The gecko belongs to more than 1000 species of lizards that make up six families. These are mostly small, usually nocturnal reptiles with soft skin. They also have a short thick body, a large head and, as a rule, well-developed limbs. The ends of each limb are often equipped with fingers having sticky pads. Most species have a length of 3 to 15 cm, including the length of the tail (about half of the total). They adapted to habitats, from deserts to the jungle. Some species are common in humans, and most feed on insects.
The pads of their long toes are covered with small plates, which, in turn, are covered with numerous tiny hairs that are bifurcated at the end. These microscopic hooks even cling to smooth surfaces, allowing the animal to climb flat and vertical surfaces. Some geckos also have retractable claws.
Like snakes, most geckos have a transparent protective coating over their eyes. The tail can be long, short and blunt or even spherical. In many species, the tail serves as a storehouse of fat on which the animal can live in adverse conditions. The tail can also be very fragile, and when disconnected it quickly recovers to its original shape. Unlike other reptiles, most geckos can make sounds in a voice, from twitter to a high-pitched scream.
Most species are ovoid, eggs are white, with hard shells and usually are laid under the bark of trees or attached to the underside of leaves. Several species living in New Zealand are viviparous.
Geckos abound in all the warmest areas of the world, and at least a few species are everywhere except Antarctica. The most popular for home breeding are leopard geckos.
Leopard geckos live up to 20 years. Unlike other geckos, leopards do not have sticky pads on their fingers, so they cannot climb walls and other vertical surfaces.
Home for the Gecko
Aquarium. One gecko will live comfortably in a 45 liter aquarium, if you want to make a couple, then the aquarium needs twice as much. Make sure your home has a solid mesh top.
Provide hidden space. This is the place where your lizard will hide, as well as where it will drop its scales.
Under the house you need to put a heating mat. You can heat one side of the aquarium and leave the other side, so your pet can decide where it is more comfortable. Shelter should be in a warm area with a temperature of 30-32 degrees Celsius. The cool side should not fall below 23 degrees.
Since many species of these reptiles are nocturnal, a UV lamp will be needed to compensate for the vital vitamin D.
Consider adding substrate and plants (real or artificial). Do not use sand, soil, or anything else with small particles. Good substrate materials for lizards are gravel and flat stones. Place the “sushi” section in the tank. The gecko should be able to climb and get out of it easily. Make sure the water level is not too high.
How to feed a gecko
To feed the gecko, you need to feed his food. Place live worms and crickets in a container of mashed chicken or pork for 12 hours or longer. Also, place a slice of raw potato in a container so that they have a source of water. However, some insects can be kept as pets and not feed them lizards, such as stick insects.
Give the lizard a certain amount of insects depending on the length of the animal. For example, if your gecko is 13 centimeters long, give it 12 fed insects every other day.
Make sure fresh water is available at all times. You can pour it into a shallow bowl.
Taming the Gecko Lizard
No need to touch a small gecko until it grows at least 12-13 centimeters. If you are looking for a larger lizard, look at the majestic iguanas. If you need to move it, try using a cup or some other method to scoop up the lizard. Be gentle and don't pinch your tail.
After she grows up, devote 10 or 15 minutes a day to train the little animal's trust in you. Lay it on a safe surface and let it crawl on your hands. Within a few days or a week, the lizard will be tamed and will allow you to easily pick it up.
You can not take the lizard by the tail. They can throw their tails and it will take them more than a month to grow a new one.
Always wash your hands after bringing the gecko home. Use antimicrobial soap, as lizards have microorganisms on their skin that could potentially infect something.
The science of dragon-keeping
- Small hand-held “dragons” - geckos - have been very popular among fans of unusual pets for several years now. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, the original appearance and funny habits of these creatures, and secondly, relatively simple conditions of detention, ”says Ekaterina Gromova, the owner of the Internet zoo. - In addition, geckos do not hibernate and do not go to winter - you can watch them all year round. According to Catherine, lizards are suitable even for people who are used to admiring them
from afar, not daring to settle in his house due to lack of communication skills with reptiles. Ideal for beginner lizard enthusiasts, species such as eublefaras and the African thick-tailed gecko, similar to a real miniature dragon. Slightly more sophisticated in "dragon science" will be suitable for felsum.
- I have very different types of geckos, they are all interesting in their own way, and it’s not too troublesome to take care of everyone. But there is a moment that saddens me. Most of my lizards are grown for sale, but while these bright babies live with me, I manage to get very attached to them. Then leave very sad. Consider the secrets of the gecko at home.
