Care and Feeding of Gecko Hatchlings


The long wait is over! There, in the incubator (or sometimes in the parent enclosure), is a gecko hatchling! All too often, the new breeder’s next thought is “now what?” Although the question should have been answered long before the first egg was laid, this article can serve as a general guide for how to care for gecko hatchlings and a preview for those considering becoming breeders. It is no substitute, however, for research into the care of any gecko species you wish to breed and for thorough planning for your new reptiles before they hatch.

The New Hatchling


Geckos in the wild generally do not care for their young. They are born looking and acting physically like miniature adults, except for body markings which differ in juveniles for some species. They are able to move and respond to their environment as well as the adults. Hatchlings are at risk in the wild for becoming prey to an even greater extent than the adults, so they are more likely to hide and to make threatening sounds and movements if confronted in order to startle potential predators.

Most hatchlings will have absorbed their external yolk sac when they hatch. Their bellies, though, are still full of yolk which sustains them until they are ready to eat. Some hatchlings are born with the yolk sac or the umbilical cord still attached. These should be placed in a clean and quiet environment where they will either absorb or discard the yolk sac and umbilical cord.

Some hatchlings are born with deformities which may include eye and eyelid problems, umbilical hernias (where the umbilical cord insertion site is open and the entrails are protruding), misshapen or foreshortened limbs, kinked tails or other skeletal abnormalities. Some of these deformities are not compatible with life and the gecko will die shortly after birth. Some deformities will not affect a gecko’s daily life and some will require permanent special care. In these cases, the breeder will have to decide what to do about the gecko.

Hatchling Environment

Hatchlings should be removed from the incubator after hatching. If the eggs have hatched in the parents’ enclosure, it is also a good idea to remove the hatchling so it will not become a meal for the adults. They should be placed in a small environment that meets the conditions of their adult counterparts: arboreal geckos should be placed in a small arboreal environment, tropical geckos in a tropical environment, and so on. It is important not to place hatchlings in an environment that is too big. Otherwise they will not be able to find their food when they are ready to eat. All newly hatched geckos will require some degree of greater humidity and misting to provide a source of drinking water and to keep them from drying out. Most new hatchlings should be misted several times a day.

Many hatchlings are tolerant of being kept with a clutchmate or with another hatchling of the same size. Some gecko species, or individual hatchlings do not do well with a “roommate”. It is important to keep only hatchlings of the same size together. Mismatched hatchlings have often resulted in tail loss, bullying and death of the smaller one. Breeders often prefer, if they have enough space, to keep hatchlings individually so they can better monitor each one’s development and growth. 

Hatchling Stages: The First Week

Hatchlings do not eat until they have completed their first shed, usually after about 3 days. During this time they require an environment as described above with frequent misting. Although they don’t eat, they will continue to receive nutrition from the yolk that is still in their bellies when they hatch. Around the time of shedding, they will also produce the first stools which may be differently colored than those of older hatchlings.

After the hatchlings have shed and pooped, usually around Day 3, they may be ready to eat. They can be provided with shallow bowls of water, if they are species that generally drink from a water dish, small amounts of fruit nectar for the fruit-eating geckos, and small live feeders. It is important to provide feeders small enough for the hatchlings to eat safely.


During the first week or two, many geckos will not eat much, possibly as little as only 1 or 2 prey items a day. Keep an eye on them to insure that they continue to be active and alert and try not to worry too much at this stage about whether or not they are eating enough. Most geckos increase their food intake significantly after the first 2 weeks, as can be seen from the size and number of their stools. Hatchlings that continue to eat little or not at all after 2 weeks and do not seem to be growing well may need to be hand fed until they catch on to the idea of eating.

Although hatchling care may not be quite as exciting as that first moment of seeing a new baby exit the egg, it is very rewarding and successful with a little knowledge, forethought and planning.


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Written by Aliza

Aliza is a home care speech therapist living in the Boston area. She successfully bred a variety of gecko species between 2005 and 2017. She currently cares for a large number of geckos as well as a few frogs and bearded dragons. Other interests which she pursues in her copious free time include work in ceramics, practicing aikido and surfing the internet.


