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" all I can say is "WOW and Thank You" . they will make my cage making a much easier and a more fun task. Once again thank you for your web site and you prompt support"
Burt Tejada

I am ... very happy with your plans, the organization that you have put into it and I am extremely happy with the response I have gotten from you when I have encountered a problem.
It sure does save money. At the same time it allows me and others like me to experience making the cage for our animal (animals) that we care so much about. I think that when someone takes the time to sit down and make something like this for their animal it really shows how much they care for them and respect them.

With your plans you can also alter the cage to each and everyone's specifications, or needs. I think what you are doing is wonderful and I want to thank you again.

Robert Hansford


"This is going to make an 11 year old and his lizard Rex very happy".


Spent $108.00 at Lowes, another $65.00 at Home Depot buying things that Lowes didn't have..... Spending time with my son in a hardware store.... PRICELESS!"


"Overall, the best thing I have found from the cage designs... is that:
They work!!!!

They allow you to view and touch your Iguana from all sides, This is a must!

Once you have the material list you don't go back to the hardware store.

Just follow the instructions and it comes out perfect.

Your maintenance will be much easier.

Your iguana will thank you

Once again, you will have built something cool. "

Regards and best to all our Green Iguana friends, Lance and Joey Portwood Glidden, Texas ".


"Very well thought-out designs"



Leopard Gecko Care

Eublepharis macularius
By Christina Miller - Herptiles.net (http://www.herptiles.net)

I. Introduction

The leopard gecko is one of the most popular lizards in the pet world. Easy to care for and readily available in many different colour morphs, this species is an excellent choice for beginners and a favourite of more advanced hobbyists. This small lizard also has an astonishing longevity, and can live to 20 years of age.

The leopard gecko is different from most other species in the Gekkonidae family (sub-family Eublepharinae, the true eyelid, or eublepharine geckos); it lacks the adhesive toe pads and lens-like eyelids that characterize the majority of gecko species. They are small lizards, females reaching about 20cm (7.8") in length, males about 25cm (9.8") long. Males have a large bulge and a row of pores beneath on the underside of the base of their tail, females lack the bulge and pores. They are banded with pale pink and whitish yellow, irregularly covered in dark brown or black spots.

They are nocturnal animals, and originate from the desert-wastelands around some middle-eastern countries like Pakistan and Iran. There are five natural subspecies (Eublepharis macularius fasciolatus, E. m. afghanicus, E. m. macularis, E. m. montanus and E. m. smithi), but because most geckos in the pet trade are captive bred, through so much crossbreeding between them it would now be nearly impossible to determine the subspecies of most captive bred geckos.

II. Behaviour

These geckos are typically very well-tempered, most will quickly acclimate to being held. When trying to pick up your gecko, do not simply grab it from above, leopard geckos do not like to be restrained in a closed hand, and approaching your lizard from above might confuse the lizard into thinking you are a descending predator. Gently coax the gecko onto your hand from the side, they are often very curious so this is not usually difficult. If the lizard feels like it is being restrained or closed in on by your hand, it will squirm to try and escape, or may resort to biting or tail autotomy.

Like other desert geckos, leopard geckos have plump tails where fat is stored, so that the lizard will have a source of energy if food is scarce. This tail can be dropped if the lizard feels threatened and wants to escape: A defense behaviour called caudal autotomy. The detached tail will continue to twitch on the ground (due to jumpy nerves still "alive" in the tail), which is supposed to distract the predator while the gecko flees. The tail will grow back after time (a few months to a year, depending on how much of the tail was lost and the gecko's diet), but will not be the same colour, shape, or have the same scale texture as the original tail. A lizard that stores as much fat in their tail as a leopard gecko does is taking a greater risk when it drops its tail; It loses its "emergency" fat store, which it would rely on if prey becomes difficult to find.

III. Housing

An enclosure for a leopard gecko can be relatively simple. This type of gecko does not require a lot of space; a 38-litre (10-gallon) aquarium could house a pair (but do not, in any size enclosure, keep males together: they will fight!). Their enclosure requires a lid, even though it's unlikely that they would escape, preferably made of screen to allow ventilation. The bottom of the enclosure should have some kind of substrate, paper towels are the easiest to maintain and most cost-efficient substrate. Although it does not necessarily look as natural or aesthetically pleasing as sand, it is definitely cheaper and easier to clean. Also, sand, if ingested bythe gecko (which is inevitable), can cause an intestinal impaction, which can kill your gecko.


The geckos will also require at least two hiding spots (more if you have more than one lizard): One dry (preferably under the heat lamp) and one partially filled with damp sphagnum moss (also known as a humidity box). These hide boxes can be as simple as large margarine tubs with holes cut in the side.
leopard gecko tank
Set-up for a single leopard gecko. Note that several hiding spots are provided: One beneath the basking light, one filled with damp sphagnum moss (humid hide), and one in the cooler region of the tank.

Other cage furniture, such as rocks or pieces of driftwood, isn't necessary, but they add more to explore for the gecko and visual interest to the cage. Also, most geckos seem more content with a more naturalistic and interesting set-up. Several hiding spots should be provided.

IV. Diet

Insects should make up the main part of your gecko's diet. Live crickets (gut-loaded on nutritious foods such as fruit and flake fish food) are a good staple diet, along with mealworms, silkworms and/or roaches as an occasional supplement. Avoid feeding prey items that are larger than 1/2 the lizard's head.

Wax worms and, when your lizard is big enough, pinky (newborn and hairless) mice make excellent treats for your gecko, but they should be fed very sparingly as they are high in fat.

Feed your gecko 2-4 suitably sized crickets daily until about your gecko reaches about 12cm (5") long, then feed 4-7 crickets about every two days, supplementing with other prey items as well.

Supplement the food with vitamin and mineral supplements every other feeding.

Always offer a clean, shallow water dish. There is somoe more information on diet here.

V. Heating

Leopard geckos come from a fairly warm habitat. Daytime temperatures should range from 32°C (90°F) at the hottest spot in the enclosure, and 28°C (82°F) at the cool end. At night, the warm end should not fall much below 27°C (80°F), the coolest part of the enclosure should not be cooler than 24°C (75°F). To attain these temperatures, a 40 or 60-watt incandescent light bulb may be all you need. If, however, your house gets very cold at night or during the cooler parts of the year, a secondary heat source, such as an under tank heating pad, may be necessary. "Hot rocks," "heat caves" and other electrically heated pieces of cage furniture are not suitable for use with reptiles. They are purely faulty products: They are fire hazards, their internal thermostats often fail after little usage, and lizards (accustomed to an overhead heat source, the sun) can be severely burned by the surface.


Bartlett, R.D. and Bartlett, P. 1997. Lizard Care from A to Z. New York: Barron's Educational Series, Inc.
Dr. Gecko (Reptile Rescue, Canada). 2003. (http://www.drgecko.com/index.html)
Norman, C. 1995. Anapsid.org. "Leopard Gecko Care" (http://www.anapsid.org/leopardgek.html)

Christina has always been interested in animals, but at nine years old discovered reptiles and amphibians to be the most intriguing. For her tenth birthday she received two Gekko ulikovvski, or golden geckos. Since then, she has moved her way around the reptile and amphibian kingdoms, now owning seven herps.

Christina studies animal health (veterinary) technology at Vanier College and is in the process of writing a detailed book about the care of leopard geckos. You can find more pictures and information on Geckos and their care at Christina's website.



Mark Chapple is the Author of "How to build enclosures for reptiles"
Find out how to build these cages as well as arboreal cages. Full color pictures, detailed diagrams and easy to follow, step-by-step instructions.