Leopard geckos are generally not thought of as large reptiles. Normally, a leopard gecko male weighs about 40 to 60 grams and is about 8 inches long. However, there are some whopper leopard geckos out there that stretch the limits of normal! The biggest leopard geckos are actually now bred for their large size.
One of these whopper leopard geckos is appropriately named Godzilla. Godzilla hatched from the Tremper Giant bloodline. He’s a grandson of Moose and hatched out on May 20, 2007. He now weighs in at an intense 170 grams and is 11 and 5/8 inches long. Moose’s heaviest weight was recorded at 156 grams.
These giant leopard geckos are a combination of nature and careful breeding. Ron Tremper, a breeder of the leopard gecko, hatched out a super large baby leopard gecko in 1999 without trying to do anything unusual. He just noticed that the baby gecko grew quite large – 4.5 inches in total length! By the age of 10 months, the “little guy” had stretched to nearly 11 inches long.
Ron works with two classes of giants – the Giants and the Super Giants. The males in the Giant class tend to weigh about 80 to 110 grams while females run about 60 to 90 grams. The Giants and Super Giants can be any color or pattern.
After Ron discovered the large geckos, he began selective breeding using the largest ones to dominate. He then offered the offspring to the public for the first time at higher prices than standard leopard geckos. Other breeders have shown interest in the giant leopard gecko and new morphs have been introduced to the market. The average price for these geckos runs between $45 and $500. Breeders are continually trying to offer larger, more refined leopard geckos; it’s anyone’s guess how large this breed may go.
Recently, a new species of leopard gecko was discovered on Cat Ba Island in northern Vietnam. The gecko, Goniurosaurus catbaensis, has large beautiful cat-like eyes and leopard stripes decorating the sides of its body. Discovered by a scientist from La Sierra University in California named Lee Grimmer, the gecko was caught with a couple of other specimens of nature. While Grimmer was trying to catch the gecko, a close encounter with a pit viper gave him cause for alarm. Grismer had his eye on the gecko when suddenly his son frantically motioned to him. He then pointed to Grismer’s hand which had moved extremely close to a poisonous snake now only inches away from his hand! Grismer had become so captivated by the gecko that he totally overlooked the danger at hand. Thankfully, he was able to catch the gecko without getting bit by the viper.
The newly discovered leopard gecko is proof that there are still many exciting species just waiting to be discovered all around the globe!