RAPTOR Leopard Gecko – Everything You Need to Know

General Info

Among all lizards that are kept as pets, the leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius) is considered the favorite among most keepers. This is not only because of its small size but also because it is easy to keep, attractive to look at, low-cost for both lizard and setup, and suitable for all ages and levels of experience.

Additionally, these animals are available in a fantastic variety of patterns and colors that will captivate both experienced herpetologists and beginner pet keepers. 

The RAPTOR leopard geckos are one of the leopard gecko morphs renowned for their orange hue and lack of pattern on their skin.

Even their eyes are one-of-a-kind, combining characteristics of the Ruby eye and the Eclipse or snake eye. R.A.P.T.O.R. is an acronym for Red-eye Albino Patternless Tremper Orange, a morph creation made in 2004.

When tending to leopard geckos, you must keep a few things in mind. In this leopard gecko care guideline, we’ll help you get off to a good start as a responsible pet owner by discussing everything you need to know about these animals.

leopard gecko

Appearance and Variations

Created in 2004, RAPTOR leopard geckos are a rare and highly sought-after variation of the leopard gecko created by combining the Eclipse, Patternless, and Tremper albino strains. These geckos have distinctive features like solid red eyes and an orange body and lack any patterns on their body like the albino gecko morph.

They are an uncommon breed with polygenic and recessive characteristics. The acronym “RAPTOR” refers to the species of leopard gecko known as a Ruby-eyed Albino Patternless Tremper Orange.

A recessive mutation called Tremper Albino causes the gecko to lack pigmentation, giving it an albino look.

The albino color is dramatically contrasted by the dark eyes and tail tip produced by the Eclipse gene, another recessive gene. These two genes combine to create a stunning orange coloration with red eyes and dark tail ends.

The patternless stripes are the RAPTOR leopard gecko’s third distinguishing characteristic. This trait is polygenic, which implies that multiple genes regulate it.

In contrast to blizzards or murphy geckos, patternless stripes are thought to be a different kind of recessive patternless feature.

This characteristic causes a gecko to be a solid shade of orange with no discernible lines or patterns on its body.

Overall, RAPTOR leopard geckos are a beautiful and unique morph that is very popular among people who like leopard geckos. They stand out because they have solid red eyes, dark tips on the ends of their tails, and an orange body with no patterns, like an albino leopard gecko.

Since the geckos require cross-breeding between multiple geckos to create them, they usually don’t have many variations.

RAPTOR Leopard Gecko Size

Leopard geckos are known for being relatively small reptiles, and RAPTOR leopard geckos are no exception. Like other leopard gecko variants, RAPTOR leopard geckos mature to reach a length of roughly 7 to 11 inches. They are medium-sized and usually weigh between 60 and 90 grams.

However, like any living thing, height and weight might differ based on various variables like nutrition, genetics, and general health. They are a fantastic option for anyone with little room for a pet because they don’t need big enclosures.

It’s crucial to give them a terrarium big enough to meet their requirements. Additionally, feeding them a meal suitable for their size and species is critical.

RAPTOR Leopard Gecko Lifespan

A RAPTOR Leopard gecko has a lifespan of 10 to 20 years. However, with adequate care, they may be able to live for a more extended period. It is critical to supply your RAPTOR Leopard gecko with the proper diet and habitat for them to live a long and healthy life.

Insects like crickets, mealworms, and wax worms provide the high protein levels necessary for proper development.

Caring For RAPTOR Leopard Gecko

If you dream of providing your leopard gecko with a happy and healthy life, you need to give it a place to call home, food that it can thrive on, and an environment that meets its basic needs.

Depending on how many lizards you want to keep, you must provide a terrarium of the correct size. The tank should have appropriate heat sources, lighting, a non-toxic substrate, a hide box, and proper humidity.

As insectivores, leopard geckos require a diet high in live insects like crickets and mealworms. Supplemental calcium and vitamins should be given to them as well. Regularly cleaning the terrarium and spot-cleaning is also necessary.

Ensure that the water and food bowls are replaced daily, and be sure to keep an eye on the substrate to ensure that it doesn’t get filthy.

