Most of you know them under common name Leopard Geckos (Eublepharis macularius), but they are not the only Eublephars available in the hobby. They are most common, and there is a reason we like them so much and why they are always being recommended to novice keepers.
Eublephars are ground dwelling geckos that do not climb glass. This feature makes them easy to keep without of fear of them finding a gap in containment and escaping. They are also relatively sturdy animals and most importantly, they are handleable.
Other distinguishing features are lids over an eye. Unlike other geckos, they can close the lid and close the eye. All of them are nocturnal and sport the snake like vertical pupil in the eye.
Leopard geckos had been very popular due to their good nature, relatively low cost and handleability. Being bred for many generations in captivity, there are many different colour morphs that make this species highly collectable. With a strong trend to offer only captive bred reptiles in the hobby, no wonder this species dominates the market.
Point of today's article is not to write about Leopard Geckos, but to bring in other members of the family Eublepharidae.
Second most commonly kept Eublephar is African Fat Tail Gecko (Hemitheconyx caudicinctus).
While you will have difficulty finding wild caught Leopard Gecko in the hobby, as imports are very rare, expensive and usually arranged to introduce "fresh blood" to colonies by breeders, African Fat Tails are available both as WC and CB animals, with wild caught (WC) getting significantly less popular, due to problems with acclimation as well as due to ethical way they are being collected.
African Fat Tail Geckos are easy to reproduce and , although not as prolific as Leopard Geckos, are propagated in large numbers in captivity with several colour morphs available on a market today. Similar in care to Leopard Geckos, together represent majority of Eublepharids kept in the hobby.
It is a time to introduce less known members of this fascinating family.
Chinese Cave Gecko (Goniurosaurus hainanensis) lives in slightly different habitat then previous two. Both Leopards and Fat Tails live in arid area and hide in burrows made by themselves or repurposed from other burrowing species living in the same habitat. Cave Geckos live on forest floor near rock outcroppings in tropical climate. they are more slender and slightly smaller that previously described species. Set up for them would include forest substrate and hiding spots in form of small caves or coconut halves. Live plants and moss can be used to complement the decoration and make it look They require frequent misting and maintaining high ambient humidity. Their signature bright red or maroon eye is very dramatic and makes them highly desirable species. There are several other Cave geckos species available in the hobby, but Chinese Cave Gecko is by far most readily available and bred in largest numbers.
Cat Gecko (Aeluroscalabotes felinus) is found in Malasian and Thai rainforests. Care similar to Cave Geckos, but with more opportunities to climb. This species takes its name from the pose they take during resting hours. They curl up just like cats with their snout tucked under tail. It is beautiful and very rewarding species although somewhat delicate. It bred readily for us and we have offered second generation captive juveniles past year. This is small and slender gecko with delicate skin. Striped subspecies are sometimes offered , but they commend quite high prices.
One of my most favorite and generally very underappreciated species that is available both as an import and CB animal - Central American Banded Gecko (Coleonyx mitratus).
This is a small gecko, that like the previously described tropical species , lives on the bottom of tropical forest. very easy to take care of, not requiring large enclosures a perfect "desktop pet" We keep pairs in the drawer system and pair of those beauies occupies space roughly size of the shoe box.
Easy to sex and quite prolific. I do not understand why they are not as popular as they should be. They are easy to care, inexpensive to make a proper habitat for, very attractive in markings and easy to reproduce. I hope after reading this blog, some of you may give them a chance. maybe they are waiting to be discovered by the hobbyists. They certainly deserve attention.
East Indian Leopard Gecko (Eublepharis hardwickii) is a close cousin of Leopard Gecko from Eastern part of India. Unlike his common cousin, it lives in tropical environment. Absolutely stunning species. There are no colour morphs of this one as it is relatively rare in collections and not that long ago, this species was commanding thousands of dollars on the market. In the hobby only CB animals are being offered, as India does not allow reptile exports. This species is not well known in the hobby and certainly disserves attention. We have been breeding and offering for sale this species since 2021. Currently, several animals are available for purchase. Pictured here one of our juveniles.
Here is another Indian species of Leopard Gecko - West Indian Leopard Gecko (Eublepharis fuscus). Similar to previously described, with near identical habitat and coming from Western India. Like predecessor, only CB animals are available in the trade and pictured here is a juvenile of this species. Prices of both species are dropping lately, as we managed to reproduce them locally in Canada. While we are still waiting for our first babies of West Indians, local breeder was successfully breeding this species for last year and over 200 animals fond home in Canada. This species is even more impressive as adult. Picture below shows two of our five breeders.
Eublephars deserve great reputation they have. They are hardy, attractive relatively easy to care and they do not require expensive set ups. Purposely, I am not including care requirements for any of the described species. There are plenty of sources to get this information, and blog is not a format, where this kind of information should be disseminated. You know, you can always ask me. Just send me an email :)
I want to bring this group to everyone's attention, because they are one of most rewarding groups of geckos to keep. Some rare, some common, but always fascinating. Affordability factor is there too! Those beautiful Central American Banded Geckos are most affordable from the bunch, closely followed by Leopard Geckos and African Fat Tails. You may have big budget for rare geckos or small one for more common species, one thing is sure. You will love experience of having any one of the mentioned species.
Every picture posted here was taken in our facility. We have ongoing breeding program for every species listed here. Hope to hear from you soon!