HALMAHERA GIANT GECKO Caresheet
Common Name: Halmahera Giant Gecko
Scientific Name: Gehyra marginata
Origin: Island of Halmahera (Indonesia)
Size: Up to 11" head to tail
Lifespan: 15-20 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, Halmahera giant geckos are an arboreal species, living most of the time in trees. So you want an enclosure that has some height to it and lso hiding places that simulate tree hollows, like cork bark or bamboo. Live and/or artificial plants also make for a nice cover addition, but they should be sturdy enough to support the weight of the gecko.
Due to potential aggressive behavior of adults towards each other, Halmahera giant geckos should be housed individually unless breeding.
Young should be kept in smaller enclosures so they feel safe. As the juevnials grow, they can be moved to larger settings such as an Exo Terra 12" x 12" x 18"or a 10 gallon aquarium with a screen top.
After about a year, the adult can live in an enclosure like the Exo Terra 18" x 18" x 24" or a 40 gallon glass aquarium.
Exo Terras screen enclosures can also be used, but you will spend more time keeping the humidity up in this enclosure.
LIGHTING & TEMPERATURES
Halmahera giant geckos are hardy lizards. 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. They are comfortable with day temperatures of 78 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a good quality temperature gauge, like Zoo Meds digital temp gauge or Exo Terras Thermometer.
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 his own body temperature by choosing what temperature area to hang out in. Usually with a tall tank, the hot part is near the top and the cooler part is towards the bottom. It's OK if the temp drops to the low 70s at night. Temperatures above 86 degrees are not good for your gecko.
Misting the enclosure twice a day will usually provide enough moisture for your geckos. They like to lick water off the glass and foliage in the enclosure. Yet, also have a water bowl for them to use if they choose. Exo Terra's 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 live in the Southwestern United States where it's very dry--or in the Northern part of the United States where winter is very dry--you may have to mist more frequently.
Young geckos should be fed everyday, adults every other day. The diet consists of a variety of insects and bugs including crickets, roaches, mealworms, and phoenix worms.
For extra calcium and vitamins, dust the bugs with supplements such as Repashy Calcium Plus every feeding. Or use Zoo Med Calcium without d3, every feeding for young and 2-3 x a week for adults. Use Zoo med multivitamin with D3 only 1x a week. The day you use the multivitamin do not use the calcium.
Repashy gecko food may also be offered in addition to the bugs.
Halmahera giant geckos do not like to be handled. In fact, they have a defense mechanism where they can naturally drop their tails if startled or if they are trying to get away from a predator. Once dropped, the tail will not grow back. They also can slough off chunks of skin if threatened.
Halmahera giant geckos make wonderful pets but are more for the experieced pet owner rather than the novice.