Gecko Time is instituting a new occasional series: Beloved Gecko.
Whether we own a single gecko or hundreds, many of us have a particularly strong feeling about that beloved, special gecko. It may be the first gecko we ever owned, a gecko with a unique temperament, a gecko that filled a need at a certain time in our lives, or some other set of circumstances. Read below about my Beloved Gecko: Eragon, and consider writing about your own Beloved Gecko for a future issue of Gecko Time.
The year was 2004. I was a “veteran” leopard gecko owner of one year, and after reading endlessly on gecko forums about breeders’ successes, I decided that I was ready to breed geckos. I also decided to buy my first gecko from a breeder and have it shipped to me. I liked the white and yellow banded Tremper albino look and soon found a photo on a breeder’s website that looked like what I wanted and was also affordable. He arrived in July and was named Eragon, a character from the book I was reading to my children at the time.
Eragon, in “person” turned out not to have exactly the pure white and yellow coloration I was expecting from the photo (ironically, I acquired a male with those exact colors last year). He had the typical Tremper albino beige, yellow and white color combination with a prominent dorsal stripe. I was in awe. He was the nicest gecko I’d ever owned. His beige coloring looked almost pink to me. He tolerated handling well from the beginning and would slowly explore my hand. He was regal.
The next year, Eragon debuted as a breeder. He handled his two females with dignity, backed off whenever an unwilling female nipped at him, and has produced offspring every year since. That’s 11 years of consistent successful breeding with anywhere from 1 to 3 females each year. A few years ago, I discovered that Eragon had a secret no one knew about: he had an eclipse gene. In 2004, when Eragon hatched, the eclipse gene had barely been “discovered” and hadn’t yet been publicized. When Eragon was paired with an eclipse female, some of the offspring were also eclipse. He has also produced an unusual number of striped offspring when paired with striped females. Eragon was featured in a Gecko Time article in 2011 called, in part “Fun with Hets” where he “taught” leopard gecko genetics through his breeding with a boldstripe het albino.
One year, Eragon got lost. He got out of his cage somehow, and, instead of turning up under the couch like most of my escaped geckos, he disappeared. After days of fruitless searching, I regretfully gave up. A few weeks later I got a call from my downstairs neighbor informing me that there was a gecko in her linen drawer. Eragon! Hungry, thirsty, but perfectly healthy. He must have passed down the gene for wandering. One of his offspring escaped as a hatchling and was found two years later in the basement!
Eragon is now over 12 years old. He currently weighs in at 90 grams, though he has topped 115 grams in his prime, and is the elder statesman of the leopard geckos here at Geckcessories. He remains calm and competent. Even though I know he’s just a gecko, sometimes he seems to share a wise look with me as I carry out my feeding and watering duties as if to say “Someone has to keep those young whippersnappers in line!”
Write about your Beloved Gecko
Do you have a “Beloved gecko”? Would you like to write about it for Gecko Time? Use the “comment” box to let us know that you’re interested. Your message will not appear on the site as a comment to the article.