6308 Monona dr, Monona WI 53716
Common Name: Gargoyle Gecko
Scientific Name: Rhacodactylus auriculatus
Origin: New Caledonia
Size: 5-8" head to tail
Lifespan: 10-15 years
You will find many ways on the internet, on "how to" take care of this animal. This care sheet is showing the way we found works best for us from our many years of experience of breeding and caring for this species.
In the wild, gargoyle geckos live most of the time in shrubs and small trees. So you want an enclosure that has some height to it. Young gargoyles, up to about 4-5 months of age, can be housed in a 10 gallon enclosure or a Exo Terras 12" x 12" x 18". One adult gargoyle can live in a 12" x 12" x 18" enclosure its whole life. However, if you want to have more than one, Exo Terras 18" x 18" x 24" is the minimum size for a pair or trio of geckos. Exo terra's screen enclosures can also be used, but you will spend more time keeping the humidity up in the enclosure.
Groups of one male and two females or all females work well. If you have more than one adult males in an enclosure, they will usually fight. Keep them in separate cages. It's also important that your gargoyle geckos are of similar size. If one is significantly larger than the other, the smaller usually ends up as a snack for the bigger.
LIGHTING & TEMPERATURES
Gargoyles are hardy little geckos. Being nocturnal, they usually sleep in the foliage or other hiding spots during the day and are active at night. UVB lighting is not necessary for these guys. You'll want to turn any daylight off at night. Gargoyles are comfortable with daytime temperatures of 78 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a good quality temperature gauge, like Zoo Meds digital temp gauge or Exo Terras Thermometer. Don't guess. The easiest way to increase the heat in your enclosure is with a Exo Terra sun glo bulb or an Exo terra or Zoo Med heat pad (placed on the side of the tank instead of underneath). You always want part of the tank to be cooler so your gecko can regulate its own body temperature by moving from one area to another. Usually with a tall tank, the hot part is near the top and the cooler section is towards the bottom. It's OK if the temp drops to the low 70s at night. For adult geckos in the winter, the night temps can drop into the mid 60s. Also, temperatures above 86 degrees are not good for your gargoyle gecko.
Misting the enclosure twice a day will usually provide enough moisture for your gargoyle geckos. They like to lick water off the glass and foliage in the enclosure. Yet, also use a water bowl for them to drink from if they choose. Exo terras reptile fountain provides bubbling water, Flukers rock dish is a nice naturalistic non-porous water bowl, or you can use a Magnetic water/feeding ledge. If you are in the Southwestern United States where it is very dry--or in the Northern part of the United States where winter is very dry--you may have to mist more frequently.
We suggest using Repashy crested gecko diet, Repashy grubs n fruit or Pangea crested gecko diet as the main food for your gecko. They are specially formulated to be a complete diet for gargoyle geckos. Magnetic feeding ledges are a nice way to keep the food up off the ground. Your lizards will like this since they naturally eat in the trees in the wild.
We also suggest giving them bugs once or twice a week for additional protein. For extra calcium and vitamins, dust the bugs with a multi-vitamin, such as Repashy Calcium Plus or Zoo Med Reptivite with D3.
Gargoyle geckos are naturally fairly tame. They tolerate quite a lot of handling. Start slow with a new pet and gradually increase the amount of time you hold it. Babies like to jump and they have little bursts of energy. To help calm a jumpy gargoyle gecko you can use your hands like a treadmill. When your little guy walks or jumps onto your hand, put the other one in front and repeat. The gecko will get tired and should calm down after a few minutes. After you do this a several times, your gargoyle gecko should feel more comfortable being handled.