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Why Do Geckos Lick Their Eyes?

Why Do Geckos Lick Their Eyes?

You may have seen a gecko licking its eyes and wondered why it does that. Geckos use their tongues to clean their eyes and remove any dirt or debris. In this article, we will explore some of the other reasons why geckos lick their eyes and discuss how you can help your gecko keep its vision clear.

Why Do Geckos Lick Their Eyes?

Geckos lick their eyes for a variety of reasons, the most important of which is to keep their eyes clean and free of debris. Geckos’ eyes are covered in a mucus layer that helps protect them from dirt, dust, and other particles that could otherwise irritate or damage their vision. By licking their eyes, geckos can remove this protective layer and replace it with fresh mucus. Additionally, geckos may lick their eyes as a form of self-grooming. The saliva also helps keep the eye moist so it does not dry out. [1]

In addition to keeping their eyes clean, geckos may lick their eyes for another reason: to communicate with one another. A gecko’s eyes are very sensitive to light and movement, so licking their eyes may be part of a visual communication system. By licking their eyes, geckos can signal to other geckos that they are in the area or that they are ready for mating.

Finally, geckos may lick their eyes in response to stress. In times of high-stress levels, geckos will often lick themselves as a way to cope with the situation. This behavior is called self-soothing, and it helps geckos calm down and reduce tension. [2]

Do Any Geckos Have Eyelids?

Most geckos do not have eyelids, though some species of gecko do. Geckos with eyelids use them as a way to protect their eyes from dust, sand, and other debris that could irritate or damage their vision. These geckos will close their eyelids when threatened or in response to stress.

Do Any Geckos Have Eyelids

Why Do Geckos Have Such Large Eyes?

Geckos have large eyes for a few different reasons. First, their large eyes give them better night vision than many other animals. This helps them hunt insects and other small prey that are active in the dark. Additionally, geckos’ large eyes provide them with a wider field of view than most animals have, so they can see predators from further away. [3]

Do Geckos Sleep With Their Eyes Open?

Geckos are nocturnal animals and spend most of the night hunting for food or exploring their habitat. As such, it is often assumed that geckos sleep with their eyes open. However, this assumption is incorrect; in fact, like many reptiles, geckos close their eyes while they sleep. In the wild, they may keep one eye open as a form of vigilance to detect potential predators while they rest.


Why is my gecko licking its eyes?

Geckos are known for their peculiar behavior of licking their eyes. It may look strange, but this behavior is actually quite beneficial for the gecko – it helps keep their eyes clean and healthy.

Various species of geckos have evolved different strategies for keeping their eyes clean and healthy. For example, some species use specialized bristles on the tips of their toes to remove dust and dirt from the surface of the eye. Other species rely on tongue-flicking to help remove debris from the cornea to maintain clear vision.

The most remarkable strategy employed by certain species is that of eye-licking: they lick around and over their eyeballs in order to keep them clean and moist while simultaneously wiping away dust, dirt, and bacteria. Toward this end, the geckos have special glands located near their eyes that secrete a clear mucous which helps to lubricate the eyeball during licking.

In addition to keeping the eye clean and healthy, scientists suspect that there may be other benefits as well. For instance, it is thought that geckos use eye-licking as a form of grooming behavior to help strengthen social bonds between family members or even different species within a population. Additionally, it could potentially be used for communication purposes – for example, when two geckos meet they can express affection with an eye-licking greeting.

Do lizards lick their own eyeballs?

Some lizards, such as chameleons and geckos, do lick their own eyes. This helps them keep their eyes clean and free of debris, as well as to replace the protective mucous layer that covers their eyes. Additionally, they may be licking their eyes to communicate with other geckos or in response to stress.

Do lizards lick their own eyeballs

Do geckos like to be sprayed with water?

Some geckos may enjoy being sprayed with water, while others may not. If your gecko appears to be stressed or uncomfortable when it is being sprayed with water, it is best to stop and give it some time to adjust. Additionally, some geckos may need more frequent mistings than others, so you should observe your pet’s behavior and adjust the frequency of misting accordingly. [4]

How do geckos sleep?

Geckos typically sleep with their eyes open, though some species of gecko do have eyelids. Geckos have evolved to keep their eyes open for long periods of time, even when they are asleep. This helps them stay alert and responsive in case a predator approaches while they are sleeping. [5]

Do geckos have teeth?

Yes, geckos have small, sharp teeth. These teeth are used to help them grip prey and tear it apart before they swallow it whole. Additionally, their teeth are also useful for self-grooming and cleaning the eyes.

Do geckos cry?

No, geckos do not cry. However, they may vocalize when stressed or threatened in order to communicate with other geckos or warn potential predators that they are present. Additionally, some geckos may also lick themselves as a way to self-soothe during times of high stress.

Useful Video: Gecko licks eye


Geckos are pretty amazing creatures. Not only can they climb walls and stick to ceilings, but they also have the ability to lick their own eyeballs! While this may seem gross to us, it’s actually a very effective way for geckos to keep their eyes clean and healthy. So next time you see a gecko licking its eyes, don’t be disgusted – be impressed!


  1. https://a-z-animals.com/blog/why-do-geckos-lick-their-eyes/
  2. https://www.terrariumquest.com/leopard-gecko/stress-signs/
  3. https://a-z-animals.com/blog/lizard-eyes-what-makes-them-unique/
  4. https://geckoadvice.com/do-leopard-geckos-need-misting/
  5. https://reptiledork.com/do-crested-geckos-sleep-with-eyes-open/