Compared to many of its scaly and tailed counterparts, geckos are unpretentious in care. For a happy and fulfilling life, they need only a warm house, fresh water and food. The "home" of the colorful lizard - the terrarium - must be either vertical or cubic, because in nature they live, as a rule, on rocks and trees, rarely going down. The following sizes are best suited: 30 cm long, 40 cm wide and 50 cm high. In an excessively small house, the "dragon" who loves to run on any surface, including the ceiling, will be too crowded. In the very large - it’s uncomfortable: geckos have a habit of protecting their territory, which due to the large space it will be difficult for him to get around. Soil should be poured onto the floor of the terrarium - coconut substrate, peat, gravel. At the same time, sand should not be used categorically: a gecko can swallow it when eating and die. The soil must always be kept moist, thus imitating the tropical climate native to the lizard. For this, the ground and walls of the terrarium should be sprayed with warm boiled water once or twice a day.
Do I need to wash?
Do not bathe your gecko unnecessarily. They do not need water procedures if they are not very dirty, have no skin problems or suffer from ailments, because of which the veterinarian recommended bathing.
Pour warm water about 30 degrees Celsius about 2 centimeters deep.
Add a drop of medicine or mineral oil if you have been prescribed.
Put your pet in the water. Gently pour water onto your back. After it gets completely wet, you can use a cotton pad to gently wipe its skin. Do not rub hard and never try to peel off skin flakes. If his skin is very flaky, you can lightly rub it with a soft toothbrush.
Use a dry cloth or paper towel to dry the gecko.
Turn on the sun!
- During the day, the temperature in the terrarium should reach 24-35 degrees, and fall to 17-23 degrees at night. To do this, you need to install a fluorescent lamp and turn it on and off as necessary, - advises Catherine. - In addition, daytime species of geckos need sunlight, the role of which will be successfully played by an ultraviolet lamp installed in the terrarium. Without it, pets can develop rickets! Inside the terrarium you need to place a drinker, driftwood and a lot of vegetation. The more greenery and other decorations, the more comfortable the gecko. In a cozy environment, he is less likely to experience stress, and this is very important for his health.
The gecko will also need a “bath”, a bath with water, in which he will soak during the links. This happens approximately once a month. Before molting, the lizard turns white, the color becomes cloudy. Then the old peel cracks, and a very bright updated "beast" comes out of it.
Tiny geckos are dexterous and skillful hunters. In nature, they live in large colonies, in which part of the "flock" protects the territory, while the other gets food in the form of small animals. So at home, you should not doom the dragon to loneliness. To begin with, it is better to get a pair of lizards - male and female, and then the number of "ladies" can be increased to three. The main thing is that the “gentleman” should remain the only one, otherwise bloody fights cannot be avoided, during which the defeated enemy risks being killed.
Clean the terrarium
Clean the water in the lizard aquarium daily. Most likely, the pet will hide in a shelter in another corner of the aquarium, so it will be easy to simply dig out any solid waste with a small scoop. Also, remove the wet substrate.
Clean and disinfect the tank completely weekly. In this case, you need to pull the gecko out of the tank and place it in a reserve aquarium or some other container from which it cannot escape.
Wash your hands; you can also wear disposable gloves.
Remove everything from the home. Clean the aquarium with hot, soapy water, you can use a scraper.
Use a disinfectant for lizards. Follow the manufacturer's instructions.
Make sure everything is thoroughly rinsed with water and completely dried.
Always wash your hands well with hot, soapy water after cleaning the lizard tank. If you used gloves, it is better to throw them away.
How to monitor your pet’s health
Checking the skin of a lizard. When he changes his skin - it may look peeling, this is normal. However, if flakes accumulate on the tail and around the toes, he may need a bath.
If his skin looks abnormal, take him to a veterinarian who treats lizards.
Pay attention to his eating habits. He eats insects, what do you give him? If he skips lunch, try again the next day. If he misses more than one meal, consult your veterinarian.
Pay attention to his bathroom habits. If he does not defecate as often as usual, or if his feces are watery, also consult a veterinarian.
Usually leopard geckos are gentle and somewhat social, able to remember the owners. If your gecko avoids you when it’s usually playful, or becomes aggressive, it’s possible that it hurts.
