If you’re a reptile lover, chances are you’ve fallen for the charms of the gargoyle gecko. These beautiful lizards make wonderful pets and can be easy to care for with a bit of information. In this guide, we’ll go over everything you need to know about keeping gargoyle geckos, from setting up their tank to feeding them properly. So if you’re thinking of adding one of these lovely creatures to your family, read on!
What Is A Gargoyle Gecko?
A gargoyle gecko is a type of New Caledonian lizard that was first discovered in 1994 by Andrew Whitaker, who found them on the island of Grande Terre. They are named after their spiky appearance and have become popular pets due to their calm demeanor. The most common types of pet lizards include leopard geckos, bearded dragons, and chameleons.
Rhacodactylus Auriculatus is the scientific name for this lizard. Rhacodactylus lizards are medium to large in size and come from New Caledonia.
These geckos are popular among pet owners for a variety of reasons. They are very docile and amusing to observe, which is one of the main reasons why they are so popular. Because they are nocturnal, they are highly active at night and may even produce noises such as squeaks or low growls.
Gargoyle Geckos Care Guide
Gecko species are pickier than many people realize; they do have preferences, but the most essential aspect is that their humidity and temperature needs are satisfied (see habitat section below).
They are omnivores who will survive on a meal replacement and insect-based diet.
Maintaining a healthy Gecko is not difficult if you adhere to your Gecko’s nutritional and humidity requirements.
The Geckos are undoubtedly docile and pleasant. They are nocturnal, and they will not be active until late at night.
Lizard Quick Facts
- Common Names New Caledonian Bumpy Gecko
- Scientific Name Rhacodactylus Auriculatus
- Adult Size 8-10 inches, 60-80 grams
- Lifespan 15-20 years
- Diet Fruit, insects, and small rodents
- Tank Size At least 12 by 12 by 18 inches or 20 gallons. The tank should be taller than wider because they are semi-arboreal
- Humidity & Temperature 77-84°F and humidity should be kept between 50-70%
- Popular Alternatives Leachie Gecko, Crested Gecko
When it comes to taking care of gargoyle geckos, there are a few things you should know. They require a well-ventilated tank with branches or other climbing surfaces for them to climb on.
The tank should also be large enough so they can move around freely without feeling cramped. It’s best to keep your gargoyle gecko in a room that has an ambient temperature of approximately 77°F-84°F (21°C) and humidity levels between 60-80% RH with no direct sunlight hitting their tank directly as this could cause overheating problems over time.
Their habitat should include a substrate to help them burrow under when they sleep or hide during the day, which can be made up of peat moss mixed with coconut fiber.
Gargoyle Gecko Lifespan
In captivity, a Rhacodactylus Auriculatus can live for 20 years. Metabolic bone disease, parasites, and stress are all common problems. You may help to avoid these health concerns by providing your gecko with a nutritious diet and following our humidity guidelines.
Gargoyle Geckos Appearance
These lizards are often found in the forests of New Caledonia and have smooth scales with a spiky appearance. Their most unique feature, however, is their tails which are adorned with two large spikes and their head is adorned with several smaller spikes or cranial bumps. other physical features of Gargoyle Gecko include ;
- The eyes are round and large, with golden irises.
- They have a triangular-shaped head that is attached to an elongated neck and body.
- Their tails are long and thin but not as much as the other geckos of this type (i.e., leopard or crested).
They come in a variety of colors, including shades of green, brown, and gray. Some have been known to exhibit orange or yellow markings as well.
Gargoyle Geckos Size
Adult gargoyle geckos typically reach lengths of around six to eight inches (15-20 cm), but there have been reports of some reaching up to 12 inches (30 cm). Males typically grow to be around six inches long while females are usually a bit smaller, growing to about four inches in length.
Difference between male and female Gargoyle Geckos
In terms of appearance, male Gargoyle geckos are typically larger than females and have a more robust build. They also have enlarged femoral pores on their back legs, which are used to release pheromones for mating. Females typically have smoother skin and lack the large spikes on their tails that males have.
How To Sex A Gecko
The easiest way to sex gargoyle geckos is to look at their cloacal region. In males, you will see two small bulges on either side of the vent (cloaca), while in females these bulges will be less pronounced or absent altogether. Another way to determine sex is by looking at the size of their femoral pores; in males, these will be large and round, while in females they will be smaller and more oval-shaped.
