Leopard Geckos generally lead a solitary life but can live in a group with one male and several females. Even if they are housed together (which isn’t always a good idea), you won’t find them socializing or interacting with each other as you might expect with some other pets. More likely, they will just tolerate their housemates and go about their business as though they were living alone.
Leopard Geckos In Nature
In the wild, Leopard Geckos will rarely, if ever, be seen interacting with other geckos unless they are mating. Their natural habitat of wide open, mountainous deserts lends itself to this solitary lifestyle and makes it quite easy to for extended periods without bumping into another gecko.
There’s also a self-preservation aspect to this loner behavior of course. Leopard Geckos have several natural predators including snakes, foxes, birds, and other large reptiles. They use their keen senses to stay alert to threats and are always ready to scamper away and hide. Being in a group would only make this more difficult (as they can’t warn each other of impending danger like these chimpanzees) so if you want to look out for number 1, make sure number 1 is the only 1 around!
What Happens If You Get A Partner For Your Leopard Gecko?
Probably one of 3 things – They will fight, mate or just ignore each other.
We’ve covered this in more detail here, but housing 2 males together is never a good idea. One will always become the dominant gecko and won’t be happy about having another male muscling in on their territory. This inevitably leads to aggression and fighting and could leave at least one of your geckos injured (or worse!).
If you were to introduce another gecko but of the opposite sex, there would be less fighting but almost certainly a lot more of a different F-word! Male and female geckos can live together, and they won’t socialize as such, but they will mate and make more baby geckos. If you are thinking of this setup so they won’t get lonely, don’t. They don’t value each other’s companionship and won’t feel any less ‘lonely’ just because they have a mate.
Which leads us on to the third option – ignoring each other. At best, if you have a partner for your gecko they will essentially take no notice of each other. If the tank is big enough for them both then they will just go about their lives, not giving any special attention to their tank-mate. Sure they will be aware of each other and will occasionally investigate this other gecko they see, but they won’t become friends or show any sign of affection for each other.
Should Baby Leopard Geckos Be Kept With Adult Geckos?
No. Leopard Geckos don’t care for their offspring and when hatchings are born they are able (or expected at least) to fend for themselves.
It’s probably not dangerous for the baby gecko to be kept with adults between 1 and 6 months of age (but they should be separated immediately after hatching as geckos do, unfortunately, sometimes eat newly hatched babies) but this choice should be a practical one more than anything – if you are short on space then keeping a baby with an adult is fine in the short term.
Mommy Leopard Geckos don’t feel any separation anxiety if their babies are removed from them and Daddy geckos will, at best, tolerate the youngster. Males are known to be territorial, and sometimes aggressive to other geckos, so could pose a danger to a younger or smaller gecko. This is especially true after around 6 months when the baby starts to mature and will either be seen as a potential mate or threat to the dominant male.
Do Leopard Geckos Get Lonely By Themselves?
No. Leopard Geckos don’t get lonely by themselves. They have evolved to be solitary and do not seek out companionship naturally.
The closest they will come to showing signs of ‘loneliness’ is during mating season where they will seek out another gecko to reproduce with. Even this is strictly business though, and once they have what they want they are on their way.
Do Leopard Geckos Like To Be Pet?
All of this may leave you wondering if Leos make a good pet or if their owner (that’s you) will just be some annoying creature interrupting their peace and quiet?
Well surprisingly, yes, Leopard Geckos like to be pet and held, and once they developed a bond with you, will happily let you handle them.
Like other reptiles, Leopard Geckos lack the emotional capacity for feelings such as love or friendship but almost all owners report a bond of trust and recognition with their pets.
They might not jump up and down when they see you like an excited puppy, but your gecko will come to recognize you and will know, at some level, that you are their owner and they will start to treat you as such.
So, are Leopard Geckos social? Well, not exactly – they don’t long for the companionship of other geckos and will happily spend their whole lives alone in the wild (outside of a few fleeting encounters with a member of the opposite sex to procreate).
But that’s not to say they are antisocial either. While they might not ever grow to ‘love’ you, they will certainly come to feel something resembling affection toward you. If anything, your gecko will become more ‘comfortable’ with you over time and will certainly know that it’s your gecko.
You might not have ‘mans best friend’ on your hands with a Leopard Gecko but it’ll be a darn sight more social than a houseplant or pet rock!