Gargoyle Geckos are found in the tropical forests of New Caledonia. They make an ideal beginner gecko and reach a length of around eight inches.
|Adult Size||Up to 20cm|
|Lifespan||15 Years +|
The name ‘Gargoyle’ has been given due to the scientific name ‘auriculatus’ which means eared, this species has four boney projections ‘ears’, on top of the head, therefore giving its common name. They are a typical Gecko appearance with large eyes to help them hunt during the night. Gargoyle Geckos lack eyelids, therefore, they will use their tongue to lick the eyes to keep them clean. The iris is generally grey with darker coloured veins, this sometimes gives them the impression of purple-coloured eyes.
Adults reach a length of 9-11.5cm (3.5-4.5”) snout to vent, with a tail length of 90% of their body, giving a total length of approx. 20cm (8”). They reach sexual maturity at around 15-18 months of age. Their toes have ‘lamellae’ a number of plate-like structures which allow the geckos to climb smooth surfaces, this gives them the appearance of having ‘sticky toes’.
The colour and pattern of the Gargoyle Gecko can vary due to selective breeding projects. The most common form would be ‘reticulated’, an animal with irregular wavy bands varying from greys to browns. The next form is ‘striped’, these geckos have stripes running from the neck to the end of the tail. Colours are similar, however, the stripes tend to stand out more, especially if these have red present.
During handling be aware that these geckos will jump, sometimes seemingly into thin air, for this reason, we recommend sitting on a sofa or the floor to prevent any injury. Caution should also be taken with the gecko's tail. As with other species of lizards, if the animal feels threatened or the tail is trapped, the animal can drop this. Although this will regenerate, this is stressful to the animal and it may affect the balance of the gecko when climbing until this has fully regrown.
Gargoyle Geckos are native to Grande-Terra, one of the small Islands in New Caledonia. They live within scrub and tropical forests, resting and hiding away during the day and becoming active at night.
Gargoyle Geckos can be kept in a glass terrarium or mesh enclosure measuring a minimum of 45x45x60cm (18x18x24”) for one adult. A ground covering of a soil/bark/moss mix is ideal to help with humidity levels, this wants to be in the range of 50-70%. Lightly misting the enclosure will increase the humidity levels and allow the gecko to drink droplets of water. Provide decor to mimic their natural environment in the form of branches, vines and hanging/free-standing plants.
During the daytime, it is important to have a low UVB light on for 8-12hrs depending on the season (8hrs in winter, 12 hours in summer). There are a number of lights and units available, we strongly believe the T5 shadedwellers have a much better output for your animal. If you are looking to provide live plants in your terrarium, the use of a reptile LED light is essential to ensure good plant growth.
Heating the enclosure is relatively simple with the use of a ceramic bulb connected to a pulse thermostat or a deep heat projector connected to a dimming thermostat. The aim is to provide a basking area of 28-31C (82-88F) with a slightly lower background temperature 25.5-29.5C (78-85F). At night, the temperature can drop down to 21-24C (70-75F). If you are planning to breed your Geckos, you will need to cool these for 4-6 weeks down to 16-20C (61-68F)
Feeding Gargoyle Geckos is easy and fun. Not only will they take live insects, but they love powdered diets that once water is added, turns them into a tasty paste. There are a number of these diets, some are just treats, whereas others are complete diets. When feeding live insects, ensure to use a powered calcium and vitamin/mineral supplement (follow instructions for dosage). Always provide fresh water, the arboreal twin feeding ledges are ideal, one for water, the other for the diet mix.