Leopard geckos also need to be handled and socialized when in captivity. Luckily, these reptile friends are easy to handle and tame if you take your time and are gentle.

However, you must provide them enough time to acclimate to their new environment before you try to pet them.

Exams by a veterinarian are essential. To ensure that your leopard gecko’s health, comfort, and well-being are catered for, you should take it in for routine examinations by a qualified exotic veterinarian. Keep reading to understand how to care for your RAPTOR leopard gecko morph more comprehensively.

RAPTOR Leopard Gecko Diet & Nutritional Requirements

Due to their calm disposition and comparatively minimal upkeep needs, leopard geckos are considered the best reptile pets. Giving leopard geckos a suitable diet is one of the most crucial parts of taking care of them. Because they are strictly insectivores, these geckos should eat primarily live invertebrates (insects).

Typically, it would help if you fed insects such as mealworms, dubia roaches, phoenix worms, and super worms . These geckos will get the protein and other nutrients they need from these insects.

You should also offer them treats insects such as silkworms, waxworms, hornworms, and butter worms. Since insects offered as treats have high-fat content, feeding them too much too frequently can result in obesity.

You should gut-load the insects before giving them to your gecko. One of the essential aspects of preparing insects for a gecko’s diet is to “gut-load” them with fresh produce for at least 24 hours before feeding.

If you do this, the insects will have a higher nutrient density, providing more essential nutrients for your gecko.

A calcium and vitamin D3 supplement should be applied to insects before feeding. This is known as dusting, and it helps prevent conditions like malnutrition and metabolic bone disease. Insects can be dusted in a zip-lock bag with powdered supplements, shaking the bag vigorously to coat the insects.

The feeding frequency and quantity will depend on the gecko’s age and size. Young RAPTOR geckos have a rapid metabolism and need a steady food source for healthy development.

This is why you must feed young leos several times daily. Adult geckos, whose metabolisms are slower, should feed every other day or 2-3 times a week. The insects should not exceed the head size of the gecko. Removing unconsumed insects from the gecko’s tank after 5 to 10 minutes is essential to prevent contamination.

In conclusion, your leopard gecko’s health and happiness depend on its nutrition. Feeding a diverse range of live insects that have been gut-loaded with nutrients and dusted with a calcium and vitamin D3 supplement is recommended.

Your gecko’s age and size will determine how often and how much you feed it. Also, keep an eye on your gecko’s growth rate so you may change the diet if it gets too fat.

Below Our Recommendation for Leopard Gecko Diet

Water Needs

On top of caring for your gecko’s nutritional requirements, ensure that your leopard gecko has access to a shallow dish of clean water to keep it adequately hydrated. Leopard geckos obtain most of their water from the insects they consume, although they may drink small amounts straight from the water bowl.

Do not be frightened if your gecko is soaking in its water bowl. This is something that some leopard geckos do to keep their skin moisturized and aid in shedding.

However, you must ensure that the bowls aren’t too deep, as the gecko might drown. Additionally, you must remove the water and clean the bowl once the gecko soaks in it.

Do RAPTOR Leopard Geckos Shed Their Exoskeleton?

All geckos, including RAPTORS, must shed their skin regularly to maintain good health and prevent the buildup of irritating dead skin. In contrast to humans, Leopard geckos lose their skin in big chunks. While younger geckos shed more regularly as they develop, adults only do so once after one or two months.

When they are about to shed, geckos will show various distinctive signs. Some of the indicators that your gecko is about to shed include:

  • The skin becomes dull and foggy. When the shedding starts, the gecko’s skin may lose luster. The skin’s natural pigments may fade, leaving it looking paler and duller.
  • Darkening of the eyes. When the gecko is losing the skin around the eyes, it’s not unlikely for them to seem cloudier and darker than usual.
  • Less activity. Shedding may cause a behavior shift, making the gecko less active or non-responsive to its surroundings.
  • Appetite loss. Leos may also refuse to eat or eat less when they are shedding.

Giving a damp hide box is crucial during shedding because it will make it easier for the gecko to get rid of its old skin. Fill the hide box with moist sphagnum moss, eco earth, or coconut fiber to help boost humidity and provide excellent conditions for shedding.

