When you begin keeping reptiles at home, it’s normal to develop a certain curiosity about other reptiles. If you’ve got a leopard gecko, you might wonder whether he’d be happy with a tank mate.
With lots of different lizards (chameleons, crested geckos, bearded dragons, anoles, iguanas etc.), it’s so easy to want to add to your collection – especially if your tank is kitted out with all the best gear.
But, can leopard geckos live with other lizards? Although it may seem a fun idea to give your leopard gecko a friend to live with, it is generally a bad idea. Different species of lizards do not get along and will fight, also they really on different environmental factors such as temperature and humidity to survive and thrive.
Let’s look at some considerations for gecko tank mates.
Can a leopard gecko live with a crested gecko?
Leopard geckos can’t be housed with crested geckos. Despite both being geckos, these lizards come from very different places, which means their humidity and temperature needs are different.
It would be extremely difficult – if not impossible – to construct a terrarium that meets the needs of both species.
What’s more, these animals aren’t communal animals and like to live alone.
It’s possible to house two of the same species together if you really want to – but you’ll need to look at the dynamics.
Housing multiple females together is usually ok and a male with females can be fine too, but there should never be more than one male per terrarium.
How do the natural habitats of leopard geckos differ from crested geckos?
Leopard geckos are found in central Asia in places like Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and in some places in India.
They live in regions that are semiarid or arid. Leopard geckos are nocturnal. During the day, they hide from the heat and they venture out at night to hunt and forage.
Leopard geckos are terrestrial lizards. This means that they live on the ground and so require a terrarium that is horizontal. They don’t need lots of branches and plants. This terrarium is the perfect example of what you should be looking for
In terms of temperature, leopard geckos need to live between 27 to 29° C (80-95°F). Humidity-wise, leopard geckos need the humidity level to be between 30 to 40% as they are desert animals who are not able to adapt to higher levels of humidity.
They do require a higher humidity to shed, but the terrarium shouldn’t be high continuously.
Crested geckos live in New Caledonian forests. Unlike leopard geckos, they are arboreal, which means they spend the majority of their life in foliage and trees rather than on the ground.
For this reason, a crested gecko needs a vertical terrarium with lots of branches and plants.
Temperature-wise, crested geckos prefer temperatures similar to us humans – between 24 and 27°C (high 70s F). As for humidity, crested geckos’ natural habitat is one that has very high humidity.
They need the humidity to be between 60 and 80% so that they stay healthy and can shed their skin.
As we have explained, leopard geckos and crested geckos have very different environmental needs, which would make it impossible to live together.
Diet differences between leopard geckos and crested geckos
As we’ve seen, there are huge habitat differences between the two, but what about diet?
Leopard geckos mostly live on insects when in their natural habitat but in captivity will also enjoy waxworms, mealworms, and crickets. Crested geckos, on the other hand, will eat fruit as well as insects. Have a look at my ultimate guide to leopard gecko diet for more info on leopard gecko diet or for crested gecko diet check out this link.
As pets, they usually eat meal replacement powders but they can also have fruit and insects occasionally as treats.
As you can see, there are differences in the diets of these two animals, which is another reason why these animals aren’t great at living together.
Behavioural differences between leopard geckos and crested geckos
Both male leopard geckos and crested geckos are very territorial and fight when together. By putting a leopard gecko with a smaller crested gecko, you run the risk of the leopard gecko bullying the crested gecko and being territorial.
Can a leopard gecko live with a bearded dragon?
Unfortunately, leopard geckos cannot live with bearded dragons either. For one, leopard geckos are much smaller than bearded dragons and they will likely wind up as food sooner or later.
What’s more, just like with crested geckos, the housing requirements for bearded dragons and very different too.
Different habitats of bearded dragons and leopard geckos
Leopard geckos, as we’ve seen, are from arid and semi-arid central Asia. Bearded dragons, on the other hand, are from dry woodlands in Australia.
Bearded dragons need lots of bright light – a good UVB bulb with a high output – and very high temperatures.
Unlike leopard geckos, bearded dragons are diurnal, which means they sleep at night like humans. For this reason alone, you can see why it would be impossible for a leopard gecko to live with a bearded dragon.
Finally, both of these reptiles carry parasites. However, these parasites differ and they can make each other sick if they are around another animal or its faeces.
Are there any lizards a leopard gecko can live with?
Leopard geckos do fine alone. They will thrive in a solitary environment and generally speaking, are better off this way.
Certain lizards, (geckos, bearded dragons, anoles) and chelonians (tortoises and turtles) can live together successfully if set up in tanks of the same species.
Snakes should always be alone, though, even ones of the same species.
If you are thinking of having another lizard with your leopard gecko, your only option is another leopard gecko. Realistically speaking, though, it would be much better for everyone if your leopard gecko lives alone.
Do leopard geckos get lonely?
It’s not natural for geckos to live in groups. Even though leopard geckos are easy-going and not aggressive, they still prefer being solitary.
They can sometimes be territorial too so they’re happier alone. In the wild, leopard geckos are only likely to spend time with another gecko when it’s time for mating. Even females don’t stick around to care for their babies.
Summary – can leopard geckos live with other lizards?
As you’ve seen in this article, it’s not a good idea to house your leopard gecko with another lizard. If you’re really keen, the only way to do it is with another leopard gecko.
However, if your leopard gecko is male, you shouldn’t put another male in his terrarium because this will cause fighting.
The reasons for not putting your leopard gecko in with other species are clear: lots of similar animals, including other types of gecko, actually have different requirements.
For example, despite both being geckos, the leopard gecko and crested gecko actually come from very different environments and habitats. One requires higher heat, the other needs higher humidity.
They also require different tank setups to simulate their natural habitats. Even if they would live together happily, there is no way you could manage their environment to keep each gecko happy.
Due to huge differences in size as well as habitat, leopard geckos aren’t suitable to be tank mates with bearded dragons either.
So, if you have room for more than one lizard in your life, it really is best for all if they have their own terrarium. After all, they don’t mind and won’t get lonely!
My name is Andy Baines and I am the owner and writer here at Super Crazy Pets.
For the last 20 years I have been the carer/parent of many exotic pets, from reptiles to amphibians I have cared for and looked after them all.
I created this website to share my knowledge of looking after pets with other fellow owners.
My works and articles have been shared on many online publications including The Spruce Pets.
You can read more about my story by visiting the about me page.