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Can Leopard Geckos See Color? (Night Vision/Red Light)

If you are the proud owner of a Leo (Click here for my best 5 substrates for Leopard Gecko eggs), or just curious about them, you may have wondered how their eyes work. Can they see the same way we do and what about colours? Let me explain…

Can leopard geckos see colour? Yes, they can see the color. In fact, their eyesight is also great in dim light because they have a special ability to use the reflection of the moonlight to see colours even in the dark.

Now that you understand that Leos can see color, let me also explain: If they also have night vision, why their eyes are so special, compare their eyes to ours and much more. Keep reading…

Do leopard geckos have good night vision?

leopard gecko night vision

leopard gecko night vision

Yes, as discussed earlier their vision is actually excellent in low light, especially when compared to us humans. This is due to the fact that they are nocturnal and their eyes have evolved to adapt to this. Have you ever tried to see the colour of a car on a dark night before? If yes, then you will understand how difficult this skill is.

Why are gecko’s eyes so special?

You may be wondering what is so special about a Gecko’s eyes. You may have heard people discuss how excellent they are in low light, but what is the true reasons for this? For that reason, I’m going to discuss it in this section.

The biological makeup of the leopard geckos eye is very different to us humans. Our eyes rely on rods that support our vision. Whereas a leopard gecko has three cones, these codes are used to pick up colours in the dim light, which was discussed earlier.

The Human eye vs a Leopard Gecko’s

In the previous section, we talked about how strong the leopard geckos vision is in dim light. However, how is this in comparison to our human eyes? Let’s discuss this in this section.

According to this site, the sensitivity of a Geckos eyes is far superior to us humans, in particular, they state that one type of Gecko, the Helmet Gecko, has eyes that are 350 times more sensitive than a human eye.

This is largely due to their impressive eye cones that I discussed earlier. This allows them to see images and colour in dim light. One of their unique skills is being able to dilate their pupils wide to take in substantially more dim light.

Can leopard geckos see blue light?

Yes, they can see blue light. As you collect light fixtures for your enclosure you may be wondering what colours they are sensitive to and what they can actually detect. They are sensitive to blue and green light which makes logical sense based on their original habitat.

Are geckos blind on a moonless night?

Earlier we discussed that geckos use moonlight to reflect against their eyes to allow them to have the unique capability of being able to see colours well in low light.

However, you may be wondering what happens in the cases where there is no moonlight (or very little) moonlight? You, know, there are some nights when it seems almost impossible to see the moon. Let’s discuss this…

The short answer is no…

The short answer is no, they are not blind on moonless nights. They can still see colors well when the moon is nowhere to be seen. This is because there are other sources of light in the absence of the moon. For example, starlight. Also, other light sources that can reflect off objects will allow them to pick up colors in dim light.

If you think about it logically, around your local area, if the moon is not visible on that particular night it does not mean that there is no moon.

It may just seem that way because of its position in relation to the sun. But, it’s still there. You have heard of a solar eclipse before, right? Same concept. Therefore, there’s always going to be some light available (one will assume).

Do geckos have good eyesight (In general)?

No, they do not have great eyesight. I understand that this may seem confusing, but, even though they can see colours in dim light, it does not mean that they have excellent eyesight, let’s discuss this…

Leopard geckos do have the unique ability to see excellent in dim light but they do not necessarily have great vision. Like most creatures, they are gifted with some features, but may lack in other departments, same as us humans, right?

They may be able to pick up a particular color in dim light with amazing accuracies, such as a blue or green image, but they will not necessarily see a very sharp view of that object, are you with me?

Their site is enough for them to see if the oncoming object presents a danger, or if their prey is in grabbing distance, which is enough for their survival, but overall the clarity of these objects is not great.  This is largely due to the biological setup of their eyes. In particular, they have a short focal length.

Related questions:

In this section, I am going to answer some questions related to Leopard Geckos, their vision and colors. If you have any other questions in your head that need to be answered, please drop a reply below.

Q: Can leopard geckos see infrared light?

You may be wondering if they have the ability to see infrared light because I have exposed some of their amazing vision capabilities. The short answer is no, they cannot see infrared light.

However, they can see some colours that the infrared beam will omit, but it will not be the actual infrared light itself.

Q: Can leopard geckos eat dead insects?

No, they will not want to eat this. If you are on a budget, you may be thinking of ways to potentially reduce your costs. In the process you may be wondering if leopard geckos will entertain dead insects, right?

I understand the interest in this because in an ideal world. if they are able to consume dead insects then it is easy to store them and get them in bulk. The main factor, that makes Leos desire insects, is the way they move and wriggle.

This is the incentive for them to eat it. In fact, you could almost put any insect in front of them, which moves, and it will give it a go (not saying it will end up eating it, mind you, but it will show an interest).

Anyway, it is not advisable to even attempt to give them dead insects. Why? because this goes against their natural Instincts and arguably immoral.

Q: Do leopard geckos pee on you?

No, they excrete Urates (more on this in a second). If you are new to keeping lizards or planning to get a leopard gecko, you may have some interest or concerns on their behaviours. I understand that this may be an attempt to see how they will behave before you make that purchase.

As mentioned earlier, Leos will not pee on you, because they do not urinate as we do. Instead, they have excrete Urates.

What are urates?

They are chunks of white looking cubes. When crushed up give off a powdery texture. This is their way of excreting unwanted bodily fluids.

If you are interested, a healthy leopard gecko should pass white urates. However, if it is yellow looking, it could indicate that he is a little bit dehydrated. Meaning, you need to focus on giving him more water

Q: Do you need white lights for a leopard gecko?

No, white lights are not required. The reason for this is, in their natural habitat they rarely bask in direct sunlight.

This is not because they do not like the heat (Click here to learn how to lower the humidity in your Leopard Gecko tank), it is because they are nocturnal. So white light is not natural for them.

However, blue or red lights is advised. They typically like having a blue light. Additional benefits of having this light will allow them to get additional heat from this blue light.

Q: Are reptile UV lights safe for humans?

Not all of them. There are different concentrations of UV lights. Similar to humans, certain levels of direct sunlight (or UV) can cause issues with our skin and can cause skin damage.

Therefore, certain concentrations of UV light, over a sustained period can cause issues with a reptile’s skin. Therefore, it is important to check the lights before purchase.


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