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  1. My tokay gecko just hatched ( 2 of them) recently on the 12 and 13th October this year. At fist it was difficult for me to figure out on what to feed them. This was however solved brilliantly. For the first week I fed them with live termites. Now, I am feeding them with flies which I obtain from cattle.

  2. Congratulations on your hatchlings. The only thing to consider about feeding insects caught from outside is whether any pesticides are being used in your area that can poison the insects and, ultimately, the geckos. If your area is one where pesticides are not used, it’s a different story.

  3. I have a 3-4 week old albino leopard gecko. I just got him today an I noticed he has a blue spot on his belly an u can see a vein running thru it? Is that where the yolk sac was attached, or is this something I should get checked out?

    Mindy Bates

  4. You can just about see through these guys, especially the albinos. It’s just part of its entrails. Nothing to worry about.

  5. Thanks so much for ur response. I do have 1 more question I have email the place that I bought the gecko from but they won’t answer. My Leo arrived at 1030am yesterday an I still can’t get him to eat or even acknowledge the fact that there is food in there. I have small mill worms an tday I’m gonna go get some tiny crickets. Ever since about an hour after he arrived he has just not been able to hold his eyes open. I’m sorry to keep bothering you. I just want to make sure he has the best care possible.

  6. It often takes a gecko a few days or even a week to be comfortable and forget the stress of the trip. Did this gecko arrive in the mail? 3-4 weeks old is a bit young to be shipping them. It’s eyes may have been closed because geckos are nocturnal and it’s been day time. Keep offering food and try not to disturb it too much. It’s not unusual for young geckos to hide a lot because they’re very vulnerable to predators in the wild. If you get crickets, don’t get tiny ones. Even a 3-4 week old gecko can eat 1/4″ crickets.

  7. First I want to thank you for your time and info. I have corresponded with you way more than the place I purchased this baby from! Yes he/she was shipped overnight air an d delivered UPS. I was shocked at his size he is so tiny. Before I got your response I went an got tiny crickets. For some reason it terrified the baby he backed up in a corner and was jumping at everything that moved so I got the cricket out. I have emailed these people an asked what they fed him… response. But he did shed and he ate that. So I guess he is not starving. I just keep offering it to him. He seems to be so tired. I just hope he’s ok.
    Thanks again,
    Mindy Bates

  8. No problem. Please feel free to contact me via email: [email protected] if you have more questions. Also, I’d be curious to know where you got this gecko from, but don’t post it here, send it to me via email.

  9. We have two gecko hatchlings that hatched three weeks ago. We’ve tried feeding them small crickets, wax worms, and mini mealworms with no success. What do we do now?

  10. I just found a baby gecko lurking under my table. I don’t know what species it is, how old it is and what it eats. It is around 2 cm long, and the tail is gone! What do I do?

  11. hi we have a female leopard gecko who has just laid an egg what shall we do at the moment we have left it alone we are spraying water in the home is there anything else we should do

  12. Hi! I have a question. We recently rescued a group of leopard geckos and are currently giving them away to homes. We also rescued a giant incubator full of eggs. At first we didn’t see any hatchlings and then one day we picked up the thermometer to get a closer look and saw a baby gecko under it!! He is very skinny and we don’t know how long he has been hiding!!! We have tried to feed him but he has not eaten anything!!! He can barely take two steps without his legs buckling under is own weight!!! He has been drinking a lot too. PLEASE HELP! I don’t know what to do with him.

  13. what if i got the gecko eggs from the wild , where would i hatch them????
    and what can i feed them???

  14. You have to know what species of gecko you have (in Hawaii, most likely giant day gecko or gold dust day gecko). Then you need to do some research about what temperature to incubate the eggs and how to care for the geckos. You may need an incubator, though you also may be able to incubate them in a natural environment since that’s where they usually incubate. In general, you need to read up on what kind of care the species you’re trying to hatch needs and then get what you need to provide it.

  15. i said they were Hawaiian gecko eggs, and i don’t know where to get an incubator, i just need to know what to feed them (2 of them) because one of them is starting to hatch.

