Leopard Gecko Tail Waving Behavior – Defensive Posture

leopard gecko tail waving behavior defensive posture shake rattle

There are different leopard gecko tail waving and rattling behaviors, understanding them will allow you to understand your leopard geckos better.  I’ve been waiting for awhile to get this tail waving behavior captured on video.  Today while cleaning out a leopard gecko’s enclosure, I placed this gecko in a temporary critter tote.  She saw her own reflection and started to wave her tail (as seen in the video above).

This particular back & forth leopard gecko tail waving is a defensive posture

This is the gecko’s way of distracting a potential attacker.  They wave their tails so the attackers would focus on their tail, rather than their body.  The idea is that the attacker would strike at their tail, at which time the gecko would break off the tail and run away.  So if you ever see your leopard gecko waving their tail at another gecko, it’s best to separate them right away.  When a gecko is spooked, any slight movement could cause a gecko to strike out and bite.  You can prevent some serious injuries by noticing these signs right away.

Leopard geckos do regenerate their tails, although they won’t look the same.  See the picture below for an example of a regenerated tail tip.

emerine leopard gecko example regenerated tail

This is not to be confused with tail shaking, like a rattlesnake tail rattling

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Leopard Gecko Proportional or Non-proportional Reptile Thermostats

What are reptile thermostats and do I need it for my terrarium?

Reptile thermostats are devices that will monitor the temperature of your terrarium’s warm spot. There is a temperature probe attached to the thermostat. You would lower the probe down to the terrarium floor right above where your under tank heating pad is, and secure the probe with either tape or a weighted decor. Then you would set the ideal temperature for your reptile. Once done, plug your under tank heating pad directly into the thermostat.

If the under tank heating pad ever gets above a certain temperature threshold, the thermostat would either turn it off, or lower the voltage on it to reduce its heat. This is important as under tank heating pads are known to overheat. It can happen at anytime randomly, sometimes due to the heating pad malfunctioning. These heating pads do not have temperature controls in place as they are not designed to only heat to a certain temperature. Continue reading “Leopard Gecko Proportional or Non-proportional Reptile Thermostats”