yes, another newbie question - "pinkies" & ins

Discussion in 'General Lizards' started by karembeu_ca, Sep 19, 2007.

  1. karembeu_ca

    karembeu_ca Embryo

    We are looking to get my daughter her first reptile (at her request), and after research and chatting to some stores it seems the Leopard Gecko is the ideal choice for her. We have spent a while looking at research on habitats, feeding etc., and the only thing that concerns me about the care is the suggestion that 'pinkies' should be used in the diet on a regular (if not frequent) basis.

    Having worked with rodents in university, and had rats and mice as pets, i'm not sure I could bring myself to feed a pinkie to a gecko, regardless of how cute the gecko was :) Are pinkies really 'required'?

    Also, will we end up with tons of crickets laying around while we fatten them up, or do you recommend buying them only as needed - that is, only keeping enough for the upcoming week for instance.

    Any help or direction is needed. We are new to reptiles, but are excited about it, and want to make sure we do our best for the gecko.

    edit: we were just offered a 1 yr old Crested Gecko from someone who can no longer look after it. Is a crested a similarly good 'starter' reptile?
    we have always been an adopt or rescue family versus buying from the pet stores, so this appeals to me.

    JEFFREH Administrator

  3. kinyonga

    kinyonga Embryo

    I have the same pair of geckos that I got in 1993 and during those years, they have been fed pinkies once or twice at the beginning. They have been healthy and reproduced well (although the reproduction is slowing down now that they are old).

    Leopard geckos are a good lizard to start off with! They are one of the easier ones!

    They need the insects to be dusted with calcium since most of the feeder insects have a poor ratio of calcium to phosphorous. You can also leave a small cap/lid of calcium powder in their cage and they will lick up what they need.

    I also give mine vitamins (that have a beta carotene source of vitamin A) dusted on the insects twice a month. Preformed sources can build up in the system.

    I dust the insects with a phosphorous-free calcium/D3 powder twice a month too. D3 from supplements can build up in the system so don't overdo it.

    UVB lights are okay to use on the cage....but many people don't bother. I feel it doesn't do any harm and may do some I have used them.

    Gutloading and feeding your insects a nutritious diet is good for the I wouldn't just buy insects at the store and just come home and feed them to the geckos. You need to at least gutload them with some greens, veggies, etc. before giving them to the gecko (and this applies to any other lizard you might end up with).

    Crested geckos are not much more difficult from my somewhat limited experience with them (compared to leos). They also eat fruit in addition to insects.

    Here's some information you might like to read...
    "Leopard Geckos (Eublepharis macularius) are crepuscular although they have often been observed basking in captivity, and it is also likely that small amounts of UV light penetrate their daytime shelters in the wild. All the samples taken from the backs of four different geckos proved remarkably similar, transmitting 37 - 44% total UVB (measured with the Solarmeter 6.2, confirmed by the spectrograms) and 34-35% in the D3 range (measured with the Solarmeter 6.4, also confirmed by the spectrograms). The skin shed from a leopard gecko's back transmits up to 14 times more UVB than the shed from a bearded dragon's back. It seems likely that this skin would respond efficiently to low levels of UV light, since even small amounts of light would reach the deeper layers where D3 synthesis can take place.

    The skin shed sample from the head of the leopard gecko was less permeable to UV light. It looks darker to the naked eye, as well, and the pigmented spots are more clearly seen. Why the skin of the head should provide better UV shielding than skin on the rest of the body is unknown. Although skin from the head was only sampled from one gecko, it is interesting to note that the skin from the back of this animal was the most transparent to UV of all the gecko skin tested, making the contrast with the head more remarkable.

    In captivity, we might expect this species to benefit from low levels of UVB, but high levels might be harmful, since such a large proportion of it penetrates the skin."

    Two things that I do not recommend that are often mentioned in care sheets for geckos...

    I do NOT feed them meal worms because there have been cases of them causing impaction. (One or two here or there is fine.)

    I do NOT recommend the use of causes impaction frequently.

    Leopard geckos...there are lots of care sheets out are a couple to get you started.....

    Crested geckos...just a couple of sites to get you started.....

    Any other questions....just ask....I'll do my best to answer them!
    Good luck!

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