Feeding Your Gargoyle Gecko

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Gargoyle geckos (and crested geckos) are omnivores that catch insects and eat soft fruits. In captivity, they tend to do really well on powdered diets that are mixed with water to form a gecko smoothy. We have had great results with Pangea and Repashy. In addition to these pre-formulated diets, we feed our geckos insects and fruit.

Live insects are an excellent form of enrichment for your lizard, making their life in a box more interesting. We offer our gargoyle geckos insects about once a week. Crested geckos, especially as babies, are fed insects more often, as their feeding response to insects seems to be much higher. Crickets and roaches (There's over 4,000 species of roaches, so there's bound to be one you think is cute) are the most commonly available feeders. Some geckos also like hornworms and silkworms. Dust all insects with a Calcium and multivitamin supplements. We use Repashy Calcium Plus and Herptivite, as pictured below. Breeding adults are offered calcium in a bowl once a month. Females use calcium to make eggs, so it's an important boost for them. 

Fresh (or frozen thawed fruit) is another great food treat. Choose soft, tropical fruits that are high in calcium and low in phosphorus. Good choices include: Papayas, figs, blackberries and raspberries. Mix calcium and multivitamins into fruit mixes- we make ours in the blender. Note that just fruit, even with supplements is not enough nutrition and can lead to floppy tail syndrome. We recommend using the pre-formulated diets regularly.  

 Preparing gecko fruit: papaya is a great choice.

Preparing gecko fruit: papaya is a great choice.

 The start of a gecko feed here at LYE. We use disposible cups that can be composted after use. 

The start of a gecko feed here at LYE. We use disposible cups that can be composted after use. 

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A sample feed schedule:

Monday: Pangea Watermelon

Wednesday: Pangea Insect

Friday: Crickets with Calcium & Multivitamins

Sunday: Pangea Apricot

Tuesday: Fruit, Papaya and mango puree with Calcium & Multivitamins

Thursday: Watermelon Pangea

Saturday: Pangea Insect

Each gecko has it's own favorite foods. Some really love live insects, while others don't. Try different things to figure out what your gecko likes.

If you have a new gecko and you're having trouble getting her to eat, check out some of our tips here: 

Dwarf Cuban Gecko Care: Sphaerodactylus nigropunctatus

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These tiny geckos  thrive in well planted tanks with high humidity. 

 Adult enclosure. 

Adult enclosure. 

Set-up:

Hatchlings are raised in plastic escape proof containers with screen tops. Adults are kept in Exo Terras with modifications to make them escape proof, as they can get out without holes being plugged. 

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The tanks are started with a drainage layer of clay pebbles (hydroton), followed by a layer of fiberglass screen and sphagnum moss. These layers keep them soil mix from falling into the drainage layer. The soil mix we use is a mixture of peat moss, sand and orchid bark. Plants are planted directly into this layer and sometimes reinforced with sphagnum moss to hold more humidity around the roots. Leaf litter consisting of Magnolia and Oak leaves is added once the tank is done. These add hiding spots for these tiny geckos, as well as food for microfauna. The microfauna are the tank's clean up crew and include springtails, isopods and worms.

Live plants increase humidity and provide hiding and climbing space for the geckos. Because of their size, even delicate plants can be kept with them. I use a variety of begonias, orchids and pothos.

 Hatchling coloration. 

Hatchling coloration. 

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Nutrition: 

These tiny insectivores are ferocious eaters. As mentioned above, their tanks are seeded with dwarf white isopods and springtails, which in addition to helping keep the tank clean, they also serve as food source. 

The geckos are fed Melanogaster fruit flies every other, as well as occasionally pinheads and snails. All insects are dusted with a calcium and multivitamin mix. 

A shallow water bowl should be available at all times. Mist 1-2 times per day. 

Temperature:

Basking spot is kept in low to mid 90's F. The temperatures range down to about 77°f at the coldest part of the tank. A short temperature drop in the winter encourages breeding, as well as changing the day length with the seasons.