UniquePetsWiki is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Read more

Are Leopard Geckos Nocturnal?

Leopard geckos are small terrestrial lizards that originate from the Middle East and India. You will easily find this stunning creature in rocky, grassland, and desert areas.

Although leopard geckos in wild are naturally nocturnal animals, they can abandon their natural nocturnal behavior in captivity. They can become active during the day, but most of the activities will be carried out at night.

In this next section, you can conclude that leopard geckos are nocturnal or not. Then, you will get an insight into the nocturnal behavior of leopard geckos, the time leopard geckos are most active, and other types of nocturnal lizards in the world.

Are Leopard Geckos Nocturnal?

Leopard gecko pets are crepuscular species. They do not spend the whole night active for food, drink, or any other activities. Leopard geckos do not need UVB lighting and only require 10 – 12 lighting hours a day. You can have nocturnal lights on the whole day but that is not suggested.


Many people think that leopard geckos are nocturnal (active during the night) species. But they are considered to be a crepuscular species instead of a nocturnal animal. This is because leopard geckos can come out at fading light during the dawn and dusk.

While nocturnal animals are only active at night and will avoid getting in contact with light. Nocturnal animals usually have large eyes and ears that help them to see and hear clearly at night.

Are All Leopard Geckos Nocturnal?

leopard geckos are not nocturnal
leopard geckos are not nocturnal

Leopard geckos are mostly a nocturnal animal in the wild. But some species of leopard can be active during the day.This is common in leopard geckos that are captive-bred creatures or have spent a long time as pets and are very comfortable with their owners.

You can easily find leopard geckos active during the day in geckos that are kept in an enclosure that lacks light.

What Time are Leopard Geckos Most Active?

Leopard geckos are usually very active during the early hours of the evening or at dawn. 

Furthermore, they will remain docile during the day and can also go to sleep after dusk. They will then be active again early in the morning. Leopard geckos also prefer using their busy hours to feed and hydrate themselves.

Do You Need To Feed Your Leopard Geckos At Night Time?

Do You Need To Feed Your Leopard Geckos At Night Time?
Do You Need To Feed Your Leopard Geckos At Night Time?

One of the things to consider when you get a leopard gecko is the best time that you can feed your gecko. 

Leopard geckos are insectivorous animals and feed mainly on crickets, locusts, mealworms, etc. However, you need to gut-load the insects with calcium and vitamins before you give them to your gecko.

The best time to feed your leopard geckos is between 7-9 pm immediately after it becomes active. Leopard geckos are usually more active during this period, and you can watch as your gecko hunt down the insects.

The feeding process in leopard geckos can last for around 10-20 minutes. However, you should ensure that all the unconsumed live foods are withdrawn immediately from the gecko.

It is best to feed hatchlings and young leopard geckos once a day. Furthermore, you can feed adult geckos once in two days. However, there are times when your leopard geckos may refuse to eat; this can be as a result of illness.

Loss of appetite in leopard geckos can also happen when they are about to shed their skin or when the gecko needs to reduce its food reserves. If this continues for several days and your gecko is sick, you can take your gecko to the vet.

What Other Lizards Are Nocturnal?

Although most lizards are diurnal, which means they are active during the day. Several lizard species are nocturnal creatures and are only active during the night. Some of the other nocturnal lizards are stated below.

Terrestrial Geckos

These are ground-dwelling geckos, and most terrestrial geckos are nocturnal. This includes leopard geckos(in wild), Madagascan ground geckos, and fat-tailed geckos. Terrestrial geckos hide during the day and become active at night to avoid predators and easily catch insect prey.

However, some terrestrial geckos living in the desert environments are nocturnal to avoid the excess hot daytime temperatures.

Arboreal Geckos

Some arboreal geckos are diurnally active, but there are some that are nocturnal. Nocturnal lizards are common in arboreal geckos from the small species to the large species. 

Some of the arboreal geckos that are nocturnal are house geckos, satanic-leaf-tailed geckos, crested geckos, tokay geckos, etc. Arboreal gecko feeds on insects and other invertebrates but can also feed on nectar and fruit.

Twilight Goannas

Monitor lizards are generally diurnal, but there are times when they feed at night. Twilight goannas are quite similar to medium-size monitor lizards. However, twilight goanna can stay active even after dark.

They feed on insects and small lizards but can occasionally eat rodents and snakes. Twilight goannas are occasionally kept as pets in Australia but are not common in North American pet trade.

Monkey-tailed Skink

A monkey-tailed skink is a crepuscular animal, and they are active at dawn and dusk.

They are the largest skink in the world, and it has excellent eyesight used for searching for food in low light.

Another name for monkey-tailed skink is the Solomon Island skink.

Do Leopard Geckos Need Light At Night?

Since it is believed that leopard geckos are crepuscular animals, you may be wondering whether leopard geckos need Ultraviolet lighting.

Most leopard geckos owners do not provide UV lighting for their gecko. This is because there are no health issues associated with the lack of UVB in their enclosure. However, leopard geckos usually get their UV when they come out to feed at dawn and dusk.

Studies indicate that leopard geckos love getting their UV in low light compared with other reptiles. However, your gecko can have health issues if you do not expose them to UVB. This can then become worse if you do not give dietary Vitamin D.

Vitamin D deficiency can reduce the utilization of calcium in their food, which then results in metabolic bone disease.

Can I Try To Imitate Their Natural Twilight?

Although you can use a basking light to imitate leopard geckos’ natural environment, it needs extreme care or can harm your geckos. Before you can provide a proper basking light for your gecko, you need a very large tank with enough shades and cover where your gecko can hide.

You will also need to be able to control the basking light, which comes on a few hours a day. When you provide your gecko with UVB, you will need to reduce the vitamin supplements to avoid an overdose of Vitamin D3.

Note: Albino leopard geckos are very sensitive to light. Overexposure to light can cause severe burns to albino leopard geckos’ skin and eyes. It is best to avoid using basking light when you are keeping albino leopard gecko.

Wrapping Up

Although many pet owners believed that leopard geckos are nocturnal, you will be surprised to find out that they are crepuscular. They are most active during the dawn and dusk, unlike other nocturnal reptiles out there.

Ref: animals.mom.com

Leave a Comment

About UniquePetsWiki

UniquePetsWiki is the preferred educational source on pets favored by experienced herptologists and new owners alike. With hundreds of articles on everything pertaining to pets including reptiles, squirrels, and other pets, our experienced team provides reliable and accurate content you can trust.

From proper husbandry and habitat guidance, to articles on health concerns, diet, and extensive care guides, UniquePetsWiki is here to educate everyone on all pets concerns.


UniquePetsWiki is not a veterinary website, nor should any of the reptile health information on our site replace the advice of a certified veterinary professional. If your pet is experiencing a medical emergency, contact an experienced veterinarian immediately.

UniquePetsWiki is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.