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Do Geckos Hibernate in the Winter? (Quick Answers)

Geckos are small, lizard animals that are found on every continent except Antarctica. Geckos are carnivorous animals and they are usually found in the warm regions of the globe.

This article will offer you deep insights into the hibernating tendency of geckos – whether geckos hibernate or not.

Do geckos hibernate in the winter?

Geckos hibernate in the winter. Geckos are lizard animals. They hibernate either in the trees or ground during the winter season. Like most reptiles, geckos also hibernate to protect their bodies from cold temperatures. Hibernation protects them from freezing and also saves body energy.

Geckos do hibernate in the winter. Geckos are lizard-shaped reptilian animals. Geckos survive in the cold freezing winter via hibernation.

Hibernation is a method of animals conserves energy during adverse climate conditions. When the temperature drops below zero degrees, geckos undergo hibernation mode.

During hibernation, geckos use as little as possible energy to keep their body going. Heart rate and blood flow decrease in their body.

They consume little amount of body energy during hibernation. As geckos can’t go hunting during the winter periods, they burn their body fat in order to supply the essential energy requirement.

Geckos hibernate in the trees and ground during the winter season. Terrestrial geckos especially undergo hibernation on the ground.

During the freezing winter, the geckos must travel beneath the froth surface to avoid cold temperatures. The fat stored in their bodies helps them to survive long periods without any food or other nutrient supply.

Here we have discussed some species of geckos and their hibernation method –

Leopard geckos:

Leopard geckos hibernate during the winters. In the frozen temperature, leopard geckos sleep in their enclosures. During this time, they don’t hunt and ingest food. Leopard geckos burn their body energy during hibernation time.

Crested geckos:

Crested geckos undergo a phase termed brumation during the cold winter when there is lower temperature and less light.

During the winter the crested geckos undergo hibernation and they exhibit sluggishness, inactivity, and torpor. They don’t always undergo hibernation instead they exhibit the brumation phase.

Similar to hibernation, in the brumation phase, the body temperature decreases and heart rate falls.

House geckos:

Similar to other lizard animals, the house geckos also undergo a hibernation stage. Hibernation happens during the cold winter when the environment is harsh and cold and food is scarce.

House geckos undergo a sleeping period during hibernation. Their body temperature and blood flow decrease.

Mediterranean geckos:

Mediterranean geckos also hibernate. In the mild winter period, the Mediterranean geckos undergo hibernation inside a rotting log or under a small flat rock. 

Terrestrial Mediterranean geckos undergo hibernation in the rock crevice, caves, and nooks of the ground areas.

African fat-tailed geckos:

African fat-tailed geckos also undergo brumation, an identical phase similar to hibernation.

During the brumation period, the body temperature decreases and heart rate falls. African fat-tailed geckos undergo a sleeping stage during the winter period.

Tokay geckos:

Tokay geckos live in tropical regions. As the temperature never falls below freezing point in the tropical regions, the tokay geckos don’t hibernate. Tokay geckos are found in the tropical regions of India. They don’t undergo the hibernation phase.

Do geckos hibernate or brumate?

Geckos usually brumate in the winter. Brumation is a similar process to hibernation. In the hibernation stage, animals use less energy in their body and conserve their body energy.

In the brumation stage, animals undergo the sleeping stage. Geckos exhibit sluggishness, torpor, and inactive body activity during the brumation.

Hibernation and brumation is a similar method of conserving body energy. During both of the stages, animal burns body fat in order to get the required body energy. They spend a little amount of energy during the hibernation and brumation stage to stay alive.

Some geckos undergo hibernation and other species of geckos undergo the brumation stage. And some tropical geckos don’t hibernate or brumate at all. Hibernation is a longer period of torpor, on the other hand, brumation is a stage of deep sleep. But in both cases, geckos decrease their body temperature, heart rate, and blood flow.

Why do geckos hibernate in winter?

Hibernation is a natural process exhibited by cold-blooded, reptilian, and avian animals. Geckos do hibernate in the winter.

