How Long Do Geckos Live? Lifespan + Growth Chart

Geckos are fun little reptiles that are loved by the Pet owners. There are more than 2000 species of Geckos found around the world. But do you know how much these geckos live? Here is everything you need to know about their lifespan and how to increase it as a pet owner. 

On average, Geckos live for about 10-15 years. But this figure varies from different species to different habitats. In wildlife, geckos can survive up to 15 years, whereas in captivity, they might live longer and survive up to 20 years. Geckos live longer when they do not need to worry about hunting for their food. 

The lifespan of the top 10 most popular geckos 

Name Lifespan
African – fat Tailed15-20 years
Chinese cave 10 years
Common House5-8 years
Crested 15-20 years
Gargoyle 15-20 years
Giant Leaf Tailed 7-10 years
Gold Dust 10 years or more
Leopard15-25 years
Tokay 15 years
Frog eyed 20 years

The life stages of a Gecko

A gecko goes through three life stages which are known as, hatchlings, Juveniles, and Adults. They are quick-growing reptiles. 

Editor’s Note
Geckos grow real quick. You’ll feel like you have just blinked your eye and your cute little gecko pet turned into a juvenile.

Life stages Process
HatchlingsThis stage in a gecko’s life is basically like our teenage life. They grow fast during this period to take up their adult life.  During this phase, they shed regularly. They are also eating frequently in this stage as it is the growing process. 
JuvenilesAfter completion of 12-18 months, a gecko has grown to its full-sized adult body. When geckos are young they shed once a week, but after entering into their adult stage, they shed after every 1 or 2 months. They also become sexually mature, and develop their morphs fully. 
AdultsAfter completion of 12-18 months, a gecko has grown to its full-sized adult body. When geckos are young they shed once a week, but after entering into their adult stage, they shed after every 1 or 2 months. They also become sexually mature and develop their morphs fully. 

How long do geckos live in the wild?

how long do geckos live

While geckos are very friendly and entertaining reptiles, they come from the wild. It is difficult for any animal to survive for longer periods in the wild. They have to protect themselves from potential predators and big animals who want to hunt them as their food. Also, they have to find their food which takes up energy and time. It is seen that in the wild, geckos live for 15 years on average which is less than how much they can live in captivity. 

This is particularly true for the Leopard Geckos and fat-tailed Geckos.  Their survival rate also depends upon other factors like climatic conditions. 

Editor’s Note
Scientists say that Tokay Geckos, who live for 7-10 years in captivity, may live even shorter than that in the wild. 

Scientists believe that Geckos live longer in captivity than in the wild. While there have been observations, it is always proved that they live longer lives in captivity. 

How long do Geckos live as pets in captivity? 

leopard gecko in enclosure

While this might sound a bit different from the traditional notions, that animals are happy when they are free. Geckos tend to live a longer life in captivity than they live in the wilds. When they do not have to worry about their food, they tend to survive more. 

Although there is not much data on this subject over the internet, there are resources and observations which say that in captivity they can live up to 20 years.  There are many reasons for this longer life in captivity, one of them being protected from potential predators and getting hunted down. Not worrying about food. Getting proper care and treatment under our eyes.

A study on this subject by the Israel Journal of Zoology suggests the same about geckos.  While keeping Gecko  as a pet, you can increase its life span by creating 

Suitable environment, giving them proper diet and nutrients. And the most important thing is handling them with care. 

In my experience, grabbing them by the tail might hurt them as they frequently drop their tail to protect them from predators. You must keep your gecko in a suitable tank which would depend upon its size and personality. 

Does the gender of a gecko affect its lifespan?

female and male geckos

Yes, a male gecko is believed to live a longer life than a female gecko. Usually, the male gecko lives for 15-20 years, while the female gecko only lives up to 6-10 years. This is mostly when she is breeding.

Giving birth to offspring causes a strain on the female gecko’s body which is responsible for its shorter life span. They also have a tendency to not eat food when they are ovulating which makes them weak. They also lose a lot of weight in this process. 

If they are in captivity as pets, you should be giving them a lot of vitamin-rich food. You can also regularly take weight measurements of your female gecko to keep track of it. 

Editor’s Note
It is advised to feed a lot more to the female geckos before their ovulating season. They can lose a lot of weight during ovulation which can prove to be dangerous for their life.

Factors that affect their age 

The following factors can affect the lifespan of a Gecko:


gecko on rock

The lifespan of a gecko depends on Whether a gecko is living in the wild or captivity. If you have a pet gecko, you are going to have it for as much as 20 years.  Proper care and love can give you companionship for a longer period. 

Good diet

Gecko eating small serving of jam

Make sure that you give proper foods rich in vitamins and nutrients to your gecko, for him/her to live longer with you. A rich diet can go a long way. It can affect their age and make them live a healthy, fun life.


female gecko

As we discussed in the previous section, the gender of a gecko plays a huge role in determining the age factor. Female geckos, because of breeding, die at an early age as compared to male geckos. This is because their body gets weak because of the strains and contractions while laying eggs. They also stop eating during this period, which makes their body more weak and unbearable. 

Enclosure Size 

gecko enclosure

Some geckos which are bigger, need more space to move around the tank. Therefore, for giant-sized geckos, you need to have a big and suitable tank. If those geckos are not given proper space to move around, their growth and development might stop. It will also affect them mentally and they will feel detached. This can lead to a shorter lifespan. 


Do all geckos have a similar lifespan? 

No, all geckos do not have similar lifespans. However, on average, they live up to 15 years. While there are some geckos like the Tokay who live even less than that. 

What effect does captivity have on a gecko’s Lifespan? 

While in captivity, geckos tend to live longer than wilds. Due to their protected environment and intensive care at the hands of their owner. 


Geckos are one of the best types of pets and you cannot deny that. Their lifespan depends upon different factors, but if you love your pet and give proper care to them, they might live up to 20 years, which means when you decide to keep a gecko pet, you decide to have a companion for the 20 years of your life. Get your gecko today!

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