While not all species of geckos are good candidates for pet ownership, there are many that make great pets for both handling and observing. Do note that not all geckos have the ability to climb glass surfaces, which can be disappointing for children. Whether you're looking for a gecko that is easy to handle or can climb walls, there are many gecko varieties to choose from.
Giant Day Gecko
With a lifespan up to 30 years, an adult giant day gecko can reach lengths up to 12 inches. What most owners love about this variety is their ability to climb glass tanks. The species has sticky pads due to the small hairs on their feet. Another benefit is that they are active both day and night, which means children can enjoy their company.
Otherwise known as the skunk gecko, the white-lined gecko measures around 10 inches when fully grown and has a lifespan of seven to 10 years. These geckos have the ability to climb and do well when housed in small communities. White-lined geckos are better for observation than handling because of their quick speed and painful bite.
Central American Banded Gecko
The Central American banded gecko is a nocturnal species. Growing up to 7 inches in length, this species has a lifespan of up to 10 years. They are relatively easy to care for, doing well in 10-gallon tanks. When born in captivity and properly socialized from a young age, this is a docile breed that does well when handled for short periods of time.
Madagascar Ocelot Gecko
Another nocturnal species, the ocelot gecko grows to roughly 5 inches in length with a lifespan up to 10 years for males and two to three years for females. The male ocelot prefers to be housed with one to two females, but no other males. First-time gecko owners should consider this species because of the ease of care.
The frog-eyed gecko, also known as the wonder gecko, loves to burrow in sand, measures 4.5 to 5.5 inches and has a lifespan up to 15 years. The species has unique fish-like scales that the gecko can rattle as a method of self-defense, to establish his territory or attract females.
The leopard gecko can live up to 20 years. Since these lizards don't require basking time, they are often kept in plastic containers, making them easier and less expensive to care for. Measuring 6 to 10 inches, this variety of gecko does well in pairs. Once socialized, leopard geckos are easy to handle.
Named because of their elaborate eyelashes, crested geckos live 15 to 20 years. This nocturnal species can grow up to 9 inches long. Never pair the crested gecko with other males, as they are very territorial. Crested geckos are a docile species that can be handled and rarely bite.
- ReptileChannel.com: Pet Geckos
- Geckos; Richard D. Bartlett and Patricia Pope Bartlett
- The Pet Owners Guide to Geckos; Matthew Debanks
Amy Brantley has been a writer since 2006, contributing to numerous online publications. She specializes in business, finance, food, decorating and pets.