Gargoyle Gecko’s Tank and Enclosure
When it comes time to set up your gargoyle geckos tank, there are a few things you should know. As mentioned earlier, they require a well-ventilated tank with branches or other climbing surfaces for them to climb on. The tank should also be large enough so they can move around freely without feeling cramped.
Ideal Tank size for Gargoyle Gecko
The ideal tank size or enclosure size to keep your gargoyle gecko is a 20-gallon tank size, which can be easily purchased at most pet stores.
Gargoyle Gecko’s Substrate
The substrate to use when housing your gargoyle geckos should include smooth rocks and sand as well as some larger pieces of wood for them to climb on. These lizards like to burrow under the substrate so make sure there is enough to allow them to do this. You can either mix your own substrate or purchase a pre-made one from your pet store.
Gargoyle Gecko’s Habitat and Enclosure Setup
Plastic or glass are the ideal materials for these Geckos’ enclosures. If you’re in charge of monitoring the humidity levels, screen tanks may be sufficient:
- A Gargoyle tank should be at least 5 gallons in size.
- Juveniles should be kept in 10-gallon tanks.
- When Geckos reach about 18 months of age, it’s time to move them to a bigger tank with at least 20 gallons of water.
- Hiding areas and jumping possibilities are the most important features of a good tank.
The use of plants (real or artificial), tubes, and branches can all be used to provide your lizard with shade. It’s critical to keep your reptile in a stimulating environment if you want them to remain environmentally stimulated.
The typical habitats for these gecko species include caves, crevices, tree holes and other dark locations. They must not be exposed to light during the night since this may disrupt their natural sleep cycle.
The use of a low-wattage incandescent light as a basking light is acceptable, though it should only be positioned on one side of the cage to create a temperature gradient. UVB radiation is also beneficial for vitamin D3 synthesis, but it isn’t necessary if your lizard gets enough nutrients.
The temperature within a tank is one of the most crucial things to consider while designing a habitat for Gargoyle Geckos. As a result, it’s critical to provide them with a heat gradient in their enclosure so they can regulate their temperatures by using both hot and cold sides.
Decorations and hiding spots for Gargoyle Gecko’s Tank
You can decorate the tank with fake plants and vines for them to climb on as well. You should also provide some hiding spots such as under rocks or pieces of wood.
Geckos are shy animals by nature and like to hide when they feel threatened.
Heating Requirements of Gargoyle Gecko
Screen tops should be used for low-wattage basking bulbs. Ceramic heat emitters or basking lights should be the main heat source. For the best exposure of the low-wattage basking bulbs, screen tops are necessary.
The optimum temperature for a Gargoyle Gecko is around 77 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit. To do so, they will require adequate lighting (such as UVB) or heat emitters (such as ceramic).
Excessively hot weather stresses your lizard out, and they may become jumpier, more aggressive, and constantly open their mouths.
Humidity levels should be kept between 50-70%, and tanks should be sprayed once or twice a day. These levels can be monitored using hygrometers and thermometers for Gargoyle Gecko.
To increase the humidity in a tank, mist it often and keep a clean water bowl on hand. Wait for the humidity level to fall below 50% before spraying it to prevent mold growth. A humidifier or spray bottle can be used to wet the cage.
Feeding A Gargoyle Gecko
In the wild, these reptiles consume insects, nectars, fruit, and even pinky mice. However, because they are omnivores, they obtain the bulk of their calories from fruits.
A fruit mix is all that your Gecko needs to maintain a balanced diet. Supplements should be used in conjunction with other meals, such as insects (they should be coated with calcium and vitamin D3 supplements to satisfy their requirements).
There are several commercial foods on the market that will keep your reptile happy. Crested Gecko diets can also be used for these lizards. You may give a human baby food made of fruit, as long as you add calcium and vitamin D3 supplements (as long as it’s not real human baby food).
Geckos can be fed live insects, but this isn’t always necessary. The diet of hatchlings and youngsters is identical to that of adults; however, it is suggested that they consume some insects to promote growth. They should eat ants twice a week and fruit-mix four times a week on a regular basis.
