African Fat-Tailed Gecko

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Species group:

Other common names: Fat-Tailed Gecko; AFT

Scientific name: Hemitheconyx caudicinctus

The basics:
Much like its popular cousin the Leopard Gecko, the African Fat-tailed Gecko accepts handling readily, does not require UVB radiation, and is content with modestly-sized terrariums.

The African Fat-tailed Gecko ranges from Senegal to Niger and south to Cameroon, in West Africa, where it frequents both wet and dry savannas.

Appearance / health:
African Fat-tailed Geckos reach 20 - 30.4 cm ( 8-12 in) in length. The body is brown in color and marked with tan lines, and usually with a white stripe along the back. A large array of color morphs have been established by breeders.

Pet African Fat-tailed Geckos have approached 20 years of age. Dry sheds, resulting in retained eyelid linings and unshed skin at the toes, may occur if a moist shed-box is not provided.

Behavior / temperament:
African Fat-tailed Geckos usually take handing in stride, and rarely try to bite. However, they will defend themselves by biting if handled roughly.

Although mainly active at night, most are always ready for a daytime meal.

A single adult can be housed in a 10 gallon aquarium, while a 15-20 gallon will accommodate a pair.

Topsoil or cypress mulch can be used as a substrate but it is best to provide food in large bowls so that substrate ingestion is limited. Newspapers or washable cage liners are a safe option, as long as moist caves are provided

African Fat-tailed Geckos do not need a UVB light source. They require a temperature gradient of 74-78 F and a basking temperature of 86-92 F. As African Fat-tailed Geckos are nocturnal, a heat pad, ceramic heater or red/black reptile night bulb should be used to maintain temperatures. A cave stocked with moist sphagnum moss and a dry shelter should be provided.

The African Fat-tailed Gecko’s natural diet includes spiders, beetles, locusts, and other invertebrates. Pets should be offered crickets, roaches, locusts, sow bugs, earthworms, hornworms, calci-worms and other commercially-available species. Insects should themselves be provided with a nutritious diet for 1-3 days before being offered to your pets. Mealworms, implicated in intestinal blockages, should be avoided or used only when recently-molted (white in color).

Most meals should be powdered with a calcium/D3 supplement, with a vitamin/mineral powder being used 2-3 times weekly.

African Fat-tailed Geckos may breed following a cooling-off period of 4 weeks at 72-75 F (prior to which food has been withheld for 10 days). Females produce 2-8 clutches of 1-2 eggs annually. The eggs may be incubated in moist vermiculite at 80-90 F for 35-110 days.

Written by Frank Indiviglio


easy gecko, small manageable size, wonderful personalities, morphs, handling, great beginner pets


little boring, humid hide


humidity chamber, fat tail, walnut shell substrate, fat storage, brown velvety eyes, fat stubby tail

Helpful African Fat-Tailed Gecko Review

African Fat-Tailed Gecko

From JennRoss Apr 9 2015 6:24PM


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