  16. There’s actually no such thing to the best of my knowledge as a “Hawaiian gecko” unless that’s a common name for another species. If they are green and stick to the walls, they are day geckos. If what hatches is green with a sprinkling of gold it’s a gold dust day gecko (Phelsuma laticauda). If it’s larger with red spots on the back, it’s a giant day gecko (Phelsuma grandis). You shouldn’t need an incubator in Hawaii if that’s where you live because they incubate in nature in your climate. If you don’t live in Hawaii, you clearly don’t need an incubator because one is hatching. They will not need to eat for the first few days (as you can read in the article) because they’re still digesting their yolk sac. Afterward they will eat small crickets (pinhead or 1/8″), small dubia roaches if those are available and flightless fruit flies (many of these feeders can be purchased from a local pet store). They also eat fruit puree. In order to give the best nutritional balance, see if you can get powdered Repashy CGD (Crested Gecko Diet –good for day geckos as well). Otherwise, get some peach baby food and mix it with some calcium and a little yogurt. Let me know if you have any more questions.

  17. thanks, and hawaiian gecko is another name for day gecko, here in hawaii it is, and, can i feed it honey???

  18. srry to bother you, but i have an adult mourning gecko, and she wont eat, what can i feed her that she will enjoy ???

  19. Flightless fruit flies, fruit puree, pinhead crickets. Make sure her habitat and heat requirements are met because that could also cause her not to eat. They eat very small amounts, so it’s also possible she is eating but you can’t tell.

  20. Honey will be attractive to them but it is not a nutritionally complete food. If you’re making your own food for them they would do better with mango or peach purée. There are many species of day gecko which have differing needs.

  21. Hi i just picked up a wild crocodile gecko it is extremely young and im not sure what to feed him as the pet shops in my area do sell anythin smaller than average crickets which are way too big would large ants be ok ?

  22. Google “crocodile gecko care” for more care info. I wouldn’t feed large ants. Try mealworms in a dish and see if you can get some smaller crickets. Most big pet shops do sell “small” and “large” crickets. Maybe your store can get in some “small” ones.

  23. Hello and thank you for this article. My students and I have successfully hatched out a leopard gecko! We have done a great deal of research and believe that we’ve met all of his/her needs, however, the little fella has not eaten yet. He hatched 5 days ago and we believe he shed 2 days ago (both occurred at night when no one was there). We have offered tiny mealworms and small crickets which have had their rear legs removed to make it easier for our gecko to grab. He does the head-tilting like he wants to eat, then just keeps walking. He seems to be bright and alert; he leaves his hide once in a while and walks around. Do you suggest a different food such as fruit flies? Hand feeding? Or should we just wait a bit longer?
    I have him home with me for the weekend and am happy to devote some time getting him to eat!
    Thank you and my apologies for the length!

  24. Give it some time. They are often slow starters. If you want, hold the gecko gently and poke a mealworm at its mouth. It will likely try to bite it and may then eat it. As long as it’s hydrated, it can go for awhile without eating. I’m working on an article for Gecko Time which should run Tuesday called “hatchlings with problems”, though I don’t think yours has a problem yet.

  25. What kinda set up should hatchlings have just a basic hide spot water bowl and food bowl they will beleopard geckos do you have any links/web pages I could read on care and set up for this thank you . Also how many days does a female carry the eggs and how long till the hatch

  26. Leopard geckos can take anywhere from 2-6 weeks to lay their eggs. Once the eggs are laid they need to be incubated, and the incubation temperature determines how long until hatching: at 80-81 degrees, it can take up to 8 weeks. At 88 degrees it can be 4-5 weeks. Leopard gecko hatchlings need the same set-up as adults: dry hide, humid hide, water bowl, food bowl. Google “leopard gecko breeding” to get more information.

  27. What species is the gecko in the first picture in your article? We have a hatchling of unknown species but he looks just like the picture.

  28. That’s a Coleonyx variegatus, also known as a SW banded gecko, native to the southwest US. It grows to about 3″. There could be other gecko species that look just like that. Where did you get yours?

  29. He hitched a ride in a friend’s luggage from Florida, near Okeechobee I think. He’s about two to three inches, has brown bands and tiny spots on his forehead.

  30. Hi i live in the northwest suburbs of chicago and work at differeent locations from traveling on the job, part of my job i walk around the outside of warehouses and i found a leopard gecko rouphly 3-5days old. I have had leopard geckos in the past that other family members have now so i had everything i needed in my garage. What im trying to figure out though is what kind of leopard gecko it is. Any tips on how to do that?

