Leopard Gecko Size: How Big Does a Leopard Gecko Get?

By Frank Miller •  Updated: 10/05/23 • 

Leopard gecko hatchlings are super tiny. If you’ve had the pleasure of seeing one come out of the shell, it’s natural to wonder how big he will eventually become. What is the healthy growth rate to expect during different stages of life? Will your new scaly friend still fit on your palm as an adult? How much do adult leopard geckos weigh? If these questions boggle your mind, you’ve come to the right place!

Baby leopard geckos or hatchlings, irrespective of gender, start as tiny 2.5 to 3-inch-long fellows, weighing 3 to 5 grams. They grow rapidly, reach up to 11 inches in length, and weigh up to 90 grams as adults. Providing a varied diet and upholding the best husbandry practices can ensure your scaly friend grows to full size.

Read on as we dive into the details of how big leopard geckos get. We will analyze the different life stages and share a size and weight chart to help you determine whether your scaly friend is growing at a healthy pace.

Let’s begin!

Leopard Gecko Development—3 Life Stages

Leopard geckos make fantastic pets for reasons beyond their cute looks and docile nature. They are also relatively long-lived, with an average lifespan of up to 20 years. With proper care and some luck, you don’t have to worry about your middle school daughter having to bury her pet in a shoe box in your backyard. Her scaly friend may stick around to see her graduate from high school and college!

Here are the three main life stages of a leopard gecko.

1. Hatchling/ Baby Gecko (0 to 6 Months)

It takes 35 to 90 days for leopard gecko eggs to hatch. Hatchlings typically take their time to leave the eggs and may spend hours popping out of the broken eggshell. They stick their heads out and use their eyes, noses, and tongues to get a sense of what the world holds for them. These tiny fellows weigh 3 to 5 grams and are 2.5 to 3 inches long.

Snow leopard gecko hatchling

Snow leopard gecko hatchling

Hatchlings eat less and sleep a lot, especially during the first weeks of life. They spend more nights awake once they catch their appetites and gradually pick up on the correct night and day cycles. During this phase of life, leopard geckos grow rapidly and gain both length and weight.

Also, leopard geckos start shedding as hatchlings. They shed once or twice monthly, and you will notice new colors, patterns, and spots with each shed. If your hatchling is not looking as cute as you expected, just give him time.

2. Juvenile (6 to 12 Months)

Juvenile leopard geckos are like human teenagers. Although they feed every other day, they can eat bigger insects. They maintain a good appetite when offered a varied diet, which also fuels their growth rate. On average, a juvenile leopard gecko weighs 30 to 40 grams and measures up to 6.5 inches long.

>Recommended Reading: Best Worms to Feed Your Leopard Gecko

A lot of development happens during the juvenile stage, and most leopard geckos reach sexual maturity. As with most reptiles, a Leo’s sexual maturity is determined by weight and not age. At 9 to 10 months, most leopard geckos in captivity are at least 45 grams. This means they are ready to get sexually active in the next breeding season.

Juvenile Leopard Geckos

If you wish to breed your leopard geckos, we recommend waiting until they are physically mature at 18 to 24 months. At this point, you can expect top-quality offspring, especially once both males and females go through their first brumation. In between, do not be puzzled if your teenage scaly girl lays unfertilized eggs.

3. Adult (12 Months+)

Leopard geckos are small reptiles that grow up to 11 inches long as adults. Depending on gender, a fully grown leopard gecko should weigh 60 to 90 grams. You can tell your scaly friend is growing at a healthy pace if the head size looks fairly proportional to the tail’s size. If the head seems bigger, your pet is likely underweight. If the tail is wider than the head, your Leo may be overweight.

>Recommended Reading: Guide to Feed a Leopard Gecko

Adult leopard geckos have well-established day and night routines and are even old enough to go into brumation. It is crucial to uphold the best husbandry practices to keep them happy and healthy. Generally, they spend most of their days asleep and wake up at dusk to feed and survey their kingdom.