With proper care, female geckos live from 6 to 10 years, males live longer, up to 20 years.
The price in Russia for geckos starts from 3 thousand rubles, depending on the species, there are also expensive individuals (15,000 or more).
Gecko: general description
The length of the gecko can be from 3.5 to 30 centimeters, and with proper care, geckos live up to 25 years. In some species color body may vary depending on the physiological state of the animal or on the time of day.
Geckos have large, slightly convex eyes without eyelids, and the eyes of the reptile are covered with a transparent shell and have vertical pupils that expand in the dark. Interestingly, the gecko has very delicate skin that can easily be damaged. Typically, gecko skin is covered with fine granular scales. Most species of geckos are nocturnal.
The peculiarity of geckos is extended fingers, which are covered with horn plates from below, which allows reptiles to move on a vertical surface. The gecko also has a thin and brittle tail, but, however, it can regenerate quickly. Moreover, a gecko can make a sufficiently large number of various sounds with which it accompanies its life.
For example, the word "gecko" came from the cry of one of the African species of these lizards. The Toki geckos (sometimes called Tokey) make sounds “Ttt-ttto-ke!” Or “Ttt-tt-to-kkey!”, They especially scream loudly during the mating season.
The gecko is quite easy to keep in captivity, the main thing is to ensure the correct reptiles conditions of detention and proper care. Since the gecko very rarely descends to the ground, mainly only for food, then terrarium need a vertical, but not too big. In the wild, geckos live in small colonies, and in captivity it is better to keep them in pairs.
Do not forget that the male gecko will always jealously guard its territory, especially during the mating season: while the geckos are fighting to the death or to very serious injuries to one of the males. But females in the terrarium can be from one to three individuals.
In the terrarium where the gecko will live, you need to fill the floor with peat, gravel or coconut, the soil in the terrarium should be constantly wet. But sand should not be used for these purposes, since it can enter the reptile's body with food and cause various diseases.
The temperature in the terrarium should be set from 28 to 35 degrees during the day, and at night - not lower than 5-8 degrees. Daytime species of geckos need to install an ultraviolet lamp in the terrarium. In addition, the terrarium should have a drinking bowl, several branches and shelters for the gecko, these can be pieces of bark and pottery shards. You can also put several pots with plants in the terrarium to maintain a microclimatefor example, dwarf creeping ficus, philodendrons, white-veined arrowroot.
Remember that the more different plants and decorations are in the terrarium, the more comfortable the gecko will feel in it. The terrarium should have constant humidity, for this it is necessary to spray the terrarium with warm boiled water once or twice a day, but do not allow the soil to be waterlogged. With a sufficiently high humidity, the terrarium should be well ventilated. For example, you can tighten the slots in the ceiling and in one of the end walls with a fine mesh.
Gecko: feeding and care
The gecko has very sharp teeth and powerful jaws, which are difficult to unclench. With aggressive behavior, the gecko swells and begins to hiss, opening its mouth wide, and then makes sharp lunges, trying to attack the enemy. Therefore, do not try to pick up the gecko at your first meeting or if you are barely familiar with it. In addition, you can not take a lizard by the tail, which can easily come off.
The terrarium should be kept clean and regularly cleaned and disinfected. In addition, be sure to wash your hands before taking the gecko in your hands and after talking with the reptile. Under the wrong conditions, the gecko can become a carrier of salmonella.
The larger the gecko, the less often it needs to be fed, for example, a gecko of the size of 20 centimeters needs to be fed 2 times a week. Most geckos prefer live food, such as spiders, crickets, cockroaches, flies and other insects. If the gecko is large, then it can be fed small mice, rats and quail eggs, and some types of geckos can eat sweet fruits (bananas or oranges) with pleasure.
The body length of a reptile of this species is from 4 to 30 cm. They have large, convex eyes that do not have eyelids. They are covered with a transparent film and have vertical pupils. It is characteristic that in the dark they expand. Not everyone knows that geckos are endowed with very delicate skin that can be easily injured, despite the fact that it is covered with granular fine scales.
The main feature of geckos is fingers extended and covered with horn plates below. This allows the lizard to easily move and hold on a vertical surface.
A gecko is a lizard with a thin and brittle tail, which, however, can regenerate. Most members of this family are active at night.
A characteristic feature of geckos is to make a wide variety of sounds. They can hiss, squeak, whistle. They shout especially loudly during the mating season.
