Geckos are ideal low-maintenance and friendly pets. Before purchasing the pet, you’ve likely thought, “How big do geckos get?”
Well, gecko sizes vary based on multiple factors, from their environment and age to their breed and diet.
For instance, a tokay gecko can grow much larger than a regular house gecko. Another factor worth considering is your gecko’s gender since females tend to be smaller than males.
That said, understanding your gecko’s size is critical when finding its new enclosure. Stick around to learn more about how big geckos can get.
Gecko sizes differ depending on factors like species. Each one grows at different rates. Here are some of the most common gecko pet species.
Crested geckos can grow anywhere between eight to ten inches long as adults. They can live up to 15 to 20 years.
The gecko likes to travel by crawling up trees and shrubs with sticky padded feet. The species is native to the islands of New Caledonia, which is close to Fiji and Australia.
Overall, crested geckos are ideal for beginner and experienced reptile owners.
Leopard geckos can reach around six to ten inches when fully matured. Their life expectancy measures 10 to 20 years, making them a lifelong commitment.
In the wild, leopard geckos are usually darker than their captive counterparts. The latter comes in a variety of color patterns with leopard-like black spots.
Their top skin region is rugged, offering a protective layer. Meanwhile, their underbellies are typically smooth.
Common house geckos are around three to six inches in length. On the other hand, Mediterranean house geckos can stretch four to five inches.
The tropical and subtropical species have long snouts and lengthy, tapered tails. Color-wise, the gecko type comes in gray and pink hues with dark spots.
The underbelly is off-white. Some variations have a brown-striped tail. Besides that, house geckos can be found in urban and suburban locations.
Gargoyle geckos are around six to ten inches long. They weigh between 1.4 to 2.1 ounces. Hatchlings can reach three inches.
Similar to the crested species, gargoyle geckos also originate from New Caledonia. They come in a variety of colors. Wild gargoyles are brown-based.
Other variations can come in orange, pink, red, gray, yellow, or white base colors. Apart from the base, the gecko can have multiple markings, like spots, stripes, and irregular patches.
Tokay geckos are one of the largest species. They can reach around 8 to 16 inches, depending on their gender.
The species is native to East and Southeast Asia. Tokay geckos come in two color variations, red-spotted and black-spotted.
The latter are distributed around mainland China and northern Vietnam. Meanwhile, the red-spotted types are found in Southeast Asian countries like Nepal, Thailand, and Indonesia.
A giant day gecko can stretch as long as ten inches long. The reptiles are originally from eastern Madagascar.
Nowadays, you can find them climbing about the Florida Keys and Hawaii.
You can easily spot a giant day gecko from its signature green base color and bright red markings. Some have blue and orange patterns as well.
They have a velvety skin texture, pointed snout, lidless eyes, and a medium-length tail.
Female geckos are typically smaller. They’re longer and leaner as well. The females have more elongated and skinny necks. Males, on the other hand, have thicker tails.
They have a bulkier build with broader necks and more compact shapes. The males also typically weigh more than females.
To illustrate, female tokay geckos are around 8 to 12 inches, while males can extend a longer 13 to 16 inches.
In another example, male leopard geckos are around 8 to 11 inches lengthwise and weigh between 2.1 and 2.8 ounces.
Their female counterparts are around 7.1 to 7.9 inches long and come in at a lighter 1.8 to 2.5 ounces.
Gecko hatchlings can grow around three to four inches in length. They weigh around 0.07 to 0.2 ounces. Pet shops will likely sell you a baby gecko so you can bond with it from an early age.
Since baby geckos have yet to develop their immune function and skeletal growth, they’re more vulnerable to disease.
In turn, you’ll need to provide exceptional care to keep the hatchling healthy. In terms of enclosure, a 10 to 20-gallon terrarium will suffice.
Geckos start as hatchlings in their first two months of growth. In their soft-shelled eggs, they’re around 1.5 to 2 inches long.
After they turn a couple of months old, they’re classified as juveniles.
Juvenile geckos are around five inches long and weigh between 0.5 to 0.9 ounces. The life cycle stage lasts about five months. Once they turn seven months, they become sub-adults.
During that phase, growth tends to stagnate. During this time, your gecko will grow to six to seven inches and weigh 1 to 1.4 punches.