Misting the gecko and the cage can also help prevent dehydration and make shedding less troublesome. During the shedding process, you must avoid touching the gecko since its skin is highly sensitive and can easily be harmed.

You should also check for signs of shedding problems and ask a reptile vet about what to do if you notice some retained skin around your toes, eyes, or tail. 

Hibernation in Raptor Leopard Geckos

Leopard geckos often undergo brumation between December and February, when the weather is cold enough to cause them to freeze. Although the behavior is typical in wild geckos, it rarely occurs in captive-bred geckos except in extenuating circumstances.

During brumation, the animal’s metabolism slows down, resulting in less feeding, drinking, and locomotion. Brumation may occur for a few weeks or as long as three months.

If leopard geckos are being bred, their primary motivation for entering brumation is to gain adequate rest for the spring mating season. However, it is doubtful that your gecko will go through brumation if you don’t breed leopard geckos.

Your leopard gecko should undergo a checkup with the vet before brumation to ensure it is healthy and has enough body fat stored in its tail. The veterinarian will also look for parasites or any other health issues that could lead to malnutrition during brumation.

Throughout the hibernation period, you should cut back on the amount of food provided and gradually bring the temperature in the terrarium down to the ideal range of 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Leopard geckos enter a state of dormancy called “Brumation” as part of their regular living cycle. However, during this period, the gecko must be monitored closely to ensure the animal’s safety.

Raptor Leopard Gecko Housing Terrarium Requirements

When you contemplate owning a gecko, you should first consider the gecko’s habitat. Fortunately, leopard geckos are tough, tiny lizards that are highly forgiving even if their surroundings aren’t ideal.

Nonetheless, you must do your level best to ensure that your reptile’s setup is as close to its natural environment as possible to keep them healthy and happy for years to come.

Tank Size

The size of your gecko’s enclosure will depend on the size of the gecko, its age, and the number of animals. A 5–10-gallon tank is adequate for a baby leopard gecko, while a 20-gallon tank is required for an adult. A 40-gallon tank or more is advised if you intend to breed many geckos.

Leopard geckos can live happily in vivariums made of glass or wood, but they must be designed to resemble the animals’ native environment.

However, if you want to reduce the stress of eventual relocation to a larger enclosure, You should house your gecko in a large terrarium from when they are young. Adult RAPTOR geckos should be housed in at least a 20-gallon tank.

The gecko’s terrarium needs a safe, screen-covered top to hold the light and allow air circulation. The leopard gecko has little chance of getting away because it cannot climb and does not have adhesive pads.

Conversely, your gecko will be safe from predators, such as household pets and other wild animals.

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Heating Requirement

As cold-blooded organisms, leopard geckos must rely on external surroundings to maintain an ideal internal body temperature.

It is critical to offer a temperature range or a thermal gradient so that they can modify their body temperature simply by moving to the opposite end of their enclosure.

The cold side should be between 75 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, and the optimal basking area temperature should be between 88 and 90 degrees. Let the temperature drop to 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit at night to ensure that the leopard gecko doesn’t have difficulties moving around and hunting.

Putting the tank close to a drafty window or entrance can have an adverse effect on the enclosure’s temperature and humidity.

So, it’s best to position it away from these places. To create a daytime basking place, you can use a side or under-tank heating mat, a ceramic heat bulb, or a standard incandescent bulb.

Due to their exceptional night vision, leopard geckos don’t need light to see at night. So, while colored low-light bulbs are available in tones of red and blue, don’t use them in a gecko’s tank at night, as they might be harsh on your gecko’s eyes.

The most common way of controlling the temperature in a gecko’s cage is with an under-tank heating mat.

However, these mats don’t continually heat evenly, and your gecko might get burned if it likes to dig its substrate and reach the glass floor.

A thermometer must be purchased to guarantee optimal temperature within the enclosure. While one thermometer is required for monitoring the ambient temperature, having two will allow you to do so for both the warm and chilly sides of the terrarium. Check our recommended thermometer in Amazon here.

