Chahoua Gecko (Mniarogekko chahoua) - General Care
Chahoua Geckos, scientifically known as Mniarogekko chahoua, are a species of gecko native to New Caledonia. Also known as mossy prehensile-tailed geckos or Chahoua, they are arboreal reptiles known for their unique appearance and prehensile tails. If you are considering caring for Chahoua Geckos, it is important to provide them with suitable housing, proper temperature and humidity conditions, a nutritious diet, and gentle handling. Here is a general care guide for Chahoua Geckos:
- Enclosure Size: Chahoua Geckos require vertical space for climbing and exploring. A minimum enclosure size for an adult Chahoua Gecko is 18x18x24 inches. Larger enclosures are even better.
- Vertical Space: Provide ample vertical climbing opportunities by adding branches, vines, and foliage within the enclosure. Chahoua Geckos prefer higher perching spots and hiding places.
- Housing Compatibility: Chahoua Geckos are generally solitary and should be housed individually to prevent territorial disputes and stress.
- Substrate: Use a suitable substrate that retains humidity well, such as coconut fiber, moss, or a bioactive substrate mix. Avoid substrates that can cause impaction or pose a risk to gecko health.
- Cage Setup: Create a naturalistic environment by adding live or artificial plants, branches, and hiding spots. Ensure the enclosure is secure to prevent escapes and provide adequate ventilation.
TEMPERATURE, LIGHTING, & HUMIDITY:
- Temperature: Maintain a temperature range between 72-78 degrees Fahrenheit (22-26 degrees Celsius) during the day. A slight drop to the low 70s Fahrenheit (around 20 degrees Celsius) at night is acceptable.
- Lighting: Chahoua Geckos do not require UVB lighting but benefit from a natural day-night cycle. Ambient room lighting is usually sufficient.
- Humidity: Chahoua Geckos require higher humidity levels, around 60%-80%. Mist the enclosure once or twice daily to maintain humidity. Monitor humidity levels using a hygrometer and adjust misting frequency accordingly. Proper ventilation is essential to prevent excessive moisture and mold growth.
FEEDING & WATER:
- Diet: Chahoua Geckos are primarily insectivorous. Offer a varied diet of appropriately sized live insects, including crickets, roaches, silkworms, and small mealworms. Gut-load insects with nutritious food before feeding.
- Supplementing: Dust the insects with a calcium supplement powder before offering them to your Chahoua Gecko. Calcium supplementation helps ensure proper bone health.
- Water: Provide a shallow water dish filled with fresh water at all times. Chahoua Geckos may drink from the dish or lick droplets from leaves and enclosure surfaces. Change the water regularly to maintain cleanliness.
HANDLING AND INTERACTION:
- Allow Acclimation: Give your Chahoua Gecko time to adjust to its new enclosure before attempting any handling. Minimize handling during the acclimation period to reduce stress.
- Gentle Approach: Approach your Chahoua Gecko slowly and gently. Use slow movements to avoid startling the gecko.
- Proper Support: When handling, support the gecko's body and tail properly. Avoid squeezing or grasping the gecko too tightly to prevent discomfort or injury.
- Tail Awareness: Avoid handling the gecko by its tail, as Chahoua Geckos can drop their tails if they feel threatened or stressed.
- Limited Handling: