Gecko lizards are easily the most popular when it comes to exotic pets. They are beautiful, very interesting to observe, and can make great companions once they get to know you a little better.
When it comes to taking care of them, they’re so easy to maintain that a young teenager can easily be a great Gecko caretaker. However, some Geckos are more friendly than others.
Tokay Geckos and Leopard Geckos are among the most popular types of lizards preferred as pets all over the world. Today, we’ll talk about these two beautiful Geckos and see which one makes the better pet.
Tokay Gecko: As one of the largest types of Geckos in the world, they are widely known for their vibrant colors and bright orange and blue spots. They are scientifically known as Gekko Gecko, grow up to 15 inches long, and live around 10 years.
You should also keep in mind that Tokay Geckos are nocturnal and can be dangerous for younger children. They are known for their anger issues and are best handled by an experienced person. But despite their issues, they make magnificent pets.
Read more about them in our complete Tokay Gecko guide.
Leopard Gecko: For beginners, these Geckos are almost always the number one choice. They are pretty small and can be easily handled by almost anyone. Scientifically known as the Eublepharis Macularius, these lizards grow up to 8-10 inches long and live around 20 years in captivity.
They are typically yellow, white, and full of black dots. You can expect a lot less cage maintenance compared to other Geckos and they’re very easy to tame. Leopard Geckos are also nocturnal.
Tokay Gecko vs Leopard Gecko – Which One Is The Better Pet?
Tokay Geckos are highly territorial and can take much longer to tame than other Geckos. Despite their beautiful and mesmerizing appearance, their bite can be extremely painful. This naturally makes them a bad choice for families with children.
Leopard Geckos are often affectionately called Leos and they are a thousand times more docile. They are also usually slow-moving and can be thought to socialize as soon as you get them home. This makes them the perfect pet for beginners, especially children.
Temperament and Habits Comparison
The territorial nature of the Tokay Gecko makes it very aggressive and stubborn. It also has above-average intelligence, which makes it a very interesting Gecko to observe.
Tokay Geckos are excellent climbers and they even have prehensile tails. They are also known for being feisty and can deliver a very painful bite. Despite regular interaction, these Geckos are not good for handling.
You should also keep in mind that Tokay Geckos are nocturnal and extremely vocal. This means that placing their enclosure in your bedroom is a very bad idea.
Leopard Geckos, on the other hand, are ground-dwelling Geckos that prefer peace and are easy to tame. Their intelligence is not out of the ordinary but they often make movements that are interesting to observe.
Unlike other Geckos, Leopard Geckos don’t have sticky toe pads, which means they can’t climb walls. However, compared to other Geckos, they have eyelids.
Leopard Geckos are not prone to biting and they can be gently held from the first moment of contact. They’re also nocturnal and very vocal during the night, which means they shouldn’t be placed in the same room you sleep in. But they make excellent pets.
Can Tokay Geckos and Leopard Geckos live together?
As mentioned before, Tokay Geckos are extremely territorial. This means that making them live with any other Tokay Gecko will be difficult. But when it comes to Tokay Geckos accepting Leopard Geckos and living together, you should never even attempt to house them together.
Tokay Geckos are bigger and much more aggressive. If you’re not paying attention to the enclosure, the Leopard Gecko will serve as breakfast to the Tokay.
Both Tokay and Leopard Geckos should only be housed with other lizards from their species. Otherwise, until the morning one of them will be dead, if not already eaten.
Tokay Geckos are not pretentious and can eat a wide range of insects. This includes crickets, superworms, grasshoppers, waxworms, cockroaches, mealworms, and more. Bigger Tokays can even eat small mice.
Their food should always be gut loaded and dusted with a vitamin supplement that contains calcium. While juveniles need food every 24 hours, adults should be fed every other day.
Tokay Geckos often prefer to get their hydration from the moisture droplets that land around their enclosure from misting. But a shallow water dish should always be present in the enclosure.
Leopard Geckos can be fed a variety of waxworms, crickets, and, in moderation, mealworms. Adult Leos might even be able to eat pinky mice. To make sure your Gecko doesn’t eat any substrate, it’s best to feed him in an empty tank.
A juvenile Leo needs several crickets every day, while adult Leos can skip several days between each meal. Their food should also be gut loaded and dusted with a calcium and vitamin D3 supplement. Juveniles need the supplement at every feeding, while the adults need it every other feeding.
You should always provide a shallow dish of freshwater for your Leopard Gecko in its enclosure. The water bowl will help maintain the humidity and your Leo will drink from it. There are Leos that might even love getting soaked in their water bowl.
Cage Requirements (size, substrate, heat level, humidity)
Tokay Geckos are pretty big and they need a tank that’s at least 20 gallons to feel comfortable in their enclosure. You should also never house male Tokays together. You can house them on their own, in pairs of two of male and female or female and female, or you can house a male and two females together.
Leopard Geckos need a 20-gallon tank for a pair of two or even three Leos. There should also never be more than one male in the enclosure. And it’s best not to keep the males and females together if you don’t want to deal with breeding.
Tokay Geckos need to feel as home as possible to be happy. This means choosing orchid bark or coconut husk-based substrate that can help retain the moisture in the tank. And when the Tokay is shedding, you can use paper towels to help with cleaning.
You should remember that you can only use paper towels that are free of any ink designs and that have not been bleached.
Leopard Geckos should never be kept on a sand substrate as they can ingest it. You can use paper as it’s easy to change and is absorbent, and you can also use indoor/outdoor carpets.
Wood shavings should also be avoided as they can cut your Leo’s feet and the volatile oils in the wood shavings may be irritating. Your Leo will be fine as long as he’s not ingesting any of the substrate.
Temperature and Humidity – Tokay Gecko vs Leopard Gecko
Tokay Geckos need the temperature in their enclosure to be between 80F to 90F during the day and 70F to 80F during the night.
Leopard Geckos need their enclosure’s temperature to be between 75F and 88F during the day, and between 70F to 75F during the night.
Tokay Geckos love humid places and you should never let it drop under 50%. The perfect humidity level for your Tokay is 70%. This can be achieved through misting, a substrate that retains water, and a bowl of water.
Leopard Geckos, on the other hand, are desert lizards. This means that they only need a humidity level between 30% and 40%. If it drops below 20%, your Leo might have trouble shedding.