Their sub-adult stage lasts approximately five to four months. They’ll start to outgrow their 10-gallon terrarium, and you’ll want to switch their enclosure for a larger 20-gallon one.
After they become a year old, their fully-matured adult life begins. Growth doesn’t stop there. They’ll continue growing until they reach 18 to 24 months of age.
There’s no clear way to determine a gecko’s age. You can’t go off of size since every breed has a different growth rate.
Besides its breed, genetics and inheritance also control a gecko’s growth rate. In addition, your gecko’s care routine can largely affect its size.
If their diet isn’t nutritious enough, it can stunt their growth, regardless of their age, breed, and genetics.
Another factor that can affect your gecko’s size is its environment. Changes in temperature and humidity can modify their growth potential.
A gecko’s weight primarily depends on gender, species, and age. Females tend to weigh less than males.
Meanwhile, some species, like the gargoyle gecko, naturally weigh more than a leopard gecko.
Leopard geckos can weigh 1.8 to 2.1 ounces or more. Females come in at a slightly lower 1.6 ounces.
A fully grown gargoyle gecko can weigh up to 2.3 ounces. As hatchlings, they weigh no more than 0.1 ounces.
Tokay geckos can weigh anywhere between 5 to 14 ounces, making them one of the heaviest breeds.
A mature giant day gecko can weigh up to 2.5 ounces.
In most cases, geckos stop growing when they reach 18 to 24 months. For reference, they reach adulthood by 12 months. That said, growth rates vary based on breed.
For instance, leopard and giant day geckos can stop growing between 18 to 24 months, but gargoyle geckos reach their maximum size between 15 and 18 months.
Meanwhile, crested geckos take the least amount of time to fully grow. They can reach maturity once they age 12 to 24 months.
On the other hand, a female tokay gecko may only stop growing after she breeds. In turn, she stays the same size once egg production starts.
If your gecko’s growth is slow, you can implement a few methods to boost its development.
You might think, why start with a small enclosure? Why not put the juvenile gecko in a large container where it can live its full life?
Well, starting with a large terrarium can stress your gecko since it’ll have to work harder to search for its meal.
Plus, it’ll be easier for the small reptile to navigate through a 5-gallon tank first before moving to a 20-gallon one immediately.
Dietary changes can alter your gecko’s growth. For instance, if your crested gecko’s diet changes from live insects to Crested Gecko Diet (CGD), it might eat less.
As a general rule, you’ll want to feed your gecko live insects once a week. That way, it’ll keep its hunting instinct alive, making it more active and increasing its appetite.
Your gecko enclosure’s temperature and humidity play a crucial role in its growth. Low temperatures can cause decreased energy levels, weaker immunity, and plummeted appetite.
Consequently, your gecko’s growth will become slower. Keep the temperature above 70 degrees F.
In terms of humidity, if it’s too low, it’ll impact the gecko’s feeding habits. If moisture levels become too high, you’ll risk bacterial and fungal growth.
After knowing your gecko’s size through every life stage, you’re better off preparing its enclosures.
A hatchling or juvenile gecko can live in a five-gallon terrarium. As it grows to a sub-adult, you’ll want to keep it in a 20-gallon enclosure.
If it continues to grow, we suggest upgrading to a 30-gallon tank. Before purchasing the tank, ensure that you know whether your gecko’s breed is arboreal or terrestrial.
That way, if it’s the latter, you can choose a wider terrarium. If it’s arboreal, it would prefer a taller tank where it can climb mini tree substrate.
When you’re off buying a terrarium, it’s crucial to keep in mind that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution.
Geckos come in a variety of sizes, depending on factors like gender, age, breed, genetics, environment, and diet.
That said, some breeds produce larger sizes, like the tokay gecko. Meanwhile, your gecko may have a slower growth rate due to genetic specifications.
Overall, your gecko will appreciate a roomy space to crawl around in peace.
I have a bachelor’s degree in Film/Video/Media Studies, as well as an associates degree in Communications. I began producing videos and musical recordings nearly 15 years ago. I am a guitarist and bassist in Southwest MI and have been in a few different bands since 2009, and in 2012 I began building custom guitars and basses in my home workshop as well. When I’m home, I love spending time with my three pets (a dog, cat, and snake) and gardening in my backyard. I also like photographing wild birds, especially birds of prey.