| Species Profile: African Fat-Tailed Gecko
|Natural Environment: ||West Africa (Nigeria to Senegal).|
||5"-8" long; Males tend to be slightly larger.
|Average Life Span:
||Approximately 15 years.
||The Fat-Tailed Gecko is known
for its velvety appearance. There are two pattern
morphs, one with a white dorsal stripe running
from the top of the head to the end of the tail, and
one without. The most common color morph has
alternating bands of chocolate brown and lighter
brown on the entire body.
A 10 gallon or larger aquarium with a screen
cover is appropriate. Be sure to allow room for food
and water dishes and a hide box.|
|Lighting:||Provide at least 12 hours of
incandescent light; the light also serves as a heat
|Temperature:|| Use a combination of incandescent lights and an under-cage heating pad to keep the temperature gradient of 75°-90°F at night and 85°-90°F during the day.|
|Humidity:|| A mister is beneficial for providing
necessary moisture and humidity, especially during
shedding. Use moist peat moss or vermiculite in the hide box.
A bowl of fresh water should always be available.|
|Housing:||This species does not climb, but
hiding and burrowing sites are a must. This can
be achieved by placing plants, vines, and hiding
caves. Fat-Tailed Geckos can be kept in pairs,
especially if you plan to breed. Never place two
males in the same terrarium, they are extremely
territorial. Do not use hot rocks.|
|Substrate:||A combination of newspaper, bark and moss.|
|| Feed crickets coated with vitamin or
mineral supplements. Calcium-fortified mealworms
may be fed once a month. Egg-laying females and adults may receive
an occasional pinkie mouse.
|| Fat-Tailed Geckos are
more mellow and docile than other geckos such
as the Leopard Gecko. They tend to tolerate some
handling, if done with care. Since these geckos are
nocturnal, they are more active during night hours.
In order to view them during their peak activity, use
a red bulb in your terrarium.
|| Fat-Tailed Geckos store their
fat in their tails, making them proportionally larger
than the rest of their bodies, hence their name.
Care must be taken when handling the Fat-Tailed
Gecko because the tail can easily break off. When
it regrows, it is shorter and stumpy. They vocalize
by clicking the tongue on the roof of the mouth.