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6 types of geckos to keep as pets if you love leopard geckos - the Eublepharid geckos

Updated: Aug 14, 2023

Leopard geckos are one of the most common pets in the reptile industry and are perfect for beginners. This is due to their good nature, easy care, handleability, and their inability to climb smooth surfaces which prevents them from being excellent escape artists.

But did you know that leopard geckos belong to a whole family of geckos that are just as wonderful as pets as leopard geckos, the Eublepharidae? Keep reading to find out more!

6 types of geckos to have as pets

About the Eublepharidae family

Eublepharid geckos, also called eyelid geckos, are ground dwelling geckos native to eastern and southwestern Asia.

These geckos cannot climb up smooth surfaces, like glass, because they don't have "sticky" (adhesive) toe pads that many other geckos have. Since they can't climb smooth surfaces, it makes them easy to keep as pets without worrying about them finding a gap in their enclosures and escaping. Or escaping when you open the enclosure's door or lid.

Eublepharid geckos are sturdy and most importantly when looking at a pet, they are capable of being handled. This is an important factor when looking into having a reptile as a pet as there are many reptiles that are look-don't-touch pets. But that's not the case with these eyelid geckos.

Another feature that distinguishes Eublepharid geckos from most other geckos and gives them the name eyelid geckos is that they have moveable eyelids, whereas most geckos can’t close their eyelids. All of them are nocturnal and sport eyes with snake-like vertical pupils.

The main members of the Eublepharidae family are:

  • Leopard geckos

  • Fat-tailed geckos

  • Cave & ground geckos

  • Cat geckos

  • Banded geckos

  • Clawed geckos

IMPORTANT: Even though these geckos all belong to the same family, that doesn't mean they should be housed together. Certain geckos of the same species can sometimes be housed together depending on the circumstances, but geckos of different species should definitely NOT be housed together. If you have any questions, please reach out to us.

7 Eublepharid geckos to keep as pets

1) Leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius)

A calico firefox leopard gecko walking on a black surface in front of a piece of drift wood
Calico firefox leopard gecko

As mentioned previously, leopard geckos are one of the most commonly kept species in the hobby and are highly recommended for novice keepers.

They’re popular due to their good nature, relatively low cost, excellent handleability, and unique colourations.

Leopard geckos live in arid areas and hide in burrows that they make themselves or repurpose from other burrowing species living in the same habitat.

Being bred for many generations in captivity, there are many different colour morphs that make this species highly collectable. Since leopard geckos have been bred for many generations it means that many morphs have been "created" that would not happen so naturally in the wild. This means there's a more diverse range of colour and patterns to leopard geckos than other eyelid geckos.

It’s no question that leopard geckos make the best pets! Although while leopard geckos are amazing pets, keep reading to find some gecko treasures from the Eublepharidae family that will not only make wonderful pets but broaden your horizons.

Browse our selection of captive bred leopard geckos for sale here. We source our leopard geckos from a local Canadian breeder. We also breed some of them ourselves!

2) African fat-tailed gecko (Hemitheconyx caudicinctus)

An African fat-tailed gecko on a bed of leaves
African fat-tailed gecko

After leopard geckos, African fat-tailed geckos are one of the most commonly kept Eublepharid gecko.

They look similar to leopard geckos but have a fatter, more bulbous tail. They are very docile and tolerate handling more than leopard geckos. However, they get stressed more easily, so they may take time to adjust to being handled.

Their care and habitat requirements are also similar to leopard geckos. Like leopard geckos, African fat-tailed geckos live in arid areas and hide in burrows but they require a habitat that is slightly more humid. They need moist hiding areas and their enclosures will need misting a few times a week.

We have an ongoing breeding project for African fat-tailed geckos. Check out our shop here to see if we have any currently for sale.

If we don't, simply click the "Notify Me Upon Availability" button and you'll get an email from us once one is available for sale. This goes for any of the geckos here that you'll be reading about. Since our breeding projects are ongoing we could have eggs in our incubator at the time you're reading this or we could have some babies that are just about to size up to juveniles and be put on the website for sale. If you're interested to know their status simply send us an email or text.

