If you are looking for a good entry level pet into the reptile world than look no further. Geckos make a great pet for any beginner due to a variety or reasons.
First, they are one of the more easy to take care of reptiles. And, they don’t get nearly as big as many others like bearded dragons and large snakes.
Most of all they are just adorable and really fun to watch. Most of them are even OK with some minor handling.
The Most Common Starter Species
There are a lot of different gecko species but these are the most common ones that are beginner friendly.
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1. Leopard Geckos
Probably the most common gecko for new owners is the very cool looking leopard gecko. They get their name from their appearance. The common type have yellow bodies and black dots resembling leopards.
There are many morphs though that have different color patterns.
What makes leopard geckos a great starter reptile is that they are generally very docile and easy to take care of. Their diet can be a little tricky as they prefer live insects and you can’t really use any prepackaged food, but aside from that they are not overly demanding.
2. Crested Geckos
The second most common gecko kept among reptile enthusiasts is without a doubt the crested gecko, or more affectionally called cresty. While crested geckos have that basic gecko look they are very different than the leopard geckos mentioned above. They almost look other worldly.
Like leos, crested geckos are quite docile and tend to get used to handling over time. They also stay rather small if you don’t want a large reptile to care after.
One factor that really helps with making keeping a crested gecko easy is that they are very easy to feed and you don’t need to worry about live feeders like mealworms all the time.
3. African Fat-tailed Geckos
Fat-tailed geckos are actually a lot like leopard geckos. They are not nearly as common but you will see them pop up at pet shops and retile expos now and then.
They are ground dwellers so you don’t need to worry about all the trouble a gecko with sticky pads can get into. But, you will need a tank large enough for them to explore a little as they don’t have the vertical climbing ability crested geckos have. .
Besides the fact they have different colorations, are a little bit bigger and a little more relaxed than leopard geckos, there isn’t a whole lot more to differentiate the two.
Cons: Less common and may require more effort in finding one
4. Gargoyle Geckos
The gargoyle gecko is much rarer than the other three listed above. But, it’s still an OK gecko pet for a beginner.
In terms of looks, it’s much more like a crested gecko then leopard or fat-tailed geckos. They also like the same type of environment as well as diet.
But, unlike crested geckos their tail will regrow if they drop it when stressed or feel they are in danger. You can handle them though and the more you do while they are younger the less stressed they will feel while they grow.
5. Day Geckos
Day geckos are extremely common in nature but a little less popular as a pet. That doesn’t mean they are not kept however, and they do make a fantastic gecko pet for beginners.
These are very bright and beautiful geckos that are much more active than the others listed above. That makes them the best choice for those looking for a gecko to observe often.
The major drawback for day geckos is that unlike the other four listed above, they should not be handled regularly. They are very skittish and incredibly fast and agile. It’s much easier to lose your day gecko than it is to get ahold of it and safely handle it, plus they are very delicate.
These are five very beginner friendly geckos that make wonderful reptile pets. They are all very docile and gentle creatures and four of the five are generally OK with you handling them if you so desire. You will need to train them a little to make sure your gecko is comfortable, but with some patience they will be fine.
It’s important to mention that there is a semi-popular gecko that is not on this list. That is the bold and beautiful tokay gecko.
Tokay geckos are amazing reptiles, but they are the exact opposite of docile. They are extremely aggressive and will have no problem sinking their teeth into you and drawing blood whenever presented with the opportunity.
Stick with the five pet geckos in this list and pass on tokays if you are looking for one that is beginner friendly and just more generally friendly as well.