but since it's relevant...Frank, are there any notes on or do you have any personal knowledge of the communal behaviours of leos in the wild? I know they are generally considered solitary creatures in the wild (as the vast majority of reptiles are), but it has been suggested to me recently that that's not true, citing an experiment conducted in a book coauthored by Ron Tremper, I believe, in which 18 females and 3 males were being housed in the same enclosure (though the 3 males were exhibiting aggressive behaviours). Granted, I didn't read the book, but what was shown to me didn't suggest that the experimenter or the author were suggesting that they are communal, but simply that it could be done. However, the person citing it did in fact say that they are communal in the wild. So, point being, I'd be curious to know your opinions of their natural social behaviours and if you have any solid knowledge. :)

~Maggot
 

bronxzoofrank

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orry to double post to revive this thread, but since it's relevant...Frank, are there any notes on or do you have any personal knowledge of the communal behaviours of leos in the wild?

Hi..please don't hesitate to post anytime;

First...You can believe anything written by Ron Tremper (on herps anyway...I don't know anything about his other interests!)

I haven't seen anything on point, but I'm a bit behind in reviewing recent copies of several journals to which I subscribe; unfortunately, the other major journals which I do not receive do not all post table of contents notices, etc., so even in the internet age some info takes time to circulate. I'll keep an eye open and let you know; please do the same...they haven't been well-studied in the wild, so ....

They can be housed in groups sometimes, but much depends on size, set-up, hormonal levels of adults throughout the year, etc. But captivity changes everything, and most animals drastically modify their behavior in response..i.e. I've had groups of white crested laughing jay thrushes get along fine for years yet kill one another the day they were provided with larger exhibits; same happened with Cuban crocodiles and other herps; no hard/fast rules, unfortunately.

This relatively new info on Great Desert Skink Social Behavior shocked me - they even build communal retreats!

Let me know if you hear anything further, thx, Frank
 
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Embrace Calamity

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I did a quick search of Google Scholar to see if I could find anything, and there is some literature on leopard geckos, but I couldn't find anything about their communal behaviours in the wild. If I find anything, I'll post it, but I don't have high hopes.

Also, that's really cool. They're like prairie dogs with scales! :D

~Maggot
 

bronxzoofrank

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I did a quick search of Google Scholar to see if I could find anything, and there is some literature on leopard geckos, but I couldn't find anything about their communal behaviours in the wild. If I find anything, I'll post it, but I don't have high hopes.

Also, that's really cool. They're like prairie dogs with scales! :D

~Maggot

Well said! Take care, Frank
 

Embrace Calamity

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Yes...I need to get there; have friends in the zoo field there, but life has been conspiring against it lately...but soon..

Have you been? Best, Frankj
Unfortunately, no. But I've had an on-off relationship for the past 6 years with an Aussie, so I'm decently familiar with it - more so than with other countries, anyway. I guess that makes me kind of biased though. :p

~Maggot
 
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