Humidity Requirement

When designing a habitat for a leopard gecko, it is essential to provide adequate humidity. Due to their desert-adapted lifestyle, leopard geckos don’t need a particularly humid environment to thrive. Leopard geckos do well in environments with 30%–40% humidity.

If the moisture levels drop below 30%, your leopard gecko may have difficulty shedding and may find it difficult-to-remove shed on its toes and tail. In contrast, your gecko may develop a respiratory infection if the humidity is too high.

A tiny water dish should be placed in the middle of the cage to help maintain the desired relative humidity level. Humidity will remain at a comfortable level without becoming unbearable due to excessive evaporation of water.

In addition, the water dish’s capacity can be increased or decreased to suit individual RAPTOR leopard gecko needs.

It is essential to use a hygrometer to measure the humidity levels within the enclosure and ensure that they are always within the appropriate range. Your leopard gecko will enjoy a long and happy life in captivity with the correct environmental conditions.

If humidity levels are consistently below 30%, you should consider misting the enclosure with a fine mist of water. But be sure to monitor the humidity levels after misting and adjust accordingly.

Additionally, you should mist only the tank and not the gecko directly, as misting the gecko directly may cause stress and discomfort.

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Leopard geckos are termed as crepuscular. They are most active in the early morning and late evening but can also be active at other times of the day and night.

Like all living things, RAPTOR leopard geckos have an internal biological clock that functions best when it follows a regular pattern of alternating light and dark periods.

You should give them an incandescent light source in their cage to make it feel like they are outside in the sun. This kind of lighting will give off light and heat, which leopard geckos need because they need to control their body temperature.

The lights should be on for at least 12 hours and off for 12 hours, as this matches the natural rhythms of sunlight and is simple to maintain.

It’s worth noting that while incandescent lighting is necessary for leopard geckos, they don’t need special UVB lighting like bearded dragons.

However, they are also susceptible to metabolic bone disease if they aren’t exposed to enough UVB light. You can help avoid this condition by supplying only a small quantity of UVB lighting (usually below 6%).

Giving your leopard gecko a regular lighting schedule, a heat source, and a moderate quantity of UVB can help maintain the circadian rhythm and well-being.

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When you bring a RAPTOR leopard gecko home, you need to ensure that its cage has super comfortable flooring, also known as substrate. Avoid elements that can induce impaction, such as sand or wood chips.

Hatchlings and baby geckos are more susceptible to impaction. Thus, choosing flat, non-loose substrates like newspapers, paper towels, reptile carpets, or ceramic tiles is better. If the cage has low humidity issues, you can choose coconut fiber, sphagnum moss, eco earth, and peat moss since they are great at water retention.

The poop should be cleaned off the substrate daily, and the whole substrate should be thrown out and replaced at least once a month.

It is vital to thoroughly clean and scrub the enclosure with a disinfectant safe for reptiles whenever you replace or deep-clean the substrate. Your leopard gecko will thrive in a home with a comfortable substrate that’s clean, non-toxic, and hygienic.

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Décor and Accessories

A leopard gecko’s cage should be decorated to resemble its natural environment as closely as possible. You need to add hiding and climbing spaces to make the animal feel like it’s in its natural habitat.

Accessories like rocks, logs, and low-hanging branches will help create a more realistic environment for your RAPTOR leopard gecko.

You also need to place hideouts inside the terrarium. These should be placed in warm and cool zones to give geckos a private space to escape when they feel scared or want to relax.

The hide on the warm side should have a water-retaining substrate, such as sphagnum moss, to assist the gecko during shedding.

To maintain a greater relative humidity within the hide house, regularly mist the moss on the walls and ceiling with a spray bottle of water. Your leopard gecko will feel more at home in the more natural setting you created.

Common Health Complications in RAPTOR Leopard Geckos

Although RAPTOR geckos are hardy like the original leopard geckos, they are susceptible to various health issues, most of which are brought about by poor diet and bad living conditions. Some of the ailments include:

  • Impaction. This condition can be brought on by consuming large food, indigestible objects, or both. Some indicators that your gecko is impacted include lethargy, constipation, a bloated stomach, and a lack of appetite. You can treat impaction by giving your leo a warm bath.