3) Chinese cave gecko (Goniurosaurus hainanensis)

A chinese cave gecko walking on a bed of leaves
Chinese cave gecko

Chinese cave geckos are tropical eyelid geckos that boast a signature bright and dramatic red/maroon eye as seen in the picture here. They are more slender and slightly smaller than leopard and fat-tailed geckos.

Chinese cave geckos live in different habitats than leopard and fat-tailed geckos. While the previously discussed eyelid geckos live in arid areas and hide in burrows, cave geckos live on forest floors near rock outcroppings in tropical climates.

The set up for Chinese cave geckos would include forest substrate and hiding spots in the form of small caves or coconut hides. Live plants and moss can be used to complement the decoration. They require frequent misting and a high ambient humidity.

There are several other cave geckos species available in the hobby, but the Chinese cave gecko is by far the most readily available. Visit our shop to see if we have any Chinese cave geckos available. And remember to hit that "Notify Me Upon Availability" button if we're currently sold out.

4) Cat gecko (Aeluroscalabotes felinus)

A cat gecko curled up on a piece of drift wood
Cat gecko

Cat geckos are found in rainforests in Malaysia and Thailand. This species takes its name from the pose they take during resting hours: they curl up just like cats with their snout tucked under their tail.

They are a very beautiful and rewarding species, although they are small, slender and delicate. Please note that their level of care is not for beginners.

Their enclosure set ups are similar to that of cave geckos, but they need more opportunities to climb (like their namesake).

We have a current breeding project for cat geckos and may have some captive bred juveniles available for sale in the future. Browse our online shop to see if any are available now.

Sometimes striped subspecies are produced, but those come with quite high prices.

5) Central American banded gecko (Coleonyx mitratus)

A Central American banded gecko on a mossy branch
Central American banded gecko

The Central American banded gecko is one of my favourites and is generally underappreciated.

This is a small gecko species, that like cave geckos, live on the floor of tropical forests.

Central American banded geckos are very easy to take care and they don't require large enclosures. This makes them perfect "desktop pets".

6) East Indian leopard gecko (Eublepharis hardwickii)

A juvenile East Indian leopard gecko standing on a black surface
East Indian leopard gecko

A close cousin to the leopard gecko, East Indian leopard geckos are from Eastern India, and differ from their common cousin by living in a tropical environment.

They are an absolutely stunning species. There are no colour morphs as they are relatively rare in collections and not that long ago, this species was worth thousands of dollars on the market.

In the hobby only captive bred animals are being offered, as India does not allow reptile exports.

This species is not well known in the hobby and certainly deserves more attention. We have been breeding and offering this species for sale since 2021. Currently, several animals are available for purchase -- shop here!

7) West Indian leopard gecko (Eublepharis fuscus)

A West Indian leopard gecko standing on a black background
West Indian leopard gecko

Similar to the East Indian leopard gecko, there are also West Indian leopard geckos, that originate from, you guessed it, Western India.

They have nearly an identical habitat to East Indian leopard geckos, and like the East Indians the West Indian leopard geckos are only available as captive bred animals.

Pictured here is a juvenile of this species.

We are still waiting for our first babies of West Indian leopard geckos.

To wrap it up

Eublepharid geckos deserve the great reputation that they have. They are hardy, attractive, relatively easy to care for, and they do not require expensive set ups.

The reason for writing this post is that I wanted to bring this group of underrated geckos to everyone's attention because they are one of most rewarding groups of geckos to keep.

Some are rare, some are common, but all of them are fascinating.

The affordability factor is checked off here too! The beautiful Central American banded geckos are the most affordable of the bunch, closely followed by leopard geckos and African fat-tailed geckos.

But no matter your budget, one thing is for sure, you will love the experience of having any one of these eyelid geckos.

As a last note, we have an ongoing breeding program for every species listed here. Which means that every picture posted here was taken in our own breeding facility. If you have any questions about geckos for sale or gecko husbandry, please reach out!

Pictures from our breeding facility


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