My Healthy Adult leopard gecko

Leopard geckos are weirdos that love creeping around their enclosures at night. You can ensure that your scaly buddy enjoys time in the tank by providing plenty of environmental enrichment. Some of the best options include ladders/ledges, fake plants, bridges, and tiny hammocks, just to mention a few. Keeping your pet happy is one way to ensure he maintains a great appetite and thrives.

Leopard Gecko Growth and Weight Chart

Below is a handy chart showing a leopard gecko’s expected growth at different life stages. Still, it’s important to note that individual Leos are different, and even when properly fed, they can end up slightly bigger or smaller based on their genetics.

The following are just average estimations to help you determine whether your scaly companion is growing at a healthy pace.

0 Months2.5 – 3 inches2 – 5 grams
1 MonthUp to 5 inches15 – 25 grams
2-3 MonthsUp to 6 inches20 – 30 grams
4-5 MonthsUp to 7 inches25 – 35 grams
6-7 MonthsUp to 8 inches30 – 40 grams
8-9 MonthsUp to 8.5 inches35 – 50 grams
10-12 MonthsUp to 9 inchesUp to 60 grams
12-18 MonthsUp to 11 inchesUp to 90 grams


When Do Leopard Geckos Stop Growing?

Leopard geckos reach their ultimate adult size at 18 months and stop growing. Although they grow rapidly as hatchlings and juveniles, their growth pace is dramatically slower once they turn into adults at 12 months. Still, they can add a few grams or increase slightly in length before they are 1.5 years old.

When leopard geckos stop growing, this also implies they are physically mature and ready for breeding. Still, we strongly recommend against breeding leopard geckos at home, especially if you lack the skill and time to oversee a smooth and ethical process.

Female leopard geckos lay fertile eggs 21 to 28 days after mating. They can lay up to 8 clutches of eggs yearly, and each clutch has two oblong-shaped eggs with leathery shells. Because Leo’s are solitary, females cover and protect their eggs as best as possible and move on.

Leopard gecko eggs hatch in 35 to 90 days to give rise to hatchlings that are generally self-sufficient from day one. Hatchlings from pet stores are typically ready for adoption at 6 weeks.

4 Factors Influencing the Full Size of a Leopard Gecko

Numerous factors help determine the full size of a leopard gecko. These factors include genetics, gender, diet, and your efforts to provide a comfortable living environment. Generally, leopard geckos grow super-fast as hatchlings and juveniles. Although some continue to grow well past the 12-month mark, the growth rate is typically much slower.

Here are four main factors that can influence the full size of a leopard gecko:

1. Gender

The ultimate size of your leopard gecko may depend on gender. Males are larger than females, and while they can reach up to 11 inches long, most females measure 2 to 8 inches on average. Also, males can be as heavy as 90 grams, while most females weigh 60 to 70 grams by the time they reach their maximum size.

2. Genetics

Genetics also plays a big role in determining the full size of a leopard gecko. It is common for some Leos to appear larger or smaller than their peers, even when growing at a healthy pace. For instance, if both parents are large, hatchlings from a clutch will likely inherit the same gene. On the other hand, breeding two relatively small-sized adults will result in the hatchlings adopting the small gene.

Still on genetics, there are Leos called leopard gecko morphs or giant leopard geckos. They are not a different breed but just regular Leos with a unique genetic mutation. These reptiles are purposely bred to pass on specific recessive or dominant genes that influence their size, scale patterns, skin color, and more.

Giant morphs have a co-dominant trait that makes them exceptionally large. Males can weigh up to 110 grams, while females can weigh up to 90 grams. When morphs are selectively bred, they are expected to bear equally giant-sized hatchlings that grow considerably bigger than normal leopard geckos.

3. Diet

As aforementioned, leopard gecko hatchlings are self-sufficient from day one. They even come equipped with 100 tiny teeth to help them hunt and munch on critters of all kinds. Their teeth continually fall and are replaced with bigger ones that enable them to graduate to eating larger bugs. A healthy and diverse diet can be instrumental in ensuring your pet grows as expected.