  31. I Found a baby gecko at my high school and he looked fine but i had to keep him in my shirt pocket (the pocket was opened the whole time) in class for 1hr 10mins so im not to sure if he would still be ok? He was only born and i have been reading the comments and the information at the top but i am still not sure he is in the condition that he is meant to be in…
    (I kept him in the toilet room on the window on a plastic plate with so grass sticks a feather and leaves held up but a spray thing and the window was open so all the bugs and insects would fly in and im not to sure he is still ok?)

    I named him Sheddy……..

  32. I’m going to guess that the gecko you found was a house gecko (unless you live in Florida or Hawaii and the gecko is green, in which case it’s a day gecko). Even though it’s small, it may not have just hatched, because some geckos are small. Most geckos are very hardy and can tolerate a variety of conditions, but they do need proper heat and food. Use the internet to google “house gecko care”. Look at the pictures to see if that’s what you’ve got and follow the instructions about proper care.

  33. I just found a baby gecko in my dogs water bowl in my room. It looked dead, when I took it out it did move a little. So I put it in a little travel cage for rodents or fish. I don’t know what to do with it? Or what to feed it? What do I put in the little cage for it to be comfortable?

  34. I don’t know what kind of gecko it is because I can’t see it, but chances are it’s a house gecko. It may not be a baby, it may just be a small gecko. Google “house gecko” and look at pictures to see if that’s what you’ve got. If it is, read about its care online.

  35. I am going to purchase a baby gecko from my local Petco. I looked at them and they appear to be healthy, was told they are eating and I have a question. I only want one leopard gecko and being they are so young would a 12x12x12 Exo Terra house the gecko okay and when I do bring the leo home I have a reptile room and it has windows in it. Does it hurt to put it in front of a window? I also have blinds on the windows that I can draw them down. My other reptiles in the room all are within the required humidity and temperature ranges and I have had no problems. Thank you for taking the time to read and answer my questions.

  36. It’s not a problem to put it in front of the window as long as you don’t get powerful sun shining right through the glass. The 12x12x12 will be OK for a short time. In general, an enclosure that small doesn’t provide much of a heat gradient, but I’ve got my hatchlings in shoeboxes, so it should be OK.

  37. Hi! I have a 32 hour old crested gecko hatchling that just shed – do I start feeding it or wait until it is 3 days old?

  38. Hey, aliza, I just picked up a young Mediterranean gecko by my house. I don’t know how old it is,but it is about an inch long. Please estimate how old it is and also would you please tell me why it won’t eat any of the bugs I catch from outside? Thanks!

  39. I don’t know enough about House geckos to know how old it is. If you picked it up, there’s a chance it is injured or ill, which is why you were able to pick it up. If not, it’s not unusual even for geckos from a pet store to be stressed when moved to a new environment and not eat for awhile. Imagine what it would be like for a gecko from the wild. I recommend you google “house gecko” which is what yours is, I believe, make sure you have the proper care for it and then give it some time to adjust before it’s willing to eat.

  40. Hi Aliza,
    I have finally bred a reptile species, a leopard gecko, and now I have two hatchlings. The one was born on August 23th and the other on August 19th. The latter has already defecated, so it should start eating. Now I have successfully done the incubation and have greater problems, like how to feed them. I don’t read anywhere how to actually feed so small and easily stressed geckos. No I have in their tank their small incubation box adapted as a hide, on the side of which there leans a peice of bark, and next to the bark is the bowl. Theoretically they can climb the bark and see the inside of the bowl and eat the insects. The bowl is very smooth and 2 cm tall, but with a lip towards the inside to prevent insect escapes. The substrate is paper towels, so if I just throw insects in the tank, they could hide immediately and the geckos could not find them. what should I do to make them eat? Especially the older one,? Also, whenever I am opening their hide to see them they get scared, run or scream. If I take them out and poot them at the rim of the bowl to see the food, they just run to an unaccessible corner. How to make them to eat? Can they recognize the insects as food, or should I do something other?

