Leopard geckos are among the most popular domesticated in the lizard family. They are docile, quiet, and delightful at the same time. However, new leopard gecko owners freak when they notice their new pets staring at them, almost awkwardly.
Staring is not unusual behavior in leopard geckos. So if you are wondering ‘why does my leopard gecko stare at me? It could be a sign of hunger, natural curiosity, and instinct. You may notice your leopard gecko staring at you when you walk into the room. It is a reaction to sudden movements as a survival instinct.
6 Reasons Why Your Leopard Gecko Is Staring At You
Have you noticed your leopard gecko staring at you? It can be unnerving to have your pet staring at you awkwardly, but it’s pretty standard for a leopard gecko.
Below is a list of 6 reasons why your leopard gecko is staring at you:
- Normal behavior
- Sudden movements
- A sign of hunger
- Attention seeking behavior
- A sign of health problems
Stargazing is common in leopard geckos. Sometimes they aren’t even staring at you. It could be looking at a reflection in the window mirrors, but because of their sharp eye, it appears like they are staring at you.
Let’s dive in and explain why leopard geckos stare at their owners.
Staring is a normal behavior in leopard geckos
Staring is primarily a normal behavior for leopard geckos just like yawning. However, it is associated with survival that helps leopard geckos spot prey or predators within their environment.
You might notice your leopard gecko in a still position staring at you. It is prevalent when you first bring your pet home. This is because they are trying to familiarize themselves with the environment and you.
Staring can be expected for some leopard geckos, while others won’t stare. Like people, leopard geckos have differences. We will get to that later on.
If you notice your leopard gecko staring at you occasionally, don’t panic, as it is entirely normal.
Your leopard gecko is curious
Do you find your leopard Gecko staring at you or other objects in the room? These cute reptiles are curious about everything around them. Allow your leopard gecko to explore the surroundings when they first arrive at your home. However, be careful with handling your gecko as they are not precisely socialists.
Ensure that your gecko is comfortable in its enclosure. If the lighting and temperature are within the required range, don’t worry about your leopard gecko staring at you.
Allow your gecko to get familiar with the objects in the room. Let them explore the room if they are comfortable getting out of the tank.
If you have a new object, for instance, furniture, in the room, it is normal for your gecko to stare. They try to figure it out and often stargaze until they are familiar with it and ensure that the object doesn’t pose a threat.
As I mentioned earlier, staring is a survival instinct for leopard geckos. In the wild, leopard geckos will stare at anything that makes a move. Be it a leaf startled by the wind or an insect flying by; geckos stare because of their survival instinct
When you enter the room, your leopard gecko will likely stare at you. This is because they are trying to determine if you pose a threat. Leopard geckos will use the same trick in the wild to tell if predators or prey are in their surroundings.
Sudden movements like walking into the room or stretching are enough to get your gecko’s attention. However, it is a harmless natural behavior, and you have nothing to worry about.
Your leopard gecko is hungry
Though with a great eyesight, your leopard gecko sees you as a source of food. In the wild, leopard geckos would have to hunt for food. Domesticated geckos will feed on what you offer.
In some cases, your leopard gecko will still stare even after feeding. Some geckos refuse to eat, especially when you introduce a new food type.
Your leopard gecko is staring at you to remind you that it’s time to feed and will stop once you offer food.
Attention seeking behavior
Some leopard geckos are social, while others cringe at your touch. Unfortunately, social people can also develop attention-seeking behavior, usually portrayed through staring.
So your leopard gecko is well-fed and comfortable in its enclosure but won’t stop staring. It could be a sign they want to spend some time with you. You don’t have to remove your gecko from the tank.
Instead, hanging out with your leopard gecko could involve sitting by the tank. You must stay calm and refrain from handling your leopard gecko too often. The trick is to have your gecko comfortable with your presence and develop a bond with you.
