Gecko Caresheet

 

Background Information
Geckos are small lizards that are generally found in warmer climates throughout the world, on average measuring at 6 - 10 inches  when adult, these little reptiles spend most of their time hidden away to avoid predators, coming out at cooler and darker times to hunt for insects being in general geckos natural diet although some species also eat fruit. The vast majority of geckos drop their tails when caught by a predator as a get away defense which regrows over time, (with a few exceptions eg. crested geckos),some have evolved prehensile tails to aid in their arboreal nature when climbing branches. Geckos come in a vast array of colours and patterns, some having the ability to change the colour. Nearing 1000 species in the gecko family about 60% consist of arboreal geckos which have evolved specialised adhesive toes allowing them to grip well when climbing up walls and other vertical objects. One thing that is unique to geckos is that they call to one another. Sounding like a croak or chirp depending on the species they vocalise to socialising with others of their kind or to try and scare off predators as a last resort.

Level of Experience

Beginner to Intermidiate

Habitat

Tropical Rainforest, Arid regions for the majority of geckos

Life Span

15- 20 years on average

Active Time of Day

varies on the species but they tick all 3 active cycles

Natural Prey

Insects, fruit

Terrestrial / Semi Arboreal / Arboreal / Aquatic / Fossorial

Terrestrial and Arboreal

Reproduction

Mate: Spring
Lay: Summer

Clutch Size

Geckos produce small clutches of 2 but throughout the year

Breeding Weights / Length / Age

Varies on the species most geckos mature quite early 6 - 10 months onwards tends to be the average telling point

Brumation Time

Varies on where the gecko comes from but for most its 2 months

Brumation Temperature

Varies on continent temperatures with each species

Incubation Time

Depends on the temperature the eggs are incubated at and what species of gecko

Incubation Temperature

Temperatures in gecko egg incubation range quite a bit species depending can be anything from lower twenties to low thirties

 


Captive Requirements and Welfare
Due to the small adult size of geckos they don't require a huge vivarium. Depending on the nature of the gecko depends on whether the vivarium needs to be wooden or glass as some species like it humid. Humidity geckos tend to be arboreal which then enables owners to get a glass vivarium which is tall. To realise when a gecko feels threatened they'll raise their tails in the air and sway them. This prepares them to drop the tail in a bid to flee. Some species of geckos when they mate bite each other therefore don't be alarmed if this occurs its a natural thing with geckos. Sexing most gecko species is relatively easy beyond 6 - 8 months. Males have bulges at the base of the tail, tend to grow larger and have stockier builds compared to females. Some species are with egg incubation, the temperature they are incubated at determines the sex of the offspring.

Vivarium size

Terrestrial geckos will probably need a 2ft long vivarium when adult, arboreal geckos prefer height therefore the equivalent amount of space but in height should be given.

Daytime Temperature (cool – warm)

Varies on the species of gecko. Some like it room temperature where as others prefer it slightly warmer

Night-time Temperature

Natural drop of about 4 - 5 'C suits geckos without problems

Heating Equipment (on timer)

Species depending some geckos are thigothermic meaning they prefer heat from underneath this can be provided by controlled heat mats, others a spot bulb will suit fine

Substrate

Varies on where the particular species of gecko comes from, most are arid or tropical

Hides

2 at minimum: one on each side to allow for thermoregulation, a 3rd hide would be beneficial due to their secretive nature and to aid in shedding.

Decor

fake plants make these skinks feel more secure

Water

Water topped up when needed, water bowl should be cleaned every few days to prevent slime build up

Food (Feeding)

Depending on what gecko species decides what insect suits best as some geckos struggle to catch crickets for example. Fruit eaters can have squashed fruit or ready made diets.

Cleaning

Spot every other day,full clean monthly