In many regions of the world, the winter season is harsh, cold, and freezing. The adverse temperature and climate condition are not suitable for the geckos.

The reason behind the hibernation of the geckos in the winter are listed hereafter –

Slowing down the internal process:

Hibernation is the process of slowing down biological activity by living animals. Geckos hibernate because hibernation allows the animal to slow down their internal body activity during the harsh winter.

In this way, geckos can survive through the harsh climate of freezing temperature.

Survive without food:

Winter is often associated with a scarcity of food. When the availability of food decreases, geckos undergo the hibernating phase.

During hibernation, the body requires less energy, and a little amount of energy is supplied by the burning of the body fat. In this way, geckos can survive through cold long winter.

Escape predators:

By hibernation process, geckos can escape and trick the predators. Sometimes predator seeks their prey by sensing the prey’s body movement.

During hibernation, geckos undergo the sleeping stage, hence, barely any movement can be detected.

Less energy is required for survival:

During the hibernation stage, a little amount of energy is required for the survival of the geckos. This provides an evolutionary survival benefit to the geckos.

Geckos can survive without any food or external source of supply for a long period by hibernation.

Where do geckos hibernate when it’s cold outside?

Terrestrial geckos hibernate on the ground when it is cold outside. Terrestrial geckos usually hibernate in the rock crevices, caves, nooks of the tree roots, and ground areas. Those are the most suitable place for the hibernation of the geckos.

Predators don’t usually seek inside the crevices and caves. For this reason, terrestrial geckos hide in the nooks of the rocks and tree roots.

On the other hand, arboreal geckos hibernate in different locations than terrestrial geckos. They hibernate in the hollow branches of the old trees.

Many older trees are partially hollow inside and provide a shield from the freezing winter cold. Geckos hide in that portion of the old trees.

Geckos also hibernate in the tree branches and barks where cold air can’t easily enter. Those areas protect the geckos not only from the cold temperature but also shield them from predator hands.

How long do geckos hibernate in winter?

Geckos hibernate the entire winter season in the crevices and nooks of rocks and trees. Geckos hibernate in order to protect their body from extremely cold temperatures. During the winter season, the temperature falls.

When the temperature falls below the freezing point, geckos undergo the hibernation stage. Geckos can undergo hibernation for 3 to 4 months during the cold winter.

Hibernation is a way for animals to conserve their body energy during harsh climate conditions especially when the food is scarce and the temperature is intolerably cold.

Hibernation protects the geckos from the freezing temperature and also shield them from predator risks. In adverse environments, geckos can hibernate for a long period. The hibernation can last several months.

During auspicious circumstances, geckos break the hibernations stage and initiate their normal life cycle.

Geckos undergo deep sleep and torpor for a long time during the hibernation period. During this time, geckos burn their body fat in order to survive. Their body fat provides the necessary energy for survival during hibernation.

How do you know if your gecko is hibernating?

Geckos hibernate during the cold winter. You will know if your gecko is hibernating by observing and noticing body signs. The ways to know if your gecko is hibernating are listed hereafter –

Body temperature:

During hibernation, geckos decrease their body temperature. Hibernation is a way for geckos to conserve body energy and sustain themselves during harsh environmental conditions.

In the time of hibernation, geckos undergo deep sleep and their body temperature falls than usual. By observing the body temperature of your gecko, you can know that your gecko is hibernating.

Decrease heart-rate:

During the hibernation period, the heartbeat decreases. Geckos fall into a deep sleep and their heart rate decreases. By measuring the heart rate, you will know if your gecko is hibernating or not.

Deep sleep:

Your gecko will undergo deep sleep if your gecko is hibernating. They won’t wake in the usual times after sleep.

Moreover, geckos exhibit sluggishness and inactivity during hibernation. Their torpor and lethargy of movement will tell you that your gecko is hibernating.

Final thoughts

Geckos do hibernate in the winter. Geckos are lizard-like animals and they undergo the hibernation stage in adverse environmental conditions. During hibernation, geckos exhibit sluggishness, body inactivity, and torpor. During this period, they get energy from burning their body fat.