How Long Are Leopard Geckos Juvenile? A Comprehensive Guide for New Owners!

Leopard geckos have a distinctive appearance that sets them apart from other gecko species. They have bumpy skin with broad, smooth scales on their bellies. Their tails are long and thick and can be used as a defense mechanism to distract predators. Leopard geckos have sharp claws that are ideal for climbing and digging, and their feet have adhesive pads that help them grip surfaces.

Natural Habitat and Distribution

Leopard geckos are native to desert regions of Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan, and India. They are found in rocky areas, arid grasslands, and scrublands. They are nocturnal and spend most of their time hiding in burrows or under rocks during the day when temperatures are high. They come out at night to hunt for insects and other small prey.

Life Cycle of Leopard Geckos

Leopard geckos have a relatively long life cycle, which can be divided into three stages – egg hatching, juvenile stage, and adulthood.

Egg Hatching

Female leopard geckos lay eggs in clutches of two, usually around four times per year. The eggs are incubated for around two months before hatching. The temperature at which the eggs are incubated determines the sex of the hatchlings.

Juvenile Stage

After hatching, leopard geckos enter their juvenile stage, which lasts from birth until they reach sexual maturity. During this stage, they experience rapid growth and development. They shed their skin frequently, which allows them to grow and adapt to their environment. As they grow, their patterns and coloration may change.


Once leopard geckos reach sexual maturity, they enter their adult stage. This typically occurs when they are around 8 to 12 months old. At this point, their growth rate slows down, and they become sexually active. Leopard geckos can breed throughout their adult life, and females can lay eggs even without a male present.

Determining Age of Leopard Geckos

Determining the age of a leopard gecko can be tricky, particularly if you have recently acquired one. However, there are a few key indicators that can give you an idea of their age.

Size and Weight

Leopard geckos grow rapidly during their juvenile stage. Their size and weight can give you an idea of their age. Typically, a leopard gecko will be around 3 to 4 inches long and weigh between 10 to 20 grams when they are first born. By the time they reach adulthood, they will have grown to around 8 to 10 inches long and weigh between 50 to 70 grams.

Coloration and Patterns

The coloration and patterns of a leopard gecko can also give you an idea of their age. Younger leopard geckos typically have brighter and more vivid colors, while older geckos tend to have more muted tones. Additionally, as leopard geckos age, their spots and patterns may become less defined.

Development of Body Features

The development of certain body features can also give you an idea of your leopard gecko’s age. For example, younger geckos may have a shorter and thinner tail compared to older geckos. They may also have less defined creases around their eyes and mouth.

Juvenile Leopard Geckos

Length of Juvenile Stage

The juvenile stage of leopard geckos typically lasts for around 6 to 12 months. However, the exact length of this stage can vary depending on factors such as genetics, diet, and environment.

Growth Rate

During their juvenile stage, leopard geckos experience rapid growth. They can grow up to 1 inch per month and can gain up to 5 grams per week. Proper nutrition and a suitable environment are crucial during this stage to ensure that they grow and develop correctly.

Feeding and Nutrition

Feeding your juvenile leopard gecko a nutritious and balanced diet is essential for their growth and development. Juvenile leopard geckos should be fed every day, and their diet should consist of a variety of insects, such as crickets, mealworms, and waxworms. It is also essential to dust their food with a calcium supplement to promote healthy bone development.

Caring for Juvenile Leopard Geckos

Caring for juvenile leopard geckos requires attention to several key factors.

Housing Requirements

Leopard geckos require a suitable habitat that mimics their natural environment. A 20-gallon tank is suitable for a single leopard gecko. The enclosure should be outfitted with hiding spots, climbing structures, and a heat source, such as an under-tank heater or heat lamp.

Temperature and Lighting Needs

Leopard geckos require a temperature gradient in their enclosure. The basking spot should be around 90°F, while the cool side of the enclosure should be around 75°F. They also require exposure to UVB lighting, which is essential for proper calcium metabolism and overall health.

Hydration and Moisture

Leopard geckos require access to clean water at all times. They also require a suitable substrate, such as reptile carpet or paper towels, which can help maintain appropriate humidity levels.

Handling and Socialization

Handling your juvenile leopard gecko can help them become more comfortable with human interaction. However, it is essential to handle them gently and avoid grabbing their tail, which can cause it to detach.

Common Health Issues for Juvenile Leopard Geckos

While leopard geckos are generally hardy pets, they are still susceptible to certain health issues, particularly during their juvenile stage.

Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD)

MBD is a condition that occurs when a leopard gecko’s body does not receive enough calcium. Symptoms include a lack of appetite, lethargy, and weakness.


Parasites such as mites and ticks can affect leopard geckos, particularly if they are housed with other reptiles. Symptoms include itching, skin irritation, and lethargy.

Respiratory Infections

Respiratory infections can occur in leopard geckos that are housed in an environment that is too cold or too damp. Symptoms include wheezing, coughing, and difficulty breathing.


Leopard geckos are fascinating and rewarding pets that can provide years of enjoyment with proper care. Understanding their life cycle and how to care for them during their juvenile stage is essential for their overall health and wellbeing. By following the guidelines outlined in this comprehensive guide, you can ensure that your juvenile leopard gecko grows and develops correctly and lives a long and healthy life.

ThePetFaq Team