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African Fat Tailed Gecko

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Traits & behavior

Insectivores
This means they eat mostly live insects.

Nocturnal
This means they are generally most active during the night.

Solitary
They are healthiest and happiest living alone.

Gentle
African fat-tailed geckos are friendly, gentle and will tolerate careful handling.
 

Things to remember

Supervision
Always supervise children when they're interacting with your African fat-tailed gecko.

Handling
Give your pet 3-4 days to adjust to his new home, then try holding him for short amounts of time. Take care to never handle him by the tail - it could break off.

Food safety
Remove uneaten insects from the habitat at the end of the day; do not allow to remain in habitat overnight.

Safety & cleanliness
Please remember that all pets may bite or scratch, and may transmit disease to humans. Keep your pet?s home clean and wash your hands before and after handling your pet or cleaning his home. Infants, young children, pregnant women, people with compromised immune systems, and the infirm or elderly are at greater risk of infections and should use caution when in contact with the pet or its habitat. Consult your doctor for more information.
 

Nutrition

Crickets & worms

Fat-tails eat live insects, like "gut loaded" (feed the insects a special supplement so they have extra nutrients) crickets, mealworms or waxworms.

Feeding amount & frequency
Feed juveniles twice a day; adult 3-4 times a week - offer an amount that can be consumed by the end of the day.

Calcium dust
"Dust" the insects with a calcium supplement twice a week -- ask a PetSmart associate for details.

Water
Provide drinking water in a shallow dish and change it daily.

Health

Signs of a healthy African fat-tailed gecko:

  • Curious, active behavior
  • Clear, alert eyes
  • Strong, muscular tail
  • Eats and drinks normally
  • Clear nostrils, breathes easily
  • Well-formed droppings every 2-3 days

Things to watch for:

  • Runny droppings or red streaks in droppings for more than two days
  • Eating or drinking less; weight loss
  • Swollen joints
  • Discharge from the eyes, nose or mouth

If you notice any of the signs above, please consult an experienced Reptile Veterinarian as soon as possible.
 

Habitat

Housing
Use a 10-gallon or larger, glass terrarium with a screen lid for proper ventilation.

Hiding & basking
Use artificial plants, branches and rocks to create hiding and basking areas for a natural look.

Humidity
Fat-tails need a dry habitat with a moist hiding area. Moisten moss and place it in your pet's hiding area. Mist the moss daily to maintain a humidity level around 80% within the hiding area. The main habitat can be maintained at 20-40% humidity.

Temperatures

  • Day - Maintain a daytime temperature between 75-85° F
  • Basking - Use basking lamp to create a localized area of 90-100° F
  • Night - Maintain a nighttime temperature between 65-75° F
  • Place a thermometer at each end of the home to monitor temperatures

Lighting
Use a daytime UVA/UVB fluorescent bulb for approximately12 hours of light per day to help your pet process calcium.

Bedding
Line a juvenile's (less than 5" long) home with newspaper or reptile carpet; use a 3"-6" layer of calcium sand for adults. Clean out waste weekly and change bedding at least once a month.

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