Species group: Geckos
Other common names: Chichak; Bridled House Gecko; House Gecko; Pacific House Gecko; Asian House Gecko
Scientific name: Hemidactylus frenatus
Small, active (at night), and willing to breed in captivity, the Common House Gecko is a great choice for those more interested in observing rather than handling their pets.
Common House Geckos are native to much of tropical Asia and many islands in the Indian and South Pacific Oceans, but have been introduced to numerous tropical and sub-tropical regions of North and South America, Australia and Africa.
Completely arboreal, Common House Geckos are most common on indoor and outdoor walls of buildings in villages and large cities, and may also be found on tree trunks, rock faces, and in orchards, backyards and greenhouses.
Appearance / health:
Slender in build, the Common House Gecko reaches 7.5 – 15 cm (2.9 - 6 in) in length and may be various shades of gray, brown or tan in color. Raised tubercles are scattered along the back.
Longevity averages 3-5 years. Respiratory diseases can take hold if your pet is kept at sub-optimal temperatures, and intestinal blockages caused by feeding overly-large insects are a concern.
Behavior / temperament:
Common House Geckos are high strung, very fast, and shed their tails readily. They should not be handled.
A pair or trio can be housed in a 7 gallon aquarium stocked with cork bark slabs and plants. The substrate should be capable of holding moisture; a mix of cypress mulch and sphagnum moss works well.
House Geckos absorb Vitamin D3 from their diet, and so do not need a UVB light source. They require a temperature gradient of 78-90 F. As House Geckos are nocturnal, a sub-tank heat pad, ceramic heater or red/black reptile night bulb should be used to maintain temperatures after dark. Humidity should be kept at 65-75%. Other than in very large terrariums, males cannot be housed together.
The natural diet includes caterpillars, tree crickets, beetles, moths, spiders and other invertebrates. Pets should be offered small crickets, roaches, lab-reared house flies, fruit flies and other commercially-available species. Mealworms, implicated in intestinal blockages, should be avoided. Most meals should be powdered with a calcium/VitaminD3 supplement; a vitamin/mineral powder should be used 2-3 times weekly. The enclosure should be misted twice daily, whereupon upon they will lap up the droplets.
Common House Geckos breed year-round, with females producing 1-2 eggs each 4-8 weeks. The eggs are glued to structures or the leaf whorls of live plants, and may be incubated in a mix of 1 part vermiculite to 1 part water (by weight) at 82-87 F for 45-85 days.
Written by Frank Indiviglio
cheap species, easy gecko, great little lizard, forgiving, peaceful pets
best escape artist, tightfitting screen lid
small crickets, fast geckos, mixed species cages, small arboreal species, resident house gecko
My brother and I caught a few of these from around our house to keep as pets, but it didn't last very long. Firstly of all they were very good at escaping into the house; secondly they definitely did not like being caught, held or touched; and thirdly they would just lay in one spot for hours on end which was hardly very interesting to watch..
From EllieB Jan 5 2019 6:49PM
Not a "Feeder Lizard" Only!
These delightful lizards are often welcomed within homes for insect-catching abilities and amusing antics. Their name is apt, as they are usually more common in buildings than in “natural habitats” – even in Florida and other areas to which they have been introduced. House geckos are about the least expensive reptiles available – so much so that they are often used as “feeders” for lizard-eating snakes. They make wonderful “observe-only” pets for novices and pros alike, but it does them a disservice to be considered as “disposable”, or to skimp on their care.
Although quite small, they require terrariums that are larger than one might suppose, and which are vertically oriented to allow for climbing opportunities. By including numerous live plants and basking/retreat sites, gecko owners can maintain small colonies and enjoy watching group interactions and, perhaps, breeding behavior (single-male groups are the safest option). They are nocturnal, and so if provided a healthful diet do fine without UVB exposure. Red reptile night-viewing bulbs will allow you to watch your pets after dark (they sense little if any of the light produced by these bulbs), and can also be used to supply basking site of 85-88 F.
A wide variety of insects supplemented with powdered calcium and vitamins are essential to their well-being. This can be a challenge, as options are limited due to the house gecko’s small size. For this reason, they are best kept only by those who can provide flightless houseflies, flour beetle larvae, and small wild-caught insects, in addition to calciworms, tiny roaches and crickets, silkworms and other commercially-available insects; crickets and mealworms alone, even if supplemented, will not maintain their health long-term. A homemade slurry containing fruit, baby food, and honey should also be provided, and many individuals will accept commercial nectar mixes sold for use with crested and day geckos (Phelsuma spp.)..
From findiviglio Nov 4 2015 12:58PM
Wild caught, fast and not handleable
I used to work in a pet store that would import these by the hundreds for as little as $1 each - a very disposable pet, which always made me pretty sad. Now most pet shops in the UK don't stock them and to be honest - I'm glad.
This is a fast, arboreal lizard that is almost always wild caught and often displays signs of fear and stress, no matter how long you have them. Almost impossible to handle because of their speed, and very rarely seen because they are shy and nocturnal, the only real things that they have going for them is that they're easy to keep and cheap to buy.
In my opinion if you're going to keep a lizard as a pet, there are many many better options than this one..
From Athravan Jun 18 2015 3:34AM