Sign of a health problem
A leopard gecko staring is quite normal. However, consistent stargazing could indicate that your gecko is sick. One of the most common health problems associated with staring is the Enigma Syndrome in leopard geckos.
The enigma syndrome is an incurable neurological disorder that can be compared to autism in humans. Therefore, leopard geckos on the enigma spectrum require extra handling and care. In addition, the condition can be passed on through generations. Consequently, it is advisable to refrain from breeding geckos on the spectrum.
However, do not rush to conclude that your leopard gecko is on the spectrum simply because you’ve noticed them staring. The Enigma Syndrome presents other symptoms, including:
- Refusing to eat
- Head tilting
- Circling the tank
You must see your vet if you suspect these symptoms as soon as possible.
Why my Leopard Gecko isn’t staring?
Don’t be alarmed if your leopard gecko doesn’t stare at you. Some geckos will stare at you, while others don’t care much about your presence. As indicated earlier, leopard geckos are not as social as most pets. Sometimes they will stay in hiding for the entire day only to come out in the evening.
As long as your leopard gecko doesn’t show any symptoms of an illness, there is no need to panic that your gecko doesn’t stare at you.
Leopard geckos have unique personalities. When a leopard gecko is not staring at you, it could mean they are comfortable around you. They associate you with positive things like feeding or companionship.
A leopard gecko who has been with you for a while might stop staring when you walk into the room. Do not be alarmed. Your leopard gecko is comfortable around you and your home. And this is what we all want; a happy and content pet in our homes.
Other Behaviors Common Among Leopard Geckos
Staring isn’t a unique behavior in leopard geckos. Spend some time with your pet, and you will discover other unique behaviors like:
- Tongue flicking
- Tail wiggling
- Tank climbing
Leopard geckos have the Jacobson’s organ on their tongues. It is an olfactory organ that’s responsible for the sense of smell. You will notice your leopard gecko flicking their tongue too many times a day. Tongue flicking helps leopard geckos to stay alert to their environment.
Leopard geckos use their tails to communicate with other geckos, especially in the wild. Domestication does not take tail wiggling away from these adorable pets.
So what does it mean when your gecko is wiggling their tails? Fast tail wiggling could indicate that your leopard gecko feels threatened. When you have more than one gecko in a tank, it is natural to observe tail wiggling. You should pay attention to these cues, especially when handling your gecko. A leopard gecko wiggling their tail slowly is a simple way to alert other geckos of their presence.
Leopard geckos are crepuscular. They are not entirely nocturnal, but it is normal for a leopard gecko to hide during the day. Most of them will come out at dusk to feed and explore the tank before they go back to sleep.
However, if your leopard gecko hides for longer than 24 hours then it can be ill. So refrain from dragging your gecko to the open. Instead, use food to lure your pet out of hiding.
Climbing out of the tank
Tank climbing means that your leopard gecko is not comfortable there. It can be the temperature, or your gecko feels threatened. It is typical behavior when you have more than one gecko in the tank. In other cases, your leopard gecko will make chirping or squeaking noises. You should check on your pet immediately, as these noises indicate a threat.
Do other reptiles stare?
Yes. Other reptiles do stare at their owners or make sudden movements. It is an instinct that helps reptiles, including iguanas and other geckos, keep up with their surroundings
Is staring a territorial behavior in leopard geckos?
Sometimes your leopard gecko will stare to mark territory. It is a common behavior when you have two or more leopard geckos living in the same tank. Sometimes they might even fight as a way to defend their territory.
Do leopard geckos have a personality?
Yes. Like humans, leopard geckos have different personalities. Some are social and others won’t bother to socialize with you. You can learn your gecko’s personality by observing its behavior.
Understanding your leopard gecko’s behavior and personality is vital to its happiness. You now understand the reasons why your leopard gecko stares at you. Do not be alarmed when your leopard gecko is staring at you. Stargazing is normal if you keep your gecko fed and in a comfortable enclosure.