Hatchlings should be fed daily, while juveniles can eat every other day. Both hatchlings and juveniles grow rapidly and have faster metabolisms, which makes it crucial to feed them more often.

Adults have slower metabolisms and can eat larger quantities of feeder insects in one sitting. This also means they don’t need to feed as frequently, and 2 to 3 meals weekly should suffice.

>Recommended Reading: How Often Should I Feed My Leopard Gecko?

Some feeder insects are staples, while others are best used as treats because of their high-fat content. Confusing the two can quickly result in weight issues. Besides offering a varied diet with crickets, mealworms, Dubia roaches, and mealworms, it is important to dust or gut-load your feeder insects. This will ensure meals have adequate nutritional value to help your Leo grow at a healthy pace.

4. Living Conditions

Enclosure conditions can help keep your leopard gecko happy and healthy. A happy gecko maintains a good appetite and generally thrives to reach maximum size without much effort. On the other hand, a stressed pet will barely eat, while a spooked one can even drop the tail and lose essential fat reserves. It is imperative to uphold proper husbandry practices to ensure your Leo has a healthy growth rate.

Here are a few tips that may help:

How to Measure Your Leopard Gecko

We recommend weighing and measuring your leopard gecko weekly to determine whether his weight and length are on the right track. Unfortunately, taking these measurements can be an uphill task, especially because geckos never stop moving. Popping them on a scale and ensuring they remain steady enough for you to take an accurate reading can be a problem.

Here are a few steps that can make your work easier.

1. Gather the Needed Supplies

Leopard geckos are not great fans of excessive handling. They can get even more fidgety when they realize you are up to something. You can always use snacks to keep your pet entertained and more cooperative during your session. Also, gather the following supplies to make the process as fast as possible.

2. Measure Length

To measure the length of your leopard gecko, use a tape measure or ruler and take the readings from the snout to the base of the tail (aka cloaca). Place your scaly friend on a flat surface and place your tape measure or ruler beside him and parallel to the body. Exclude the tail because Leos can drop their tails as a defense mechanism. Note down your readings on a spreadsheet.

3. Take Weight Measurements

To measure your scaly friend’s weight, the most important step is to ensure he feels safe and secure. Confirm that your weighing scale is on a flat and steady surface before you begin the process. A small box or container can make the next steps smoother by preventing your gecko from running off too fast.

Place your small box/container on the weighing scale and note the readings. Gently place your leopard gecko inside the box, note the readings, and minus the weight of your box. Voila! Now you can tell the weight of your leopard gecko!

So, what if you notice a drop in your healthy pet’s weight? Don’t panic.

The weight of a healthy leopard gecko can shift, especially if a female is laying, after shedding, and after brumation. There is no cause for alarm if you notice a slight drop in your pet’s weight after these events. The only time to worry is if your scaly companion is ill and yet to receive treatment.

Final Thoughts

Leopard geckos are fascinating creatures, and raising them is an absolute pleasure. If you have just adopted a hatchling or are looking to adopt one, understanding the expected growth patterns is crucial to ensuring you provide proper care. Generally, providing a healthy environment and a varied diet is enough to ensure your scaly companion reaches maximum size and remains happy and healthy.

Length is not an important metric once growth stops at 18 months, and you can now focus on ensuring your pet maintains a healthy weight. Like humans, leopard geckos gain and lose weight based on the events in their lives. There is no cause for concern if the weight loss or gain doesn’t exceed 10% of their original weight.

Frank Miller

Frank Miller is the Founder of Lizard Advisor and owns several pet lizards, from leopard geckos, bearded dragons, crested geckos, chameleons, and others. The mission of this website is to make owning a pet lizard very easy for everyone, but mostly beginners. And each year, he continues to help more people learn more about lizard care and much more.