2-3 times a week, the fruit mix should be fed to Adult Gargoyle Geckos. Tropical fruits high in calcium, such as papayas, figs, and blackberries, should be used to prepare the mixes.
The amount of mix you should offer your Gecko is determined on a case-by-case basis, but it should be sufficient to maintain a healthy weight of approximately 60 to 80 grams.
Despite the fact that they seldom drink from it, a water dish should be put in their tank to maintain humidity levels within reasonable limits. Water bowls should be washed once a week to minimize bacteria growth.
A gecko can also be a pet, but if you intend on keeping them as pets, then you must first prepare the terrarium. You should mist the enclosure frequently and when they’re awake since a Gargoyle Gecko will lick water droplets off of decorations.
They enjoy a fruit-based diet, so feeding them is simple.
- Vegetables: 0% of diet
- Insects: 0% of diet
- Fruits: 100% of diet
- Supplements Required: Vitamin D3 and calcium every time they are fed baby food or insects.
How To Keep Them Healthy?
The docile and sociable Gargoyle Gecko is well-known. They, like other animals, must learn to trust you before they can entirely relax.
The first handling sessions should last no more than a few minutes each and should occur every other day. You may gradually extend the length and frequency of your pet’s handling until it is completely acclimated.
With a younger hatchling or juvenile, make sure your surroundings are padded if they fall. They may bite if frightened, therefore it’s critical to wash your hands before and after handling them.
Gargoyle geckos are hardy reptiles but they do have some special care requirements that need to be observed in order for them to stay healthy and happy.
These include keeping their tank clean, providing adequate heat sources, feeding them properly-sized prey items that aren’t too large for their mouths, and ensuring there are no sharp objects inside of the tank where they could get hurt.
Gargoyle Geckos should only be bathed when they are dirty or have trouble shedding their skin. To do this, get a small container and poke small holes in the lid. This will let some humidity out during bathing. Fill the container with room temperature water until it is just enough to cover your lizard’s toes. You can also use a soft toothbrush to gently clean them. Make sure not to get water in their nose or ears!
If your Gargoyle Gecko has difficulty shedding, you should try and soak it longer than usual. You may also add Epsom salt or shed aid solution into the water for added effects. If your lizard has retained skin, you can try to remove it with a Q-tip or tweezers.
To keep their housing clean, feces and shed skin should be removed every day. Food and water dishes should also be changed every day, and the substrate should be spot cleaned.
Once a week, you should wipe down the interior of the tank with a suitable disinfectant using a 1:10 ratio. You will want to do a deeper clean every 3 to 4 months. This includes washing everything in the enclosure and changing the substrate.
Gargoyle Gecko Behavior and Temperament
The gargoyle gecko has a docile temperament, which makes them ideal pet lizards if you want something calm but still exciting to watch. They are also typically friendly towards humans when handled properly and can even be trained to sit on your shoulder or hand; however, they do not like being picked up so it’s best if you handle them by gently placing one finger under each leg and lifting slowly without grabbing at any part of their body.
The gargoyle gecko can be an excellent pet for those who are looking to care for a reptile that is easy to handle and maintain.
Compatible Pets to keep with your Gargoyle Gecko
You can keep other pets such as snakes, spiders, and even other lizards with gargoyle geckos if they are compatible species such as anoles or leopard geckos. However, it’s important to remember that gargoyle geckos do not like being handled so you should avoid putting them in a tank together unless both animals have been properly acclimated to one another.
Gargoyle Geckos Tails
In nature, gargoyle geckos usually lose their tails and are left with a tiny nub at the end of their tails. Gargoyle geckos are typically tailless. Hobbyists prefer gargoyle geckos with tails in captivity, but this requires careful maintenance to prevent tail loss.
The tailless condition affects gargoyle geckos throughout at least part of the year when they are maintained in groups, and they pluck off each other’s tails. It’s such a typical occurrence with gargoyle geckos that they’re commonly sold as tailless in the market without any reduction. On the up side, gargoyle geckos can quickly grow tails again, which mimic those of the original.
How to handle baby and adult Gargoyle geckos?
When you first get your gargoyle gecko, it is important to allow them a week or two to adjust to its new surroundings before handling them. You can then start by holding them for short periods of time and gradually work up to longer sessions. It’s best not to grab at them but rather place one finger under each leg and lift slowly. They should also be handled gently to avoid stressing them out.
