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Are Leopard Geckos Nocturnal? Everything You Need To Know.

A close up photo of a leopard gecko

Have you ever wondered if a leopard gecko is a nocturnal species? Are they active at night or in the day?

Well in this article I will be explaining everything that you could possibly want to know. If you are planning on owning a leopard gecko or if you are just curious you will love some of these facts.

Anyway let’s first look at the answer to the main question.

Are leopard geckos nocturnal?

Ok so this is just going to be the quick and simple answer to the question for anyone that doesn’t have time to read the rest of the article.

I do recommend reading it all though as there is so much cool information to learn!

So are leopard geckos nocturnal? It was long though that leopard geckos are nocturnal, however the truth is that they are actually crepuscular. This means that they prefer dusk and dawn to do their hunting and activities instead of the dead of night. So no leopard geckos are not nocturnal.

That was the quick answer but below I will go into lots more detail and give you some pretty cool facts.

Leopards geckos are crepuscular.

Unlike nocturnal animals, leopards geckos much prefer to do much of their activity such as hunting as the sun is going down or coming up.

By definition a crepuscular animal will be awake from dusk right through to dawn. A nocturnal animal will not do this and prefers to only be awake deep into the darkness of the night.

Leopard geckos have big eyes for their body size which allows them so see well in the dusk/dawn hours and in the darkness of the night.

Are leopard geckos a diurnal species?

No, definitely not. Some species of lizards such as bearded dragons and iguanas are diurnal but leopard geckos are not.

An animal that is diurnal likes to be awake during the day and asleep during the night, much like ourselves!

Lizards that are diurnal tend to need to bask under the bright sunlight so that they can produce vitamin D3 through synthesis from the UVB light. As for absorbing light and heat, this is done through the lizards back.

Do leopard geckos need to bask.

The simple answer to this question is no. They get the heat that they need to live through their belly and undersides instead of their backs.

Because of this you need to make sure that your leopard gecko has ample under tank heating for when it needs to warm up.

Instead if using synthesis to produce their required vitamin D3 and calcium they get it from their food sources. This is why it really is essential to make sure that you follow a good feeding guide to make sure that your leopard gecko gets all of the nourishment that it needs.

If you would like to read my leopard gecko feeding guide have a look at this article. It will provide you with everything you need to know.

 Should you provide a basking light for your leopard gecko?

In reality a leopard gecko does not bask in the sun, so no you should not provide a basking light.

If however you do want to put a basking light in the tank you need to make sure that it is a large tank. 30-40 gallons should do it. This will provide your gecko with enough space to move from under the basking light when it has had enough.

You will also need to reduce the amount of supplements that you give it as it could potentially overdose if it is receiving some from the UVB light.

If you are lucky enough to be the owner of an albino leopard gecko you should definitely not put a basking light in the tank. This will seriously harm your gecko and cause burns to the skin and eyes.

You may be wondering why an albino leopard gecko cannot have any basking light at all if it is diurnal. Well this is because even though leopard geckos go out in the sunlight in the wild, an albino gecko is not natural. It is a genetic mutation and as such will not be suited to the UVB.

In conclusion.

Leopard geckos are not a nocturnal species they are actually diurnal. So next time someone asks tells you that they are you can let them know the truth!

The true definition of a nocturnal animal is one that will only go out in the dark. Where as leopard geckos like to go out in the dark but also in the first hour of sunrise and also sunset.

During the day in the wild they like to burrow deep underground, out of the way of any would be predators that may be out hunting.

If you would like to read more about the heat and light requirements of a leopard gecko then check out this link. It will take you to my guide about the topic!

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