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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Care Guides > Panther Gecko Setup Steps

Panther Gecko (Paroedura pictus)

Experience Level: Beginner

Panther Gecko in terrarium

Panther Gecko

Did you know? Panther Geckos are one of the smallest geckos available. They do not often grow any larger than about 6". They are terrestrial meaning they spend the majority of their time on the ground.

Step 1Choosing a Terrarium

Panther Geckos live in the forests of Madagascar. House males separately and no more than two
females together.

(A) Use a well-ventilated, 10-gallon (18-20" long terrarium for one or two Panther Geckos. Fo young Panther Geckos, use a smaller terrarium.
(B) Screened lid, if not included with habitat.

Step 2Heating and Lighting

Panther Geckos require a temperature gradient (cool side/warm side) to appropriately regulate
their body temperature. Temperatures should also vary between daytime and nighttime hours.

• Equip the habitat with two thermometers (one for each side of habitat) and one (H) hygrometer to monitor the humidity levels.

• Supplemental heat on the warm side of the habitat should be provided by a (E) daytime heat bulb.

• Use a ceramic heat emitter, under-tank heater or night heat lamp as needed to maintain nighttime temperatures.


Target Range
Humidity 30-50% with moist retreat
Day - Cool Area 75-85o F (24-29o C)
Day - Warm Area 85-90o F (29-32o C)
Night 65-75o F (18-24o C)


• Panther Geckos are nocturnal and provided they are supplied with a dietary source of     vitamin D, they don’t require ultraviolet light but need a 12-hour light/dark cycle. If room light does not provide enough light, use a fluorescent bulb for daylight.

• For night viewing (use a night-specific bulb) to minimize visible light seen by your gecko.

Step 3Substrate and Decor

(F) Use a 2-3" (5-8 cm) layer of calcium sand or reptile carpet.

• Clean out waste weekly and completely change bedding at least once a month.

(G) Add a wood/rock hiding place in the cool area of the home. Line the hiding area with moist moss to provide necessary moisture. Ensure that you have at least one hiding area for each gecko.

(H) Provide branches (artificial or live) for hiding and climbing.

Panther Gecko in terrarium

New surroundings and environments can be stressful for pets. Prior to handling your pet, give
him 3-4 days to adjust to his new surroundings while monitoring his behavior for any signs of stress or illness. Shortly after purchase, ask a veterinarian familiar with reptiles to examine your pet.

Things to Watch For
• Runny droppings for more than two days
• Eating or drinking less; weight loss
• Swollen joints
• Discharge from the eyes, nose or mouth
• Shedding problems; discolored skin
• Avoidance of the basking area; more time spent hiding (lethargic behavior)

If you notice any of the above signs, speak with a PetSmart store associate or reptile veterinarian with questions about the health of your pet.

PetSmart Cares
Pets purchased at PetSmart are part of our exclusive Vet Assured™ program; a program designed by PetSmart veterinarians to help improve the health and well-being of our pets.

The program includes:
• Specific standards our vendors agree to meet in caring for and observing pets for common illnesses.
• Specific standards for in-store pet care.
• The PetSmart Promise: If your pet becomes ill during the initial 14-day period, or if you’re not satisfied for any reason, PetSmart will gladly replace the pet or refund the purchase price.