Gargoyle Gecko

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Species group:

Other common names: New Caledonian Bumpy Gecko; Knob-headed Giant Gecko

Scientific name: Rhacodactylus auriculatus

The basics:
This unique lizard has gone from being a rarity even in zoos to an extremely popular pet. Gargoyle Gecko care parallels that of the Crested Gecko, and they are equally as hardy and easy to maintain.

Gargoyle Geckos are found only in the southern half of the New Caledonian island of Grand Terre. Nocturnal and arboreal, they inhabit lowland forests and brushy scrub habitats.

Appearance / health:
The Gargoyle Gecko’s stout body is 15 – 20.3 cm (6 – 8 in) in length. The “bumpy” head is triangular in shape and the tail is prehensile. Gargoyle Geckos are tan to brown in color and sport dark or reddish stripes, bars and/or spots.

Given proper care, Gargoyle Geckos are extremely hardy and may live for 15 - 20 years. Intestinal blockages caused by ingested substrate or by diets high in mealworms and are sometimes a concern. Metabolic bone disease may occur in animals that are not provided with ample Calcium and/or Vitamin D3.

Behavior / temperament:
Young Gargoyle Geckos can be skittish, and will quickly leap from one’s hand if frightened. Most accept gentle handling in time, but care must be taken to avoid unexpected leaps and falls. Like all lizards, they will use their sharp teeth to bite if threatened.

An adult or pair should be provided with a 20 gallon “high style” terrarium stocked with branches, plants, cork bark rolls and vines. The substrate may be a mix of top soil and sphagnum moss or a terrarium liner.

Gargoyle Geckos utilize dietary Vitamin D3, and so do not need a UVB light source. They require a temperature gradient of 78-82 F; a dip to 75 F at night is beneficial. Humidity should be kept at 50-75%, but there must be dry areas available as well. Males cannot be housed together. Females will establish a dominance hierarchy, so groups must be monitored carefully.

Commercial Crested or Rhacodactylus Gecko Diets have yielded excellent results used as 100% of the food intake. Pets can also be offered crickets, roaches, sow bugs, calci-worms and other commercially-available species. Mealworms, implicated in intestinal blockages, should be avoided. Insects should be powdered with a calcium/VitaminD3 supplement and provided with a nutritious diet.

Gargoyle Geckos often after a 4-8 week period of cooler temperatures (65 F by night, 68-70 F by day) and a reduced day length of 8-10 hours. The eggs, usually 2 in number, are often deposited just below the substrate or in a cave stocked with damp moss. Females may produce 3-10 clutches annually, and must receive ample supplies of Calcium. The eggs can be incubated in a mix of 2 parts vermiculite to 1 part water (by weight) at 72-80 F for 85-150 days.

Written by Frank Indiviglio


gargoyle gecko eyes, :)Activity level, great beginner lizards, wonderful display animal, hidden gem


little expensive upfront


prepared powdered diet, .Perfect midlevel gecko, knobby heads, big bellies, wondrous closeup images

Gargoyle Gecko Behavior Tip

Gargoyle Gecko

From Mychal Oct 30 2014 2:57PM


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