Leopard geckos and bearded dragons are equally charming and the most sought-after members of the reptile community that are kept as pets. If you are a reptile fancier and own a bearded dragon, you will surely love to increase your pet family by adding leopard geckos or vice versa. But the point is, “can leopard geckos and bearded dragons get along or live together?
Do Leopard Geckos And Bearded Dragons Get Along Or Live Together?
Although both reptiles (leopard geckos and bearded dragons) make good pets, unfortunately, contrary to our expectations, they can’t get along or live with each other. In fact, it’s practically impossible to keep leopard geckos and a bearded dragon in the same place. Believe me, any effort to keep a leopard gecko and bearded dragon together will be detrimental for both reptiles. If you force them to live in the same enclosure, both of them will suffer, especially leopard geckos are at more risk due to their small size. Although leopard geckos are quick and agile, they are not as strong as bearded dragons. Size is not the only hurdle in fulfilling our desire to keep leopard geckos and bearded dragons together; many other factors are involved.
If you have trouble believing this, let’s discuss what factors make it impossible to keep leopard geckos and bearded dragons together and why the outcome will be disastrous if you try to keep both reptiles together.
Why Can’t Leopard Gecko And Bearded Dragon Get Along ?
Although leopard geckos look cute, adorable, gentle, and docile, they are as territorial as a bearded dragon. Males are especially more aggressive and territorial than females, and juvenile members are less aggressive still; they will try to establish dominance when kept together. There will be continuous fights and bloodshed that will mostly end with the death of one of them, and leopard geckos are the ones who are most likely to have to lose their lives. On the other hand, if the leopard gecko finds a sleeping bearded dragon, it is possible that the leopard gecko will tear off one of the bearded dragon’s feet or even the tail.
There is a huge difference in the size of leopard geckos and bearded dragons, which makes it challenging to keep both of them in one place. Generally, a beardie at birth is 3.5 – 4 inches (9-10 cm) long, and an adult bearded dragon is 17 – 24 inches (43-61 cm) long. On the other hand, a baby leopard gecko is 3 – 3.5 inches (7-9 cm), and the maximum size it can reach is 7 – 10 inches (17-25 cm). Since both are territorial and aggressive, and they will fight again and again to mark their dominance, the leopard gecko is more likely to lose the battle (even his life) due to its small size and weaker body.
Continuous Stress & Harassment
Even if they don’t kill each other, the leopard gecko and bearded dragon will fight repeatedly and get injuries. So they will not find any time to sleep or bask without worry because they will always feel threatened by each other. So both of them will be under stress continuously, especially the leopard gecko will feel more stressed due to its smaller size. Even if the leopard gecko starts avoiding the bearded dragon, the beardie will not stop attacking every now and then without any reason, just because the leopard gecko is sharing his tank.
Difference In Space Required
Since there is a huge difference in the size of leopard geckos and bearded dragons, the space they require and tank dimensions are also massively different. Generally, a twenty-gallon tank is sufficient for an adult leopard gecko (with a maximum length of up to 9 inches). In contrast, an adult bearded dragon (with full size up to 24 inches) requires a 75 – 120 gallon tank. In addition, the leopard geckos are terrestrial by nature and require more horizontal space than vertical space. On the other hand, the baby beardies are semi-arboreal; they need a tall tank with plants to climb and play. Although adult beardies are terrestrial, they still need plants in their tanks to be happy, while leopard geckos don’t need plants and too much vegetation in their tanks.
So if you move a leopard gecko to a beardie’s tank, they will be perplexed and feel lost due to its huge size. Conversely, if you add a bearded dragon to a leopard gecko’s tank, it will be too small for your bearded friend.
Differences In The Sleeping Routine
Another big difference between leopard geckos and bearded dragons is their sleeping habits. Bearded dragons are diurnal (like humans), which means they wake with the sunrise, are active during the day, and sleep during the night. While leopard geckos are nocturnal, which means they rest during the day and are active during the night hours. So when they are in the same place, one of them will be moving around and making noise when the other is trying to sleep and vice versa. In addition, how can you sleep comfortably when you know someone who can even kill or eat you is moving around? Ultimately, the health of both of your pets will be compromised due to the lack of sleep.
There is a slight difference in the feeding requirements of bearded dragons and leopard geckos. The leopard geckos generally need only insects (like crickets, small mealworms, waxworms, dubia roaches, etc.) to survive. While bearded dragons are omnivores, they also need vegetables and fruits, along with insects, to fulfill their dietary needs. However, the insect to vegetable ratio is different during different phases of life. Although it looks like a minor difference, remember that if the leopard gecko (living in the same tank as the bearded dragon) eats the vegetables, it can be harmful to him.
Temperature & Humidity Requirements
Since both leopard geckos and bearded dragons have evolved from similar kinds of conditions, there is not a big difference in the temperature and humidity requirements of both. This is the only point where we don’t find any clash among both reptiles.
Although it’s impossible, let’s suppose for a moment that you have managed everything and no bad incident happens, and you have a very big enclosure where both the leopard gecko and the bearded dragon can live without interacting. Still, you have a problem in the form of parasites, which is also beyond your control. Every specie has its specific parasites that don’t harm it but are harmful to other reptiles. The same is the case with leopard geckos and bearded dragons. Both of them carry certain parasites and are shed in the environment. So even if you successfully keep them from fighting, they can die due the each other’s parasites.
Although leopard geckos and bearded dragons are reptiles and make good pets, never try to keep them in the same tank or enclosure. Both, despite being reptiles, differ a lot in size, sleeping habits, space and diet requirements, and body stature. In addition, both are highly aggressive and territorial. So they will continue to fight until any one of them dies.