Bearded dragons and leopard geckos are probably two of the most popular pet reptiles and since they are both beautiful, it could come to one´s mind to keep those species together. However, can bearded dragons live with leopard geckos?
Bearded dragons and leopard geckos should not be kept together. Bearded dragons are way bigger than leopard geckos, the leopard gecko would end up as food for the beardie sooner or later. Further, the housing requirements are completely different and both species could transmit parasites to each other that could be deadly.
Don´t get me wrong, I don´t want to be a buzzkill, but keeping leos and bearded dragons together will end badly for both reptiles. If you are having a hard time believing this, let me tell you why it is impossible and why the result will be horrible.
Can Bearded Dragons Live With Leopard Geckos?
As I said, bearded dragons should not be kept together with leopard geckos in one tank. Beardies shouldn´t even be kept with other bearded dragons.
It doesn´t matter how big the tank is or how friendly your reptiles seem to be. Sooner or later, you will regret keeping those species together. Here are the reasons why keeping beardies and leos together is impossible.
Different Housing Requirements
Bearded dragons are from Australia and leopard geckos are from Pakistan. Their housing requirements are completely different and it is almost impossible to find a way to make it right for both species.
The Requirements Of Bearded Dragons
Bearded dragons come from the dry woodlands of Australia. They are very active throughout the day and love the sun. They need very high temperatures and a lot of bright light as this makes a bearded dragon happy and healthy.
You must have a very good UVB bulb with a very high UVB output, otherwise your bearded dragon will get sick over time. Further, bearded dragons are diurnal, which means that they are active during the day and sleep during the night.
If you need to know what temperatures and lighting a bearded dragon needs, read my beardie lighting guide.
The Requirements Of Leopard Geckos
Leopard geckos on the other hand are nocturnal, which means that they come out of their hides at dawn and hunt food during the night.
They do not need a lot of light, in fact a lot of people keep their leopard geckos without any lights as the daylight from outside is enough to simulate a diurnal cycle in the terrarium and they use a heat stone or a heat mat as heat source.
So while bearded dragons need a heat lamp, leopard geckos prefer to heat up their bodys on hot stones or in caves that got heated up by the sun or a heat lamp.
Leopard geckos need way lower temperatures than bearded dragons, and since you need to use a very strong heat lamp for your bearded dragon, you will have a hard time to create the lower temperatures a leopard gecko needs.
Further, some types of leopard geckos are known for having problems with UVB lights. You definitely can use UVB lights for normal leopard geckos, but albino leopard geckos, for example, might get problems with their eyes due to UVB lamps.
If you need to know what temperatures and lighting leopard geckos need, read my leopard gecko lighting guide.
However, you could actually make this work for both reptiles species in one tank. The different requirements just make it all harder. The next reasons show you where the real trouble begins.
Bearded Dragons Are Way Too Big
The difference in size is just too big when it comes to bearded dragons and leopard geckos. Even though most pet bearded dragons seem to be pretty picky when it comes to food and only want to eat mealworms, bearded dragons are actually little trash chutes.
Bearded dragons are omnivores and in the wild, they eat anything they manage to catch. If a bearded dragon is able to catch a mouse, it will definitely eat it.
If a bearded dragon is able to catch a leopard gecko, well, it will definitely eat it.
Before you ask, this is just the same with dwarf bearded dragons (Pogona Henrylawsoni). Dwarf bearded dragons might be way smaller than normal bearded dragons, but unfortunately even dwarf bearded dragons would try to eat leopard geckos.
The video below perfectly demonstrates how huge bearded dragons are compared to leopard geckos and what would happen if those two were together in one tank. This isn´t even aggression, this is just a normal behavior for a bearded dragon.
Male Bearded Dragons and Leopard Geckos Are Territorial
Talking about aggression, male bearded dragons are very territorial and they do not want any intruders in their territory. The tank it is living in is your bearded dragon´s habitat.
While male bearded dragons mostly show aggression towards other bearded dragons, it can happen that your bearded dragon feels that a leopard gecko is an intruder as well and kills the leopard gecko.
On the other hand, male leopard geckos are very territorial as well and they don´t care how big the intruder is. If they feel that there is a potential threat in their territory, they will take care of it.
Leopard geckos seem to be very cute and they look soft and friendly and all that, but believe me when I say that those geckos can do some serious damage to most reptiles.
If your bearded dragon is sleeping during the night and your leopard gecko finds it, it could happen that the leo rips off some of the bearded dragon´s toes or even the tail.
Both Carry Parasites
Let´s say you can make sure that nothing happens.
Let´s say that you have such a huge habitat that you can meet the requirements for both reptiles and it is big enough that the reptiles almost never see each other.
You will still have problems with parasites.
Bearded dragons naturally carry parasites and so do leopard geckos. However, bearded dragons carry different parasites then leopard geckos do and while bearded dragons are perfectly fine with those parasites, leopard geckos are not.
All reptiles excrete parasites with their feces and other reptiles can get infected with parasites from crawling through those feces or being near it.
So the chance that your your bearded dragon transmits some parasites, bacteria or viruses to your leopard gecko, or the other way around, is actually pretty high.
Why It Is So Hard To Keep Bearded Dragons With Other Reptiles
Finding another species that you can keep with a bearded dragon without any problems is actually pretty hard. There are a couple of reptiles you can keep with a bearded dragon, but there is never a guarantee that this really works.
I have written an entire article on this topic. So if you want to find out why this is so hard and which reptiles might be okay to keep together with bearded dragons, click here.
As you see, keeping bearded dragons and leopard geckos together in one tank does not make sense at all.
In fact, there are a couple of people who already tried this and ended up with a dead leopard gecko. If the leopard gecko was not dead, it had a missing tail or a missing leg.
I understand that you might be tempted to keep those beautiful species together, but don´t do it. This would be absolutely irresponsible and a complete separate tank setup for a leopard gecko is not that expensive.
So, can bearded dragons live with leopard geckos? Absolutely not!
Any questions? Leave a message in the comment section below!