  41. I used to worry about this all the time, especially when I got a juvenile day gecko and I couldn’t figure out how it was going to find its food. I keep my leopard gecko hatchlings in either a 6qt shoebox, or in a divided glass enclosure where they have about the same amount of space. At about 3 days after hatching, I put in a water bowl and a shallow bowl of mealworms. They can smell the mealworms and eventually most of them figure it out. They start slowly, so if after even a week or a bit more they don’t seem to be eating much, don’t worry. The best indication of whether they’re eating or not is whether they’re pooping. After they’ve had a day or two with the mealworms, it’s OK to pick one up (yes, they will scream and even bite. Just ignore it), hold it in one hand, and gently poke a mealworm at its mouth. It will bite the mealworm and probably eat it. Then leave it alone to figure things out.
    Occasionally a gecko just doesn’t get it. It won’t be pooping, the mealworms aren’t disappearing and it doesn’t seem to be growing. In this case, I do hand feed it 2-3 mealworms every day or two. A few of these geckos take months to get on track (a very few have something wrong with them that we can’t see and they don’t survive), but for the most part, they all get it eventually.
    I do start with mealworms exactly because I think the crickets are too hard to catch, though my tiny hatchling Coleonyx seem to have no problem).

  42. My gecko hatchling is incredibly small, the width between their eyes is only a sixth of an inch if that and they are about 2 inches long. Would superworms be a better choice than mealworms? And should i cut them in pieces so theyre easy to digest?

  43. Mealworms is a better choice for right now. It’s not easy to get tiny super worms. Wait till you gecko is about 15 grams or so before trying super worms.

  44. Hi! My gecko hatched the 20th of September and still hasn’t had a meal, it’s now the 6th of October. It’s a desert banded gecko, should I be worried or does it take longer for this species to eat?

  45. I wonder if the fruit flies are too small and too quick for it. I start mine off with 1/8″-1/4″ crickets and small mealworms. See if that works better.

  46. Hi, I have 2 leopard gecko hatchlings that were born September 1st 2016 they are 6 weeks old and I have just moved them to medium large mealworms they eat about 5 a day and I have them in a vented temperature controlled container. I was wondering when I should move them to their own environment and when I can give them to their new homes.
    Thank you

  47. 6 weeks is the minimum age that I sell or give away leopard geckos. In general they should be at least 15 grams before you move them on, but if they’re eating well and you know the buyer/receiver (and you’re not shipping), you can also move them when they’re a bit smaller. They can go to their own environment anytime.

  48. Thank you Aliza! I’m constantly educating myself on these wonderful creatures. I rescued the parents and this is the first set of hatchlings that I have successfully hatched . This is Momma’s second year of laying and is getting the egg laying down better each clutch. Dad is a 5 year old albino. Both beautiful creatures! Thank you for the response and the time you have put into the site! Great information!!!

  49. Hello, I have a 6 weeks old crested gecko hatchling. He’s had a tough go so far – lost him twice (found him right away the first time, took about 10 hours the second), he’s dropped his tail and doesn’t like to be handled. He’s housed with 2 other hatchlings.
    I noticed this morning that he’s shedding, but the disconcerting problem is his lower jaw seems broken. He can’t close it.
    I gave his Rapashy on a stick and he licked it off. The other 2 seem fine.
    I’m not sure what to do with him?

  50. The first thing would be to separate him from the others. In general, crestie and Rhac hatchlings can be aggressive towards each other. It’s unclear whether his jaw problem is due to casemate aggression, being lost,or early signs of MBD (metabolic bone disease). I had a garg with a very soft lower jaw who had this problem and seemed to have congenital poor calcium absorption. If the jaw looks normal when closed, but seems very bendy when it tries to eat, it’s likely the MBD problem. It does sound as if this gecko needs a vet visit. Find one here:

  51. Thank you for your reply. First thing we did was separate him – my son took him to work to keep an eye on him all day. Last report I got was he’s doing normal things and his mouth was closed. I got calcium to add to his diet. The vet is difficult as we live in Northern Canada.

  52. Hello my leopard gecko hatchlings of 6 weeks have decided to stop eating their meal worms 2 days ago , and they haven’t gone potty in 2 days as well substrate is 85 degrees on the warm side and 75 on the cool side. I may go back to live crickets , what do you think?

  53. 85 is a little cool for the hot side, if you’re referring to floor temperatures. I have an awful lot of gecko hatchlings (34 at the moment!) and I do find that everyone doesn’t eat all the time. When you say “back to live crickets” do you mean you were feeding them live crickets originally and switched to mealworms (I see from your previous post that may be the case)? Crickets are a whole lot more fun to catch, so that may be the issue. If you want to keep giving mealworms a try, wait a few more days and see if things pick up. They’ll be fine in the interim.

