Gargoyle geckos are nocturnal geckos from New Caledonia and are similar to Crested Geckos. They are found in the rainforest and are extremely active during the night time hours but will sleep for many hours during the day.
Gargoyle geckos are cold blooded and are known as ‘exothermic’– meaning that they need heat from an outside source in order to maintain their body temperature.
Gargoyle enjoy an arboreal enclosure to provide them with plenty of space to exercise as they would in the wild. They enjoy climbing and jumping. Gargoyle geckos can be kept in a bio-active terrarium which replicates their environment in the wild.
Gargoyle geckos live in a place with high humidity and so must be sprayed 2-3 times a day to keep the correct levels in the enclosure, we advise the use of a hygrometer.
HOUSING YOUR GECKO
Gargoyle geckos enjoy an arboreal environment with plenty of space to jump around which they mostly do at night. Some geckos will be active during the day but as they are nocturnal, the majority come out at night and can be seen wide eyed and at their brightest colours enjoying the terrarium.
Gargoyle geckos do best in a glass tank as they have a wet environment so wood often warps from the humidity.
There are many substrates available for Gargoyle geckos, almost all being soil or natural fibre based. Which substrate you use is down to personal preference, don’t be afraid to try new things like mixing a couple of substrates together to get the perfect mix for your gecko.
Plastic plants or live plants can be used. Gargoyle Geckos require UVB. Although they are nocturnal, they do have access to sunlight in the wild and so we do recommend a UVB source. Heating is optional and depends on the temperature of your house, however, preferably some heat should be offered in the colder seasons.
It is important to turn off lighting at night, and any heating which is used, so that your gecko can understand the natural light cycle and act accordingly. Geckos are a cooler species so those with a warm ambient may not require heating. If you are not reaching the temperatures shown above, speak to us about adding extra heating to your enclosure.
HANDLING YOUR GECKO:
Always wash your hands or use an anti-bacterial hand wash before and after handling your gecko.
Like many species of lizard, crested geckos are able to drop their tail in order to escape predators who may catch them by their tail in the wild. Gargoyle geckos are also insecure with objects approaching them from above as they would be prey for birds in the wild. Many lizards can grow their tails back once dropped, Gargoyle geckos can do this although it can take a little while to grow back fully.
Gargoyle geckos do not enjoy being stroked as their skin can be very sensitive but some do enjoy their chin being stroked.
Genus, Species: Rhacodactylus auriculatus
Adult Size: 15-20 cm
Lifespan: 15-20 Years
Diet: Insects , Pangea, calcium powder twice a week
Ambient Temp (f): 70-72
Basking Temp (f): 74-78
Humidity (%): 60-80
Locality: New Caledonia Difficulty: 1
Breeding Age: 18 months old
Social Structure: Live alone except breeding times. Can be aggressive towards each other.
SEXING YOUR GECKO:
Gargoyle geckos can be hard to sex for the first 3 –6 months until their genitals grow and become visual.
Like many lizards, geckos can be sexed by looking between their legs. Males will have large waxy pores in a V shape and presence of the hemipenes can usually be seen at the bottom of the tail behind the vent.
Gently secure your gecko and turn upside down to see between the back legs. Males will also display a large bulge just at the top of their tail. There is no difference in the colour of females to males, but females often carry more weight as they would require this for breeding in the wild.
Eyes– Eyes are clear with no eye caps. Sometimes with a dry shed, eye caps get stuck on geckos. To help get the shed off fully, you can set up a moist moss hide for your gecko. Use Beaphar skin and eye ointment for stuck caps and gently remove with a cotton pad.
Skin– The skin is clear of shed and there are no cuts or scrapes on the geckos skin. Occasionally locusts or crickets can nip the skin of the gecko. Always remove live food that is not eaten after the geckos meal to prevent further bites and stress which can stop your gecko eating.
Limbs– All the limbs are moving correctly and the gecko is able to walk and move normally. Geckos can suffer from a condition called MBD (metabolic bone disease). This occurs when geckos do not have enough calcium and causes their bones to grow abnormally, eventually restricting their movements. MBD cannot be reversed so always dust live food with calcium twice a week to avoid MBD occurring.
Weight– Many geckos in captivity are overweight which is generally a result of the gecko being fed on worms alone or fed too often. Feed your gecko a mixed diet of locusts, crickets and Pangea or fruit/jam mix.