Photos of Adler

As a proud new leopard gecko momma, I’m taking many photos of Adler. And like a proud new parent, I feel an unstoppable urge to share these photos. And you are the patiently resigned coworker who I caught at the watercooler, nodding politely as I point out minuscule changes in a nearly identical expression that has been captured in what seems like twenty thousand different prints.

But it’s not that bad. First of all, there aren’t as many photos as I thought there would be; Adler’s awfully good at hiding in her tree for the majority of my waking hours. Second, Adler’s way cuter than some newborn human baby, right? I know.

So here we go!

At Twin Cities Reptiles last Friday – coming home day.

Selfie of me next to Adler's cage in the store. Adler is sleeping in the foreground, and on the glass in grease pencil are the words "Hold for Brianne"

Selfie of me in the store with Adler. Look – it says “On hold for Brianne”!

Eye-level view of Adler near her meal bowl.

Adler – the first few minutes in her cage. After checking things out she retreated to a hollow tree and hid for a good, long while.

Adler looking resigned, sitting on the palm of my hand.

After leaving her alone for about 24 hours, I picked Adler up for the first time. I’m pretty sure this is her “Okay” face.

I did some learnin’ in the first 24 hours, mostly about how horribly nasty crickets are. It all started when I saw a cricket crawl into the meal worm bowl. I’m sitting there watching it and I suddenly realized that the asshole was eating the meal worm! I called The Hubby out to the living room with a “Hey! Honey! Want to see something super gross?” We watched in horrified fascination as the cricket held the meal worm and proceeded to eat it from tail to head, with the damned worm trying to squirm away the entire time. Well…we didn’t see the cricket eat the entire worm; we only hung out for about 30 seconds before the circle of life became a little too morbid to continue watching.

Meal worms in their bowl. Cucumbers shriveled up from being eaten by crickets and an orange meal cube are in the background.

Poor, doomed meal worms.

A cricket munching on an orange meal cube.

Asshole cricket nibbling on an orange meal cube (cricket food) before finding a more succulent and entertaining feast.

And yes, of course the meal worms were going to be eaten by Adler. But Adler’s a much more efficient eater – one gulp and the worm is gone. She doesn’t deconstruct the worms segment by segment! She did get her meal worm in the end: 

Adler with a cricket in her mouth

Ommm nom nom! Tastes like cricket AND meal worm!

Later I decided to google “Why are crickets eating my meal worm?” and I learned that crickets are omnivores, and holy shit what do you mean they can even go after a weak, ill or young gecko??? For the rest of the afternoon I kept coming back to that cricket-eating-geckos thought. Turns out that if there are no other food sources, or if there are too many crickets in the cage, it’s not unheard of for larger crickets to nibble on geckos. I knew that I had released too many crickets during my first every try of getting them from their container into the cage (nine escaped while I was trying to shake out “just a few”), but my fellow gecko-owning friend assured me that Adler would take care of them over time. But I just couldn’t get the image of crickets-eating-Adler out of my head, so I did my first absolutely ridiculous, overprotective gecko momma act (I’m sure there will be more): I made my friend help me catch all of the extra crickets. After we removed Adler and the cage decorations, she herded the crickets into a cup – one at a time – slapped a lid over the cup and then transferred them into a secondary container that I was holding. We removed six of the nine crickets.

It was absolutely ridiculous. Adler soooo would have taken care of that situation. But crickets can EAT GECKOS. So yeah…we did that. I have the most tolerant friends ever. Later that evening, the dog shit on the carpet and the cat barfed up her dinner. All in all, we’re gonna call that night a less than awesome animal experience.

Finally, here are a few photos that I took with my Nikon f2.8 50mm lens. Adler comes out of her tree hollow a few minutes after the heat lamp and the nearby room lights are turned off. I turned the IR lamp back on to snap these photos.

Adler crawling between her meal worm bowl and her humidity chamber.

Adler crawls down out of her tree and between her humidity chamber and meal worms bowl.

Adler in the process of climbing onto a low, flat rock.

Adler cautiously making her way onto a low, flat rock.

Adler creeping into her rock hide.

Adler just followed a cricket into her rock hide. Two animals enter, only one animal leaves!

Wheeee! She’s so freaking awesome. So far, so good with the whole owning a leopard gecko thing.

Photos of Adler
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5 thoughts on “Photos of Adler

  1. tso

    Yes. Twin City Reptiles is awesome. Good luck with Adler!

    Geckos are so bloody cute. I have a tokay myself. Tokay’s are “bitey” as a species, but all geckos are pretty nice or tamable.

    I’ve never had an issue with crickets doing any nibbling on my beardie or tokay, and I KNOW I don’t feed the bugs as much as I ought to most of the time. So yea – don’t sweat it. <3 New animals.. end up with all sorts of worries. See you were thinking of chameleon.. so much worry caring for mine. Angry too.

    Will however say.. crickets are incredibly stupid. No self preservation. I have seen one drown in a moist paper napkin. I have lost all respect for them I had and lump them in with clams and scallops – so delicious and helpless their only defense is breeding.

  2. 3

    Adler is huge. I was expecting to see a snip of a young lizard. Shiny, active eyes, a full tail, and a good appetite all good signs. As long as the crickets are not so numerous they they climb onto the lizard after the gecko has had its first feed I wouldn’t worry too much about it.. Having crickets climb on them can be mildly stressful.

    As an occasional alternative to simply dumping in crickets and letting the lizard hunt you might try forceps or hand feeding. One of my lizards seemed to enjoy being hand fed and would pop out of its hide when I put my hand in the enclosure. I tried to mix it up to keep the lizards stimulated.

    If you want to absolutely eliminate and danger of the crickets nibbling on the lizard, and maximize nutrition, you can keep the crickets in an enclosure with gelled water and food so they are not hungry. There is a dry mix available which is essentially low-grade wheat germ. Other producers use green semolina for cricket food. A low cost alternative worth trying is to see if the crickets will eat generic Cheerios. They are cheap and vitamin fortified. If you keep the crickets overnight where they feed and water themselves they will stuff themselves and won’t bother the lizard. If you keep the crickets for more than a few consider providing a place for the females to lay their eggs. If they can’t lay they bloat and die. And make sure you keep food in the cricket enclosure. Hungry crickets are cannibalistic. I once left home for a week to take care of an emergency leaving four dozen crickets and food for only a day or two. When I got back there were a half-dozen well fed crickets left.

    Of course once you are feeding crickets, buying in larger quantities to save money, and the females are laying you really aren’t too far from raising your own crickets. Which fits in nicely with breeding geckos. Just a glimpse of the possibilities.

    Congratulations on your new lizard. Looks like you got a good one.

  3. 4

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