In captivity, keeping these cute lizards is quite simple. The main thing is to provide them with good conditions and proper care.
For geckos you will need a small vertical terrarium. Under natural conditions, these reptiles prefer to live in small colonies; at home they are best kept in pairs.
Male geckos are quite aggressive - they guard their territory with zeal. This is especially noticeable during the mating season. The males fight to the death. In the best case, they can cripple each other. Females can be kept from one to three.
The floor should be covered with peat or coconut, you can use medium-sized gravel. This coating must be constantly moistened. Sand is not suitable for this purpose, since it, together with food, can enter the body of a lizard and cause various diseases.
During the day, the temperature in the terrarium should not be lower than 28 degrees, and the night temperature should not be lower than 8 degrees. Since there are also daytime species of geckos, an ultraviolet lamp is desirable for them.
The terrarium should have a drinker, several dry but not sharp branches, shards from ceramic pots, pieces of wood bark. All this will serve as a shelter for the gecko.
Small pots with ornamental plants (philodendrons, dwarf creeping ficus, arrowroot, etc.) can be placed in the terrarium to maintain the necessary microclimate.
The lizard feels safe when there are many decorations in the terrarium. It is necessary that humidity is maintained in it. For this, the terrarium should be sprayed with warm boiled water twice a day, without over-moistening the soil. Take care of creating effective ventilation.
When feeding and keeping geckos at home, their natural characteristics must be taken into account. Most geckos prefer live food - cubs of mice and baby rats, which are sold in pet stores. But some types of gourmets can enjoy fruit and honey.
In addition, you should know that most of the day lizards spend in a dream.
- This is their favorite pastime - to fall apart, to spread paws and sleep sweetly. However, when they wake up, they make contact with a person, unless, of course, they are accustomed to it. You will constantly take the “dragon” in your arms, and over time it will cease to perceive you as an aggressor and will behave calmly. But the hand must be relaxed, the gecko cannot be squeezed and held, otherwise the lizard will experience stress.
Although the behavior depends on the type of reptile. Many types of geckos can be safely picked up, where they sit amiably. But there are geckos that can open their teeth - by the way, it’s not too painful and not dangerous for human health, ”says Catherine. - Other geckos are wary. At the sight of a cat or dog, they get scared and try to either hide or freeze in place.
Like many lizards, geckos are able to, to flee, throw their tail. It is necessary to remember this and not to touch this part of the body.
Usually friendship with smaller brothers has a huge minus - it is relatively short-lived. However, this cannot be said about the neighborhood with a small lizard. If the gecko creates good living conditions, its society will delight owners for 25-30 years!
Gecko: care and feeding
If you want your wards to feel comfortable, you must comply with some conditions of their detention. A gecko is a lizard with powerful jaws, which are sometimes not so easy to unclench, and sharp teeth. When it is aggressive, the reptile swells, hisses, while widely opening its mouth. After these terrifying maneuvers, she makes a sharp attack, attacking the enemy. Therefore, at the first meeting, do not try to pick it up. Do not try to grab her tail - it can easily come off.
The terrarium must be regularly disinfected and cleaned. If you want to take the gecko in your hands, wash them. Do the same after your conversation ends. Gecko can be a carrier of salmonellosis.
An interesting pattern - the larger the gecko, the less often it needs to be fed. For example, a 20 cm reptile needs to be fed twice a week. A gecko is a lizard that prefers live food: crickets, spiders, flies, cockroaches and other insects. Large-sized geckos need small mice, quail eggs. Some reptiles of this species enjoy treating themselves with sweet fruits - oranges or bananas.
This lizard is quite large in size. Gecko currents (adult) reaches 35 cm in length. Males are brighter than females. The back of them can be olive, gray or dark green in color, with white blotches that turn into stripes on the back. The eyes are large with vertical pupils. The body is dense, slightly flattened. The head is very large, powerful, but short legs. The tail is not too long.
Gecko currents are common in tropical forests in southeast Asia. This reptile makes a misleading impression of a clumsy creature. In fact, she is very mobile, especially in twilight. Currents are aggressive towards their brethren. No strangers are allowed into their territory. They declare their right with a loud cry.
Terrariumists love these reptiles for their bright and beautiful color. But because of its circadian rhythms, this reptile is not much appreciated as a pet.
This species lives in the desert and sultry regions of Iran, Central Asia, Pakistan, and Kazakhstan. These are land lizards that dig burrows in the sands more than a meter deep. Active at night.