  54. We just found a tokay (?) Baby gecko. It’s about an inch long. It was found on the office floor. It moves slightly when you touch it but it doesn’t try to get away. Any suggestions?

  55. I’m going to guess that you have found a house gecko and not a tokay gecko. I’m saying this because house geckos are a common introduced species in the southern and southeastern US and have bumpy skin like tokays (google house gecko to see a picture). House geckos are much smaller than tokays, so you may have a juvenile or it may actually be an adult. It may be quite traumatized and badly injured resulting in its being found where it was. If you want to try to rehabilitate it, google “house gecko care” and follow the instructions. It may be too late for it, if you found it minimally responsive on the floor. Good luck.

  56. It really depends on the gecko and its size. In general, I’d say that the tail should be proportional to the body, so if the body is chunky and the tail is really thin that could be a problem. You could google images of gecko hatchlings and see what other geckos’ tails look like for comparison.

  57. Hello! First, thank you for all the information you have provided.
    I live in Kentucky so geckos are not wild at all here. This morning I found a baby gecko at the gym I work out in and I have no idea where it came from. I’ve never raised geckos before and never raised any reptiles from babies. My biggest consern right now is, I have no idea what kind of gecko this is nor do I know how old it is. . I have been looking all over the internet to try and determine what kind it is, but is is extremely difficult to when it is still a baby. Do you know of any good sites that could help me determine this so I know what to feed it? Thank you very much!!

  58. Most of the time when people find those small geckos, they are house geckos and as adults are only 3-5 inches long. Depending on how big this gecko is, it may not be a baby. Google “house gecko”, see if that’s what you’ve got, and read about care. Most hatchling and juvenile geckos are cared for the same way as adults, they are just fed more often.

  59. Hi! I just wanted to know if a 10 yr old girl should be looking after house gecko but it hasn’t hatched yet? It will kind of be like her pet house gecko. Also do you know how old house gecko’s can live for?Thank you!

  60. The house gecko will mostly need feeding and water. Are you the 10 year old girl or is it someone your family? Regardless, the first thing is to learn how to take care of it if you don’t already have that information you can find it on the internet. The internet tells me, by the way, that house geckos can live for up to 5 years. Whether or not a 10 year old can take care of a house gecko depends on the 10 year old. Any child who can carry out regular duties either by herself or with occasional reminders should be able to take care of a house gecko.

  61. Hi Aliza, I have an adult female marbled gecko who has eggs ready to be layed in a couple of days and I was wondering what to do after she lays. What should I keep the eggs in and at what temperature and also the enclosure requirements for the juveniles? Ahh so many questions! I’ve been told that you can use the temperature to make the babies male or female how hot should the eggs be to be male and female, Thanks! -Paige

  62. I don’t really know anything about marbled geckos and the internet wasn’t a whole lot of help (but if you spend more time on it than I did you may get more info). I can only tell you some very general things about what to do:
    –some places did say to keep the eggs at room temp, but these guys are from Australia and right now room temp in the southern hemisphere is much warmer than room temp in the northern hemisphere (and I don’t know where you’re located). You can try putting them in a container with moist perlite or coco fiber at room temp or in an incubator (I feel the low to mid 80’s may be a safe bet) and see what happens
    –generally hatchling geckos should not stay with parents so they won’t get eaten. these are small geckos so their enclosure will have to be escape proof for the babies. They should be able to eat smaller versions of what you feed the parents and care should be taken to keep them a bit more humid so they don’t dehydrate. Good luck with them and if you’re successful, it would be a good idea to write about how you managed it so others can benefit as well.

  63. Hi Aliza,
    I have a small 6 month old leopard gecko. She eats well and has healthy living conditions, yet shes a lot smaller then her brother who is only a month older than her. Is it natural for there to be a big size difference or is it because he is a male that hes larger? Shes kind of an oddball, she is always hungry no matter how much you feed her and has non stop energy. She was dropped when she was a baby and has a slight limp. I want to make sure that shes healthy any information you could give me would be amazing! Thanks.

