Gargoyle Gecko Care Guide (Rhacodactylus Auriculatus
Gargoyle Gecko Care Guide
Gargoyle Geckos, scientifically known as Rhacodactylus auriculatus, are native to New Caledonia, an archipelago east of Australia, just like Crested Geckos. Gargoyle Geckos are primarily arboreal, meaning they spend most of their time in trees and prefer vertical climbing spaces. They are known for their unique appearance, with bumpy and horn-like structures on their heads and a prehensile tail. Gargoyle Geckos are relatively easy to care for, making them popular reptile pets.
- Enclosure Size: The size of the Gargoyle Gecko enclosure should vary according to their size and age. For hatchlings and juveniles, a 10-gallon tank or equivalent enclosure is sufficient. As they grow, upgrade the enclosure to a 20-gallon tank or larger.
- Vertical Space: Gargoyle Geckos require more vertical space than horizontal. Opt for a taller enclosure with branches, vines, and foliage for climbing and hiding.
- Housing Compatibility: Gargoyle Geckos should be housed individually to prevent territorial conflicts and stress.
- Cage Setup: Provide a substrate that retains humidity well, such as coconut fiber or a bioactive substrate mix. Add branches, vines, and plants to create a naturalistic and stimulating environment. Ensure the enclosure has hiding spots and sufficient climbing opportunities.
TEMPERATURE, LIGHTING, & HUMIDITY:
- Temperature: Maintain the enclosure temperature between 72-78 degrees Fahrenheit (22-26 degrees Celsius) during the day. Allow a slight drop to the low 70s Fahrenheit (around 20 degrees Celsius) at night.
- Lighting: Gargoyle Geckos do not require UVB lighting. They are primarily nocturnal, so ambient room lighting is sufficient. Provide a low-wattage incandescent or LED bulb for a natural day-night cycle.
- Humidity: Gargoyle Geckos require higher humidity levels. Maintain humidity between 60%-80% by misting the enclosure twice daily. Monitor humidity using a hygrometer. Ensure proper ventilation to prevent excess moisture and the growth of mold.
- Misting and Drinking: Mist the enclosure with water to provide drinking opportunities for the geckos. Gargoyle Geckos often lick droplets from leaves and enclosure surfaces. Additionally, provide a shallow water dish for drinking.
FEEDING & WATER:
- Gargoyle Gecko Diet (CGD): The primary diet for Gargoyle Geckos is a commercially available Gargoyle Gecko diet (CGD). CGD is a complete and balanced powdered diet that contains all the necessary nutrients. Popular brands include Pangea and Repashy. Mix the CGD with water according to the instructions and feed it to your gecko every other day, removing any uneaten portions.
- Insects: Offer occasional live insects, such as appropriately sized crickets, roaches, or mealworms, as a supplemental treat. Insects should be gut-loaded with nutritious food and dusted with calcium powder before feeding.
- Water: Provide a shallow water dish filled with fresh water at all times. Change the water regularly to ensure cleanliness.
HANDLING AND INTERACTION:
- Gargoyle Geckos are generally docile but may be skittish. Allow them time to acclimate to their enclosure before attempting handling. When handling, use gentle and slow movements to avoid causing stress or injury. Support their body and tail properly and avoid grasping the tail to prevent dropping or damage.