The appearance of the skink
The skink gecko cannot be called a large lizard. She has a wide and high head with large bulging eyes. Body length not more than 20 cm. The body is short and somewhat awkward. It is covered with almost identical scales. They seem to overlap. On the head, the scales are much smaller and have the shape of polygons.
The color of these reptiles is diverse - yellow or greenish with a gray tint, rusty-red above and purple-red below and from the sides, etc. On the back there are usually several dark stripes or streaks. In addition, dark streaks are also present on the sides of the reptile.
The skink gecko has a short and fragile tail. In the event of a predator attack, the reptile easily discards it. The main distinguishing feature of these lizards is large eyes glowing in the dark with ruby color.
Sometimes these reptiles are called spotted eublefars. This long and well-known lizard lives with many terrarium owners.
Under natural conditions, it can be found in dry and hot regions of Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and northern India. Leopard gecko avoids open sands. In the heat of the day, it hides in burrows, cracked rocks. It feeds mainly on insects, in rare cases, small vertebrates, which it can handle.
The home leopard gecko is unpretentious. Thanks to what, probably, he became very popular among lovers of reptiles. Most often they are kept in small groups of 6 individuals (2 males and 4 females). Males are very aggressive towards their rivals and can seriously injure each other.
For 5–6 reptiles, a terrarium with a bottom area of at least 0.25 m 2 is required. Coarse sand, gravel can serve as a substrate, you can use sawdust. There should certainly be shelters in the terrarium - fragments of ceramics, plastic pipe cuttings. Their number should correspond to the number of animals. Be sure to have a container of water in the terrarium - eubléfars often drink it, lapping their tongues.
In the daytime, it is necessary to maintain the temperature - 27-30 degrees, lowering it in the evening to 20-23 degrees.
This is a miniature lizard, the total body length of which barely reaches 8 cm, and most of the length falls on the tail. Females are even smaller.
The neck and head of the males are poisonous yellow with black or dark brown stripes. The rest of the body is gray with a bluish tint and spots. Young lizards do not have such a bright color - they have a brown body with spots, a light yellow head. Both sexes have a yellow abdomen. This species is widespread in Africa.
The chain-tailed home gecko is a lizard that remains awake during the day. She spends most of her life in trees. It is found in forests, on coasts, in savannas. Does not avoid intimacy with a person. Can settle on fences or walls of buildings. It feeds on the smallest insects.
These lizards are also called banana-eaters for their addiction to various fruits, including bananas. A ciliary, because it has characteristic spikes that surround the eyes from above. This is a tree lizard. The length of the adult reaches 22 cm.
The bananoe has a triangular, spiked head. Spikes pass to the back, to the shoulder blades. Eyelids are missing. The eyes are covered with a membrane. The whole body of the gecko is covered with small soft scales that feel suede to the touch. The paws are short and stocky, there are small claws.
The color is very bright and quite diverse - orange, yellow, bronze, red, gray, etc. With proper care, such lizards live 15-18 years.
On this Russian biosatellite five geckos were launched into space orbit - 1 female and 4 males, Drosophila flies, mushrooms, seeds of higher plants, silkworm eggs. The purpose of the experiment in relation to lizards is to study the effect of microgravity on the sexual behavior of animals, embryonic development and the generation of offspring from medium-sized geckos. The flight was designed for 60 days.
Unfortunately, all geckos in space perished. Presumably they froze as a result of a malfunction of the satellite heating system.
According to the remains, scientists can not accurately determine what are the causes of the death of reptiles. But they claim that geckos in space died quite early - about a week before landing. Their bodies were partially mummified. Many researchers believe that hypothermia is only one of the possible versions.
Where to buy a gecko
In its assortment of reptiles has every pet-selling store. Gecko is a popular lizard, so their choice is always quite diverse. In Moscow, we advise you to contact the Gekko Terrarium Workshop. This is a specialized pet store dealing exclusively with terrarium animals. In addition, here you can find all the necessary equipment and accessories for keeping reptiles. These are terrariums of different sizes from various manufacturers, and lamps, and heating appliances, and heating mats. Here you will be offered a variety of types of soil, pick up plants, drinking bowls and waterfalls, pick up dry and live food. In the capital of Russia, you can apply for lizards in the Farm of Happy Geckos nursery, in St. Petersburg - in the Living Water salon or the Nature store. There you can buy everything you need for these pets.