  64. Geckos grow at different rates. I had a pair of hatchlings that came from the same clutch. At 6 weeks, there was a 15 gram difference between them. My biggest 3 month old gecko was a whopping 51 grams, but I’ve had other geckos that were only 7 grams at 3 months. As long as she’s eating and active, and still growing at her age, she’s probably fine.

  65. Hi Aliza,
    We discovered a tiny gecko stowaway in our luggage upon return from Costa Rica.
    I am assuming he’s a house gecko. He miraculously survived for 2 days packed in a plastic bag of toys so of course we wanted to help him live in his new home in New York. He’s about 2 inches long head to tail. I moved him into a recommended terrarium (which is pretty big admittedly) 2 days ago and have put a few crickets and mealworms (the smallest of each I could find but still seem pretty big compared to him!) however he doesn’t seem to be eating. The temp ranges from 75 at night to 90 at day – should it be hotter? Any ideas of what to feed him that might be easier to eat? It’s been about 5 days now since he inadvertently got packed up and just concerned that he might be getting hungry.
    Any advice much appreciated! Thank you!!

  66. I have a brown anole that hitched a ride with an acquaintance from FL and is now living with me. I assume you googled “house gecko care”. If it’s really a small gecko as you describe, the “small” crickets that they sell in the big chain pet stores are more like 1/4″ to 1/2″ and may be too big. You may need to go to a reptile store and get 1/8″ or “pinhead” crickets. You could also go to a pet store (even the big ones) and get flightless fruit flies which are a good size for this gecko. Be sure to dust them with calcium and vitamin D3. Good luck. I’ve had the anole since last Oct.

  67. Hi, I have a western banded gecko, that I found… it’s about an inch and I fought 2 mediterranean geckos ( about 2 1/2 in. ) will they be ok in the same enclosure? Or should I not keep them together?

  68. Hello Aliza, I just found a house gecko about 3 inches inside of my mealworm bowl. I don’t know what to do, should I release it or keep it?

  69. If you’re pretty sure it came in from the wild, I’d recommend that you release it. If you really want to keep it, google “house gecko care” and proceed accordingly.

  70. Hey Aliza,
    I have 5 baby leopard geckos I’m taking care of. One of my baby’s has not opened one of her eyes in four weeks. Feeding her is a hassle and she seems to have and overly large tounge. She is very unhealthy. How many small mealworms should she be eating per week approximately to keep her healthy? And if I can’t get her to eat we’ll should I try to force feed her? Thanks!

  71. What you can try is to hold her and gently push a mealworm into her mouth. Hopefully, she’ll bite it and eat it. I wouldn’t call this force feeding; it’s more like assist feeding. Sometimes baby leos can be turned around through hand feeding. On the other hand, she may have some birth defects and may not be able to overcome them. If she won’t let you assist feed her, the only choices are to take her to a reptile vet or keep her comfortable and understand that she probably won’t survive. I can’t give you a number of mealworms. Whatever you can get into her is good.

  72. Hiya, i have a normal leopard gecko hatchling that is only 6 days old and she’s perfect and acting normal but she still hasn’t passed any poop since she hatched. I tried to feed her some very small locust and she took them right away. She’s eaten 5 locust but still no faeces. Is there something i can do to help her or is this common?

  73. Sometimes the first poops are really tiny and can be in the recesses of the corner of the enclosure. If she’s acting normal otherwise, I recommend continuing to offer food and check for poops. If she becomes bloated or lethargic, give her a soak in a very little bit of warm water and/or consult a reptile vet.

  74. I woke up this morning to a baby gecko in the cage… I didn’t see eggs or anything so this came as a surprise to me.

    As of now the baby is in the cage with the adults. What should I do with it now? I plan on visiting the pet store after work to ask questions and get supplies.
    Should he be removed from the large tank right away?
    Will the parents harm the baby?
    Is it okay to handle him?

    Any advice you have will be greatly appreciated!!

