It is possible to have difficulty distinguishing between a male Leo and a female Leo. Knowing a leopard gecko’s sex enables you to comprehend what to anticipate and how to care for it properly. So, let us discuss the differences between both sexes and whether male Leos are bigger than females.
Male geckos are larger than their female counterparts. A female leopard gecko’s size ranges from 7 to 8 inches, and its weight can range from 46 to 72 grams. While a male leopard gecko can range from around 8 – 11 inches. The weight of male leopard geckos can range anywhere from 62 to 92 grams.
Let’s look at why female leopard geckos are smaller than males, along with other differences pet owners should know about.
Why Are Male Leopard Geckos Larger Than Female Leopard Geckos?
In most reptiles, females are bigger than males, but Leos are an exception. Many ideas attempt to explain why male Leos are bigger than females. Some of these ideas include the following:
(Another Article we have written related to this is: Why are Leopard Geckos Tails Fat)
Female Leos are more likely to mate with males whose heads are bigger than average. It is highly probable that their progeny will inherit similar qualities, which will help them compete more effectively with another gecko of their own specie.
Hormones and Agression
Testosterone (A male hormone) causes male Leos to have increased body size and territorial aggressiveness, which is necessary for male leopard geckos to compete with one another.
Although male leopard geckos are far more likely to be violent, female leopard geckos can still be hostile. Males must be prepared to defend themselves when approached by females who aren’t interested in what they offer.
Additionally, females will pick potential partners based on their ability to produce bigger numbers of healthy children. In several lizard species, male physical strength increases offspring numbers.
Can You Determine the Gender of a Leopard Gecko Based on Its Size Alone?
If you cannot contact the breeder to get an answer to the issue of whether or not you have a male or female leopard gecko, you will need to find another technique to determine the gender of your pet.
The following characteristics distinguish male leopard geckos from female leopard geckos and can help you recognize the difference between the two.
These pores may be seen on the gecko’s rear legs and look like a series of very minute white spots. Although both males and females possess them, males possess them more commonly.
In some cases, these femoral pores might become blocked, demanding a trip to the veterinarian for declogging. If you examine the bottom of the lizard and notice a series of little spots going down the area of its thighs, you are looking at a male. On the other hand, if you cannot find any, you own a female leopard gecko.
The hemipenes of a gecko are indicative of male sexual organs. A male Leopard gecko will likely acquire two noticeable bulges on the ventral side, close to the horizontal slit.
These bumps only appear for a short period while the male leopard gecko is mating with a female partner. On the other hand, female geckos do not have these pronounced bulges, which makes it much simpler to determine the gender of your pet gecko.
You should avoid hurting the genital organs, which might trigger hemipene prolapse. A lizard can be traumatized by any pressure given to this portion, which can cause it to lose its tail if the pressure is severe enough.
These preanal holes may be seen on the species’ undersides of both males and females. They stand out more prominently in males and arrange themselves in a line.
In females, the V-shaped pore development surrounding the vent is considerably smaller and more difficult to perceive than in males.
These pores secrete a waxy material that acts as a territorial marker and helps attract potential mates. So if you grasp a gecko and don’t observe V-formed preanal pores, it’s a male leopard gecko.
Male vs Female Leopard Geckos Differences
Both male and female leopard geckos are distinguished from one another by a number of distinct traits. There are several differences between the sexes regarding size, behavior, and overall lifespan. The following are some distinguishing characteristics shared by male and female geckos:
Geckos are territorial reptiles, and territorial male geckos will create chirping sounds to alert other geckos approaching their region.
The volume of the male’s chirps increases as the gecko perceives greater danger from other geckos. Male geckos chirp to indicate their presence during mating season and to attract females for mating.
Breeders claim that a gecko’s temperament relies on its sex; however, this isn’t true. There is the same amount of aggressive female geckos as aggressive male geckos.
(Another article that may interest you on this topic is: Are Leopard Geckos Friendly?)
When they reach adolescence, leopard geckos exhibit a distinct shift in their behavior, which is something to keep in mind. When ovulation begins, males develop aggressive territorial behavior, while females reduce the amount of food they consume.
The male Leo usually goes straight for its food, while the female looks calm. In contrast to females, males are more likely to greet you as you visit the vivarium.
Both the male and female lizards will shake their tails, but only the male’s tail shake will make the distinctive rattling sound. They will typically begin making this sound once they have reached adulthood and when they are in the process of reproducing.
If they are well cared for and have minimal health problems, male geckos can live far longer than their female counterparts. Male geckos eat consistently and rarely eat properly unless unwell.
Female geckos typically live for a shorter period than their male counterparts, and excessive breeding of female geckos might further reduce their lifetime.
Male Leopard geckos tend to have a bigger physical mass and frame than their female counterparts. This may be determined by seeing the lizards’ larger heads and necks.
Male geckos are more gregarious and friendly during mating season. When you approach the tank, however, female geckos might run and hide as soon as they see you.
Is a Male or Female Gecko Best?
If they are well cared for, fed properly, and have minimal health problems, male leopard geckos have a longer lifespan. When compared to the female gecko, the male gecko has a more attractive physical appearance.
Male leopard geckos have a superior physique to female leopard geckos due to their wider heads and larger bodies. As a result, pet owners choose male leopard geckos more often than females.
The ovulation phase is a trying time for the breeder of reptiles since the female geckos stop eating and lose their appetite, which causes the geckos to diminish during this time. Because of this phase, the female gecko loses significant weight, making the reptile more susceptible to illness and increasing its chance of contracting various diseases.
Can a Female and Male Leopard Gecko Coexist?
Female leopard geckos cannot coexist with males since the species is extremely territorial and will aggressively defend its territory. It is highly advised that the geckos be housed in separate tanks to prevent any instances in which the geckos may injure one another by fighting. Fights frequently result in stress or injury, both of which cause the geckos involved to stop eating. Geckos treated this way experience weight loss and may get infections due to the exposed wounds.
Female leopard geckos should be kept apart from newborn geckos to prevent aggression. It is recommended to keep each gecko in its vivarium and only introduce them to one another during the mating season. When housed in the same enclosure, male and female geckos do not get along very well.