Leopard geckos are a popular pet among reptile enthusiasts due to their docile nature and ease of care. While they are known for their climbing abilities, some owners have discovered a playful behavior known as “glass surfing” in their leopard geckos. This behavior involves the gecko running and sliding along the sides of their enclosure, seemingly trying to “surf” the glass. It can be an amusing sight for their owners and can even lead to the development of training tricks. However, it is important for owners to ensure that their gecko is safe and healthy while engaging in this behavior. In this article, we will delve into the world of leopard gecko glass surfing, including its potential causes, training techniques, and precautions to take.
What Is Glass Surfing?
Glass surfing is a term used to describe a behavior exhibited by some leopard geckos in which they seem to be trying to climb up the walls of their enclosure or tank. This can be a sign of stress or frustration, as the gecko may be trying to escape or find a way out. It can also be a sign of boredom, as the gecko may be seeking stimulation or new experiences.
Glass surfing can be harmful to the gecko, as they may become injured if they fall or if they scratch their feet on the sides of the enclosure. It can also be a sign of an issue with the enclosure, such as improper lighting, temperature, or humidity. If a leopard gecko exhibits this behavior, it is important to assess their living conditions and try to address any potential issues. This may involve providing more hiding spots, adding environmental enrichments, or adjusting the temperature and humidity levels in the enclosure.
Why Do Leopard Gecko Glass Surf?
- Your Leopard Gecko May Glass Surf to Explore Their Environment
Your leopard gecko is naturally interested and has the urge to thoroughly investigate its environment. Your leopard gecko’s attempts to climb up the glass cage walls are very natural.
Because of this, they do not automatically understand that they cannot climb glass. Young Leopard Geckos are especially prone to glass surfing since they are still getting to know their surroundings.
Your Leopard Gecko will have to examine every square inch of the terrarium to decide that they cannot continue their exploration in that direction. Some Leopard Geckos just need to attempt a few times to realize they can’t move in that direction, but other Leopard Geckos will periodically try to move up the glass, almost as if they were making sure they still couldn’t.
Glass surfing probably isn’t a problem as long as it only happens periodically.
- Glass Surfing Could be Occurring Because Your Leopard Gecko is Hungry
Your leopard gecko can start making special efforts to locate more food if they can’t find what they need in their terrarium. Even if they are aware from prior expeditions that they cannot climb the glass, they may nevertheless do this.
As a result of desperation brought on by hunger, your leopard gecko may climb glass in an attempt to reach food, even if they are aware that they are unlikely to succeed. If you observe glass surfing behavior before mealtime, hunger can be to blame.
To decrease glass surfing, you might try feeding your leopard gecko more frequently or in general.
You might be able to feed your Leopard Gecko more without worrying about their gaining too much weight if you use insects that are lower in calories. These bugs (see them here) are already gut-loaded and the ideal size for adult geckos.
- Leopard Geckos May Glass Surf in an Attempt to Get Closer to Heat Lights
If your leopard gecko’s cage is heated with overhead lights and you discover that your leopard gecko is glass surfing, it’s possible that they are attempting to get closer to the heat lamps and warmth because the temperature in their cage is not set properly.
The warm zone for your leopard gecko should be between 82.4 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit, with a hot spot at about 95 degrees.
Your Leopard Gecko might attempt to glass surf to move closer to the lights and find more heat if the basking area isn’t warm enough.
Setting your basking light on the top of a higher terrarium might not be enough. For your Leopard Gecko to climb to a higher basking spot, you might need to hang lights within the terrarium.
You may need to purchase a heat bulb with a higher wattage or add a ceramic heat emitter like this one to your tank setup if your tank is too cold overall.
Most reptile owners adore ceramic heat emitters because they are so affordable and simple to operate. A 60W ceramic heat emitter ought to be adequate for the majority of tanks.
- Bored Leopard Geckos May Glass Surf
Even though leopard geckos are not the most active reptiles, they nevertheless require enough room and varied terrain in their terrarium to allow them to go on daily expeditions and adventures.
Leopard geckos may glass surf to pass the time in a simple setting with a flat floor and few objects to climb or holes to dig.
Leopard geckos may be glass surfing out of boredom if you observe them doing it around dawn or dusk, when they are most active. Inside the terrarium, experiment with creating more fascinating topography and barriers.
- Your Leopard Gecko May be Glass Surfing to Get Away From Mites
Mites aggravate your leopard gecko greatly by biting it painfully and creating aggravation by crawling over their body and getting into its eyes.
A Leopard Gecko that is being harassed by mites may try to climb glass in an effort to escape the insects.
Your Leopard Gecko may exhibit increasingly irritated behavior, such as glass surfing, due to the annoyance and aggravation of having to cope with mites.
Mites are more likely to be the problem if you see your leopard gecko scratching at their eyes or rubbing up against objects in their habitat in addition to glass surfing.
- Glass Surfing May be Your Leopard Gecko’s Attempt to Get Away From Other Leopard Geckos
As long as there is only one male, leopard geckos are often quite gregarious and will tolerate sharing an enclosure with other leopard geckos.
However, things are not always easy in the partnership. Leopard geckos occasionally argue with one another.
There will undoubtedly be issues if there is more than one male Leopard Gecko in the enclosure. Because male Leopard Geckos are territorial, you can anticipate fighting if there are numerous males in a cage.
A Leopard Gecko that is losing in a struggle for control might attempt to flee through glass surfing.
How To Prevent Glass Surfing In Leopard Geckos?
There are several steps you can take to prevent glass surfing in leopard geckos:
- Make sure your enclosure is the correct size and height for your gecko. If it is too small or too tall, your gecko may feel confined or may be able to easily reach the top of the enclosure, leading to glass surfing.
- Provide plenty of hiding spots and substrate for your gecko to burrow in. This can help reduce stress and provide them with a sense of security.
- Use a screen top on your enclosure instead of a solid top. This will allow for better ventilation and help prevent your gecko from getting trapped against the glass.
- Consider using a reptile-safe climbing structure or other decorations to give your gecko something to climb on. This can help prevent boredom and the urge to glass surf.
- Keep the enclosure clean and free of clutter, as this can also contribute to stress and glass surfing.
- Monitor your gecko’s behavior and try to identify any triggers that may be causing them to glass surf. This could be changed in the environment, diet, or handling. Once you identify the trigger, try to eliminate it or find a solution to the issue.
In conclusion, leopard gecko glass surfing is a common behavior observed in pet leopard geckos. It occurs when the gecko rubs its belly against the glass of its enclosure, often with rapid movements and repetitions. While the exact reason for this behavior is not fully understood, it is believed to be a form of territorial marking or possibly a way for the gecko to regulate its body temperature. It is important for owners to ensure that their gecko has a comfortable and suitable enclosure to prevent stress and potential injuries from glass surfing. Overall, leopard gecko glass surfing is a unique and interesting behavior that adds to the fascinating nature of these lovable reptiles.