  75. What kind of gecko is it? I found an unexpected baby in my crested gecko cage last week. Some reports say that adult geckos tend not to harm their offspring that they may recognize as theirs, but the vast majority of advice is to remove the baby so it doesn’t become the adults’ dinner. If it’s a crested gecko or a gargoyle, you can set it up in a 6qt (shoebox size) tub that costs about $1 or so with a paper towel, a small hide, and maybe a little stick to climb on. If it’s a leopard gecko you can put it in a small tank with a small heat pad (use a thermostat so it doesn’t get too hot). It is ok to handle it, though babies are usually very jumpy. It will be easy to remove it from the enclosure if it’s a leopard gecko. If it’s a crested gecko or gargoyle or something else, you may want to try to corral it into a deli cup. Be aware that geckos lay two eggs at a time, numerous times. There may be other eggs in the enclosure waiting to hatch!

  76. Hey!
    1 of my hatchlings has just had his first shed.. when I went to the pet shop they had no meal worms so I had to get small crickets. I put one in, but I soon found that every time it came near him he would move away suddenly startled with his tail up He would wait look at it as if he were waiting to catch it, but yet the minute it comes near him gets scared Do they not like crickets as their first food? It’s the same size as his head, what do I do?
    Please help.

  77. It may be that he will get used to them soon. You could also try holding him and gently poking a cricket at his mouth. Most hatchlings will automatically bite at something near the mouth. Once he gets a good taste of it he may be more inclined to try and catch one.

  78. Three days ago we found a Mediterranean house gecko in our condo in South Carolina and another one yesterday. They are both very small but one is missing its tail. The one with a tail is about and inch and a half long. We bought a terrarium, bedding, a heat rock, and food dishes. Neither of them have eaten the meal worms we provided but the tailed one at one fruit fly. Today, I haven’t been able to find the one with a tail. I think he may be deep in the moss and dirt but I’m not sure. Could he have buried himself and died? I know he didn’t escape. Also, what can I do to help them eat more and do you know how old they may be?

    Thank you!

  79. I’m not that knowledgeable about house geckos, and you could google “house gecko care” to find out more. They are arboreal and may do better with small crickets or tropical roaches, since mealworms tend to bury themselves in the substrate and may not move around enough for them. Flightless fruit flies, as you can see, work as well. You may also considering releasing them since they will do better in their natural environment than in captivity. I have no idea where the “missing” one is.

  80. Hi! I just purchased a baby from a pet store. It is about the size of my index finger (i would suspect it is a hatchling). They told me i was able to keep it in a ten gallon tank. I am currently using paper towels as a substrate, i have a humid hide on the cool side of the tank and a warm hide over a heat mat. I am reading that they get stressed in too big of areas, should i move it into a smaller tub? Or is where i have it okay? Thank you!(:

  81. Assuming you’re talking about a leopard gecko, in my opinion, 10 gallons should be OK. If you’re talking about a crested gecko or something similar, I usually start them in a 6 qt “shoebox sized” plastic tub.
    Be prepared to move a leopard gecko into at least a 20 long when it grows up.

  82. ive had my gecko for about a month and it has only eaten once, im getting reaally worried and we dont have reptile vets anywhere near where i live

  83. You will need to give us a little more information: How old or how long is your gecko? What are you using for heat and how are you measuring it? What are you feeding your gecko? Is your gecko pooping? Is there any chance that your gecko is eating but you just don’t see when that happens? Has your gecko’s tail gotten bigger, smaller or stayed the same since you got it?
    Answer these questions and we’ll see if we can help. Also, have you already checked the Find-a-vet at

  84. We found some common gecko eggs while moving a brick pile in the yard. To keep them safe we moved them into a tupperware container and now two of the 10 have hatched. Is it okay to release them back into the wild? We have thought about keeping one or two, but we know nothing about geckos and mainly just wanted to help them since we disturbed their nest. Thanks!

  85. Geckos are designed to be self sufficient right out of the egg, so I’d recommend putting the hatchlings where you found the eggs. If you do want to keep some, it’s possible but “gecko” is like “fish”, i.e. you wouldn’t keep a guppy the same way you’d keep a goldfish, so you need to know what species of gecko it is. If you’re in the southwest and the gecko is tiny and banded, it’s probably from the genus Coleonyx (sw banded gecko, common name). If you’re just about anywhere else, it’s probably a house gecko (genus Hemidactylus). In all honesty, who’s to say it’s a gecko and not some other kind of lizard. Enjoy watching the hatching!

  86. Hello I have a question I have a near hatchling house geko and has not eaten how can I go about trying to get him to eat?

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