  • Respiratory ailments. Leopard geckos can get respiratory infections from bacteria in the environment if the humidity and temperature are low. Respiratory infection symptoms include wheezing, fatigue, weight loss, or discharge from the mouth and nose. Providing the proper humidity and temperature will help prevent the ailments.

  • Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD). Usually attributed to a lack of calcium and adequate UVB, metabolic bone diseases make it difficult for animals to move around since their bones are brittle and crooked. As a gecko owner, this is one of the worst diseases to see your pet get. You can stop this by dusting their food with calcium and providing UVB light.

  • Egg binding. Also known as dystocia, egg binding is a condition where female geckos cannot lay eggs. Lack of calcium in the diet is often to blame for this. It might be egg-binding if your gecko acts withdrawn and has trouble laying eggs.

Raptor Leopard Gecko Behavior and Temperament

Typically, RAPTOR geckos have a calm demeanor and are easy to care for. Their primary source of nutrition is live insects, and they are typically active at dawn and in the evening. One of their unusual behavior is that they can detach their tail as a defense strategy when threatened.

However, in captivity, this is not a desired attribute. Thus, owners should work to provide their geckos with a stress-free environment to prevent this from happening.

A leopard gecko’s sociability to humans might vary depending on its character. There may be a range of gecko personalities, with some being more outgoing and receptive to human contact.

Handling Raptor Leopard Geckos

RAPTOR leopard geckos ought to be treated like the typical leopard gecko. For successful handling of your RAPTOR leopard gecko, follow these insights:

  • Support the entire body. When you pick up a RAPTOR leopard gecko, you should use both hands to support the whole thing. However, please don’t hold it too tight, as you might end up hurting it.
  • Clean your hands. Wash and dry your hands before touching a RAPTOR leopard gecko, as any residue from oils or lotions could cause skin irritation.
  • Be gentle and careful. RAPTOR leos are delicate creatures that require special care. It’s best not to make any jarring motions or use excessive force.
  • Avoid direct sunlight. Since geckos are light-sensitive, keeping them out of direct sunshine is best. RAPTOR leopard geckos should not be exposed to direct sunlight.
  • Always keep a close eye on your gecko. When handling your RAPTOR leopard gecko, you should always check it closely to ensure it is not becoming stressed or upset.
  • Avoid handling the gecko while it is shedding. It will be more vulnerable during this time. Instead, please wait until the gecko has done shedding before attempting to handle it.
  • Could you not hold the leo by its tail? As we all know, leos have a defense mechanism where they drop off their tail when scared or feel threatened. When handling the gecko, ensure that you don’t hold its tail, as it might end up dropping it.

Using these tips, you can safely and successfully take care of your RAPTOR leopard gecko.

Breeding RAPTOR Leopard Geckos

If you want to breed RAPTOR leopard geckos successfully, you must offer a habitat that closely resembles their native environment. A comfortable temperature range, a nutritious meal, and a warm and humid place to hide all fall under this category.

When they are ready to mate, male and female leopard geckos engage in courtship behaviors, such as tail waving, biting, and head bobbing.

If conditions are favorable, the female will lay eggs after digging in an appropriate nesting site. When two RAPTOR leopard geckos breed, their offspring will have a mix of genes from each parent.

All offspring will share their parents’ RAPTOR purity if both parents are unadulterated RAPTORs. If either or both parents are Het RAPTOR, then there is a 50% probability that the offspring will also be a RAPTOR.

If both parents are Het RAPTORs, the newborn gecko will have a 25% chance of developing into a RAPTOR.

How Much Does a RAPTOR Leopard Gecko Cost?

The unique gene mix that produces Raptor Leopard geckos makes them an extraordinarily uncommon and valuable leopard gecko morph.

They cost more than common leopard geckos because they are challenging to breed. A RAPTOR Leopard gecko costs between $99 and $500 on average.

A smaller RAPTOR will cost less than a larger one, and a RAPTOR with one RAPTOR parent will cost less than a RAPTOR with both parents being RAPTOR. Female RAPTORs are much more expensive than male RAPTORs, so gender is another factor in pricing.

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