The Ultimate Guide To Leopard Gecko Behavior

 The Ultimate Guide To Leopard Gecko Behavior

Why is my leopard gecko making a chirping noise?


Leopard geckos have certain behaviors that can show us how they are feeling and what they need. Vocal sounds are one of the many distinct behaviors we see in leopard geckos. These sounds are simply letting us know that they are scared. 

Leopard Gecko Digging


Leopard geckos dig for different reasons. The main reason they dig is because that’s what they typically do in the wild to hide. If they dig a burrow, they might be looking for a nice cool spot to sleep in as well. 


Females will dig when they are about to lay their eggs. For breeding purposes, have loose substrate available for females to make their nests. 


Overall, digging is a normal behavior in the wild and in captivity.

Tongue Flicking


Tongue flicking is a common behavior among leopard geckos. Flicking their tongues is actually a good sign. It shows that your leopard gecko is healthy and curious.


Leopard geckos use their tongues to sense what is around them. They will do this when they taste food, tank accessories, and substrate.


Since leopard geckos can lick up some of the loose substrate, reptile carpet or sand mats are safer because they will prevent impaction. 


Your leopard gecko might even lick you at first to get to know you better. 


Leopard geckos have a gland in their mouths that help them recognize taste. Tasting their environment helps them learn about it. 

Hiding All Day


Hiding all day might be a concern for new leopard gecko parents. Hiding in their den all day is actually a very normal behavior. Leopard geckos are are inactive during the day. They are most active in the evening and will come out to play at night. 


However, it is important to be up to date on your leopard geckos health because there are other reasons for why they might be hiding often. 


It could just be that it is too hot in their terrarium. Make sure you have the heat lamp and UVB light on one side of the terrarium and their hiding den on the other side. Use a thermometer as well to keep track of the heat. 


Your leopard gecko could also have parasites too or another health issue. If you notice that they are losing a lot of weight or looking abnormal, that they are definitely sick and need to see a vet. 

Glass Surfing


Glass surfing is when you see your leopard gecko attempt to climb the glass of their enclosure. They are simply just trying to get out and explore. It is always a good idea to let your gecko out when they do this and interact with them.


Let them crawl on your arm or on your hands. If you have a desk or a safe place for them to walk around, let them!


They might also feel uncomfortable in a terrarium that is too small. It is a good idea to get a 20-30 gallon tank especially if you have more than one leopard gecko. 


If you don’t have a lot of objects for your gecko to climb on, then this could be another reason for the glass surfing. Add more accessories to give your leopard gecko places to climb on or hide in. 

Tail Nipping


Tail nipping is a behavior that is shown when leopard geckos feel competitive. This is not a positive behavior and you should avoid it as much as you can. Nipping happens when they are trying to show dominance.


If you see this happening, it is safest for all of the leopard geckos to be housed separately. If you only have one gecko, then you don’t have to worry about this. 

Vocal Sounds


Leopard geckos are typically pretty quiet, but they can be very vocal if they want you to know something. They make squeaks and chirping noises. If they make these noises they are letting you know that they are scared or don’t feel comfortable with how you are handling them.


Be sure not to pick them up by the tail or squeeze them hard. If they make these noises when you go to pick them up, give them some space and let them be comfortable with you first. Chirping can happen with leopard geckos at any age. 

Tail Behavior


Slow wags mean that your leopard gecko is on the hunt. You are going to see this occur when you put crickets in their terrarium. 


Right when they are about to attack their food, they might shake the tip of their tail quickly almost like a rattlesnake. 


Leopard geckos can stick their tails up in the air too. This behavior means that they are stressed or they are trying to scare off a predator. 


If you have a male and a female, the male might shake its tail really fast. This is a breeding behavior that is normal. 

Too Much Lip Licking


If your leopard gecko is constantly licking its lips, this is a severe problem. They might be having a hard time keeping their food in their mouths. Too much licking can be a sign of weak jaws which happens from metabolic bone disease (MBD).


MBD is when they lack enough calcium and their bones become almost spongy and brittle. Their bodies will become very weak and they can die from this. 


Mouth rot is another reason for too much licking. Their mouths will turn red and have sores. Mouth rot is very painful and will prevent your leopard gecko to eat properly. 

Same Bathroom Spot


Just like people, leopard geckos will have a spot that they regularly go to the bathroom in. This is a positive behavior that also makes clean up easy. Leopard geckos like to have one spot that they regularly go to. 

Happy Behaviors


If you want to know if your leopard gecko is happy, just look to see how much it is climbing. If they climb on all of their terrarium accessories and sleep often during the day, they are very happy. Happy geckos hunt, bask, and enjoy handling from their owners. 



One of the supplies you need to have is a water bowl that stays in the terrarium. It is normal for a leopard gecko to soak in their bowl to get a break from the heat or hydrate. Soaking also helps with shedding their skin. 


The tank could also be way too hot or the humidity is really low. Using a thermometer and a gage for humidity will help you maintain their tank conditions. 

Wrapping Up


Many behaviors that you see are common, but it is important to know what behaviors might mean poor health. Always keep a close eye on all behaviors so you can have a positive interaction with your leopard gecko and to make sure they are healthy. 

Jade Messieh

Proud bearded dragon, tortoise, crested gecko, and green tree python mom. I've always been passionate about animals and hope to help other reptile & amphibian enthusiasts along their journey!

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