Mediterranean House Geckos are quite cheap and unpretentious, so they are a great choice for both beginners and experienced reptile owners. These small, hardy lizards get their name from their ability to hide and live indoors, which makes them ideal pets. Mediterranean House Geckos live an average of five to ten years. With proper care, your pet will live a fairly long life.
- The size of the gecko’s body is 12 cm. In this case, the length of the body is no more than 6 cm. The reptile is painted in creamy sand color with dark small spots on the back.
- In the wild, the gecko lives in Mexico, India, Australia, and eastern Africa. The reptile is cosmopolitan, which is why it is often found in human homes.
- Due to the peculiarity of the structure of the paws, this type of reptile moves quite easily on a horizontal surface – even glass. They feed on insects, trapping them.
- Mediterranean House Gecko reaches puberty at the age of 5-6 months. This type of reptile reproduces all year round and the female is capable of making 1-2 clutches per month. There are 2 eggs in a clutch. Periodically, females take a break in breeding for 1-2 months. Such breaks can be from 1 to 2. They are necessary for the female in order to restore her strength.
Maintenance and Care
Provide a 20-40 liter aquarium for the gecko. A lone house gecko doesn’t need a lot of space to keep it happy and healthy. A deep, high-walled tank is best for the gecko. Use a glass aquarium with a mesh lid to provide adequate ventilation. If you are going to keep multiple geckos, each will need an additional 20 liters. Thus, for two geckos you need an aquarium with a volume of 40 liters, for three – 60 liters, for four – 80 liters, and so on.
In no case do not settle several male geckos in one aquarium, as they can be at enmity. Also, if you decide to keep female and male geckos together, be prepared for them to mate and produce offspring. In this case, you will need to relocate the adult geckos and their offspring to a larger aquarium so that they are not crowded.
Make sure there is a temperature gradient in the aquarium. In the life of reptiles, heat plays a very important role: at too low temperatures, animals become inactive and can get sick. At the same time, excess heat can lead to overheating and disease or death of reptiles. In a house gecko aquarium, a temperature gradient must be maintained by placing an infrared lamp on one side of the aquarium. This will allow the gecko to warm up during the day and cool down at night when you turn off the lamp. The temperature in the aquarium should be 29–32ºC in a warm place and 25–27ºC in a cold place. Nighttime temperatures should be around 25–27ºC. There should be colder and warmer places in the aquarium – this will facilitate thermoregulation of the reptile’s body.
Suitable temperatures can be achieved by placing a low-voltage infrared lamp on one end of the aquarium. You can also use a side or bottom heater for an aquarium. Turn on the lamp for 12 hours during the day and turn it off at night. The night temperature can be controlled with a blue lamp (Minin reflector).
Place a litter on the bottom of the aquarium. Littering at the bottom of the tank will help keep the high humidity and warmth that geckos love. You can use simple and affordable materials, such as paper towels or newsprint. You can also purchase more natural coverings such as organic potting soil, cypress mulch, bark, or leaves. The litter should cover the bottom by at least 8 centimeters, as geckos usually dig small holes to lay their eggs. Do not use sand or gravel as bedding, as the gecko may try to eat them and become ill. Change the paper bed 2-3 times a week. If you are using any special bedding, such as mulch or bark, clean individual soiled areas once a day and change the entire bedding once a month.
Add plants and hiding places to your aquarium. The gecko will be able to climb on live and artificial plants. In addition, live plants will help increase the moisture in the aquarium, which is very beneficial for the gecko.
Since the Mediterranean House Gecko is a nocturnal animal, it will need a place to sleep and hide during the day. At your nearest pet store, you can purchase shelter structures, which are often made from cork. Buy two of these and place one in a cool place and the other in a warm place in the aquarium. As a result, the gecko will be able to cool or warm, depending on the circumstances. Try to keep the gecko in at least two hiding places.
Spray the aquarium with water once a day to increase the humidity. House geckos are tropical animals, so they prefer high (70–90%) humidity. You can keep your aquarium at the correct humidity by spraying it with water once or twice a day. Use a clean spray bottle and fresh dechlorinated water to do this. Spray the sides of the aquarium to moisturize. You can also install an automatic sprayer in your aquarium that will spray out the water once a day. This sprayer can be purchased at your pet store.
Food and Water
Give your gecko fresh water daily. Place a small, shallow bowl in the aquarium and fill it with fresh dechlorinated water once a day. Place the bowl in the cool part of the aquarium. The gecko will be able to drink from the bowl and/or swim in it. Generally, geckos prefer to drink the water that you sprayed in the aquarium rather than from a bowl. Always give your gecko dechlorinated water, as distilled water can cause health problems for the animal due to its low nutrient and mineral content.
Feed your gecko a protein-rich diet. A young gecko should be fed 5-6 times a week. The gecko should be given protein-rich food: crickets, flour beetles, wax moths and silkworm larvae, cockroaches. In order for the gecko to digest insects normally, their length should not exceed the width of the gecko’s head. If the uneaten insects in any way survive, they should be removed from the tank immediately, otherwise, they may bite the gecko’s skin and eyes. About 24 hours before feeding the insects to the gecko, feed them a nutritious meal, and only then give the reptiles. Do not feed the gecko with insects that are caught outdoors, as they can transmit diseases.
Include additives in your gecko’s food. Before feeding the gecko food, it should be fortified with calcium. A growing gecko requires more supplementation than an adult animal. Check with your veterinarian on how often to add calcium supplements to gecko food. Choose a calcium supplement that is fortified with vitamin D3 and add it to your food 2-3 times a week. Do not use phosphorus supplements unless advised by your veterinarian.
- Handle the gecko after it grows up. As a rule, young house geckos do not like being picked up. It can also slow down the little gecko’s habituation to its new environment. House geckos are fragile creatures, and if pulled by the tail, they can fall off and the animal can be injured. When the gecko grows up, you can take it out of the aquarium and pick it up. But even then you should be careful not to miss your pet since house geckos are very nimble and try to hide in hard-to-reach places as soon as they find themselves outside their aquarium.
- If you take a gecko under its belly, it will get scared and jump out of your hands. Grab the gecko’s upper body and wrap it securely before removing the animal from the tank. After that, you can enclose the gecko in folded palms so that it cannot escape.
- Wash your hands before and after picking up the gecko, as bacteria can be harmful to the animal.
- Let the gecko shed its skin on its own. The Mediterranean House Gecko sheds its skin in separate shreds every 4–6 weeks. When molting, the skin of the gecko may become dull, and the areas above the eyelids may burst. Although your pet doesn’t seem to be doing well during molting, do not try to help his skin off, as this is painful and dangerous for the gecko. If the aquarium is humid enough, the gecko can get rid of the old skin on its own, after which it may even eat it. During the molt, a new layer of skin will grow in the gecko, it will separate from the old skin, and liquid forms between them. If the aquarium is too dry, it will make it harder for the gecko to shed its old skin. If you find that the gecko is having a hard time getting rid of the old skin, spray the tank twice a day to increase the humidity. You can also place a damp box in your aquarium, such as a plastic container of wet sphagnum for terrariums. Cut a passage in the sidewall of the container and cover it with a lid on top so that the gecko can enter it if desired.
- If the gecko finds it difficult to shed its skin from its toes, tail, or head, you can help it by sprinkling water on the tank and gently massaging the skin until it comes off on its own.