How Much Does A Gargoyle Gecko Cost?
These reptiles are readily available and relatively popular. When purchasing one, seek a reputable breeder and ensure that the Gecko is in good health before purchase.
The price of a Gargoyle Gecko may differ considerably depending on where you purchase them and the color patterns they have, but most cost between $50 and $150 but the rare morphs can cost up to $200-$600.
How to breed Gargoyle Gecko?
Breeding your gargoyle gecko is a great way to get even more enjoyment out of this awesome species. However, it’s important that you do so only if both animals are old enough and healthy before breeding them together.
You can check the gender of the two geckos by looking at their hemipenis (a small bulge on the underside of their tail).
Females will have an ovipositor but males won’t. If you are unsure about whether or not your gargoyle gecko is old enough to breed, then it’s best just to wait a little longer until they reach sexual maturity which usually takes place around 18 months old.
Once they are ready to breed, the best thing you can do is create an ideal environment for them so that they will successfully mate and produce offspring. This includes providing a large enclosure with plenty of humidity levels between 70-80 percent throughout every day using plants like live mosses as well as damp substrates such as coconut fiber bedding or sphagnum moss. You can also use a water dish to help increase the humidity levels. The enclosure should also have several hiding places for the geckos to hide in and lay their eggs.
The ideal temperature range for breeding gargoyle geckos is between 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit, with a basking spot that reaches up to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s also important to make sure there are no sharp objects inside of the enclosure that could harm your gargoyle gecko or its offspring when they hatch from their eggs.
The gestation period for gargoyle geckos is around two months, so it’s best if you don’t disturb them too much during this time. Once they have laid their eggs, you should set up an incubator for them to hatch in at around 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit with humidity levels between 60-70 percent every day. The eggs will usually take about three months before hatching into baby gargoyle geckos.
How do I care for a baby Gargoyle Gecko?
You should set up an ideal enclosure for your gargoyle geckos and make sure that they have plenty of room to move around in with lots of branches or other structures inside their tank so they can climb upon. The best temperature range is between 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit, but it’s also important to have a basking spot that reaches up to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. You can use a UVB light bulb to help provide the necessary lighting for your baby gargoyle gecko, and you should also mist the enclosure regularly with water to keep the humidity levels high.
Advantages of keeping Gargoyle Gecko
- They are relatively easy to care for and don’t require a lot of attention
- Gargoyle Gecko is easy o feed and they can be fed on mealworms, crickets, and super worms
- They have beautiful coloration patterns that make them very attractive to look at.
- They are relatively cheap compared to other reptiles such as snakes or lizards
Disadvantages of keeping Gargoyle Gecko
- Gargoyle Gecko has a rather long gestation period which makes it hard for them to breed in captivity.
- They can be quite skittish and do not like being held too much, so they should only be handled by those who have experience handling reptiles.
- Gargoyle Gecko can suffer from metabolic bone disease if their diet is not supplemented with calcium properly or if they don’t get enough UVB light.
The gargoyle geckos, like the crested geckos, enjoy contact with their keepers and take nothing lightly. They also thrive on a varied diet of insects, fruit purées, and Repashy powder diets.
Although a Gargoyle gecko is not sold in stores, you may find varying costs based on the location you’re purchasing from and the color patterns and breeder. The retail price of a Gargoyle gecko ranges from $200 to over $600 for rare breeds, however.
The Gargoyle Gecko is a docile lizard that should not be handled too frequently since it is a fairly fast lizard that is easy to drop. Furthermore, if a gargoyle gecko becomes frightened, its tail may fall off.
insects, The diet of the wild Gargoyle Gecko encompasses a wide range of foods, including insects, flowers, sap, and even little lizards. They also consume powdered crested gecko food in captivity.
Keeping more than one species in a vivarium is quite common among reptile and amphibian enthusiasts. Although it is possible to maintain a gecko and a frog together, careful species selection and planning are required for success.
If you are interested in owning a gargoyle gecko, it’s important to understand the care needs of this species so that you can properly provide for them. You should always make sure your gargoyle gecko has plenty of room in its enclosure with lots of branches or other structures inside its tank so it can climb upon. Let us know about your experiences in the comments below.