Gecko Time is instituting a new occasional series: Beloved Gecko.

Whether we own a single gecko or hundreds, many of us have a particularly strong feeling about that beloved, special gecko.  It may be the first gecko we ever owned, a gecko with a unique temperament, a gecko that filled a need at a certain time in our lives, or some other set of circumstances.  Read below about my Beloved Gecko: Eragon, and consider writing about your own Beloved Gecko for a future issue of Gecko Time.

The year was 2004.  I was a “veteran” leopard gecko owner of one year, and after reading endlessly on gecko forums about breeders’ successes, I decided that I was ready to breed geckos.  I also decided to buy my first gecko from a breeder and have it shipped to me.  I liked the white and yellow banded Tremper albino look and soon found a photo on a breeder’s website that looked like what I wanted and was also affordable.  He arrived in July and was named Eragon, a character from the book I was reading to my children at the time.

Eragon in 2004

Eragon in 2004

Eragon, in “person” turned out not to have exactly the pure white and yellow coloration I was expecting from the photo (ironically, I acquired a male with those exact colors last year).  He had the typical Tremper albino beige, yellow and white color combination with a prominent dorsal stripe.  I was in awe.  He was the nicest gecko I’d ever owned. His beige coloring looked almost pink to me.  He tolerated handling well from the beginning and would slowly explore my hand.  He was regal.

The next year, Eragon debuted as a breeder.  He handled his two females with dignity, backed off whenever an unwilling female nipped at him, and has produced offspring every year since.  That’s 11 years of consistent successful breeding with anywhere from 1 to 3 females each year.  A few years ago, I discovered that Eragon had a secret no one knew about: he had an eclipse gene.  In 2004, when Eragon hatched, the eclipse gene had barely been “discovered” and hadn’t yet been publicized.  When Eragon was paired with an eclipse female, some of the offspring were also eclipse.  He has also produced an unusual number of striped offspring when paired with striped females.  Eragon was featured in a Gecko Time article in 2011 called, in part “Fun with Hets” where he “taught” leopard gecko genetics through his breeding with a boldstripe het albino.

Eragon's 1st offspring of the 2016 season, hatched minutes before press time 5/17/16

Eragon’s 1st offspring of the 2016 season, hatched minutes before press time 5/17/16

One year, Eragon got lost.  He got out of his cage somehow, and, instead of turning up under the couch like most of my escaped geckos, he disappeared.  After days of fruitless searching, I regretfully gave up.  A few weeks later I got a call from my downstairs neighbor informing me that there was a gecko in her linen drawer. Eragon!  Hungry, thirsty, but perfectly healthy.  He must have passed down the gene for wandering.  One of his offspring escaped as a hatchling and was found two years later in the basement!

Eragon is now over 12 years old.  He currently weighs in at 90 grams, though he has topped 115 grams in his prime, and is the elder statesman of the leopard geckos here at Geckcessories.  He remains calm and competent.  Even though I know he’s just a gecko, sometimes he seems to share a wise look with me as I carry out my feeding and watering duties as if to say “Someone has to keep those young whippersnappers in line!”

Eragon today

Eragon today

Write about your Beloved Gecko

Do you have a “Beloved gecko”?  Would you like to write about it for Gecko Time?  Use the “comment” box to let us know that you’re interested.  Your message will not appear on the site as a comment to the article.

AlizaVisit Website

Aliza is a home care speech therapist living in the Boston area. She has been breeding leopard geckos since 2005 and has also been successful in breeding Coleonyx, African Fat Tail and Gargoyle geckos. Other interests which she pursues in her copious free time include work in ceramics, practicing tai chi and surfing the internet.

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