Thick Tailed Geckos are light brown to dark purple in colour, they have a neat pattern of spots all over there body and has a line of spots on there neck. They grow up to 10-14cm. This species is also called the barking gecko because when threatened they stand up on all four legs and bark. There scientific name is Underwoodisaurus Milii. They live in rocky areas all around southern Australia.
One thick tailed gecko should be kept in a ten gallon tank when a baby you can house them in a 30 times 30 vivarium. You should have a water ball in there tank(change water every day) although they rarely drink out of it so you should mist the cage 2 times a week so they can lick the droplets. There substrate should be either reptile carpet or red sand. Red sand does not cause impaction only white sand does but I will recommend reptile carpet when they are a baby. They need something to climb(if you get something out of the backyard bake it for half an hour to get out all the deadly stuff out), rocks, a plant and at least two hiding places(one dry hide and one moist hide). It is OK to leave the lid open because they cannot climb glass. Do not house 2 males together or will fight until death 2 females are OK together so as one male and female.
Lighting And Heating
Thick tailed geckos are unfortunately not allowed to be exposed to any lights even natural light so keep his cage where there is no sunlight coming through the windows. I keep a small heat pad on one corner of the cage during winter and I have it off all summer because they get heat stressed very easily if temperature rises over 27 degrees it van be fatal or very stressful for them. Keep temperature at 23-27 degrees Celsius to measure the temperature get a thermometer.
Thick tailed geckos should shed once a month, not like other geckos they do not eat there skin so you have to pick up every little piece or it would turn to mould. Make sure that your geckos eyes and toes are all shedded, If not give them a shallow luke warm bath to loosen up his skin eventually it will come off.
Thick tailed geckos allow daily handling. I usually hold my geckos for 30-60 minutes a day. You don't have to hold them at all but I think it's important because when there older they tend to bark a lot if you don't tame them. I put my hand in the cage a lot and them barking at me will be very annoying also handling them is something I enjoy and look forward to everyday. Thick tailed geckos tails come off quite easily so do not pick them up by there tail or there will be a surprise left in your hand then the gecko!
Thick tailed geckos should be fed 3-4 times a week. Feed them 5 or 6 crickets every feed. Feed them appropriate sized crickets no larger than the size between there eyes or will choke or get impaction. I f the crickets are really hoppy take off a leg. Crickets aren't the only thing they eat imagine eating the same thing everyday! Try giving your gecko a varied diet you can also give them woodies(cockroaches), meal worms, silkworm(only give occasionally) and wax worms(very high in fat only feed as treats). NOTE: 1.some geckos are very picky and will only eat alive insects. 2. Never ever get insects from your backyard they might have parasites or pesticides.
crickets are very good for your gecko if you know how to feed them properly.
Bad things about crickets
- if you buy them in a big packet you need to feed them more
- uneaten crickets annoy the gecko it will nibble on your geckos toes if left in to long
- if your gecko eats a cricket with eggs in it the eggs will hatch inside your gecko and will give him more chance of parasite
- they get loose
- Crickets are nutritionally superior to meal worms, containing more moisture, protein, calcium, and vitamin
- exoskeleton is thinner so is easier to digest
- They make your gecko more active
Bad things about meal worms
- the exoskeletons are harder to digest
- crickets are nutritionally better
- meal worms will bury in the sand if escape out of food dish
- meal worms are less active, so less stimulating to your gecko
- they don't escape
- no chirping
- If you buy them in bulk you can refrigerate them for weeks until you are ready to use them, so no worries about providing food and water.
- they don't run around the cage so you don't have to chase the crickets with tweezers for hours
I think woodies are the best staple diet for your gecko they make your gecko active while not jumping. They don't breed crazily like crickets and make no noise!
At Winter Thick Tailed geckos like to hibernate. Dont stress about if he is not eating it is normal they will only eat about 1 or 2 crickets every feed.
You should always have vitamin and calcium powder with you. Put some crickets, meal worms ect in a bag put a little bit of vite or cal powder in the bag shake until fully coated insects then feed to your gecko. Cote vitamins once a week and calcium twice a week, please note that calcium powder is needed more for your gecko. It is also important to put some calcium in a dish and put in cage they will actually lick the powder.
Your insect should be gut loaded over night before feeding to your gecko so they can be more nutritious and plump for your gecko. You can feed them veggies, oats, fruits and more. Change food once gets rotten.
Any Other Comments
Enjoy keeping and looking after your thick tailed gecko!
If you want to know anything else about this extraordinary species please leave a comment and I will get to it ASAP