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How to Care* for Your Leachianus Gecko

How to Care* for Your Leachianus Gecko

Description

Leachianus Geckos (Rhacodactylus leachianus), also known as “leachies” or “New Caledonian Giant Geckos” are mid sized (10”-14”), nocturnal, semi-arboreal geckos native to New Caledonia.  Their habitat is the temperate rainforest, featuring high humidity and moderate (65-85F) temperatures.  Leachianus Geckos have chunky bodies and shortish, stubby tails.  They are smooth scaled with an olive green base color and a mottled pattern that usually contains white, light green or pink coloring.  Leachianus Geckos have special toe pads called “lamellae” which allow them to adhere to smooth surfaces like glass. Leachianus Geckos have no eyelids. They are generally considered to be a beginner pet.


Housing

Leachianus Geckos spend most of their time at rest on thick branches, pieces of bark or the sides of their enclosures.   Most keepers provide vertically oriented enclosures for them, though some are kept in shorter cages. An adult Leachianus Gecko can be kept in a minimum sized enclosure of 18”x18”x18”, though a larger enclosure is recommended.  They appreciate substantial pieces of cork bark or thick, textured wood branches to perch on.  They do like to seclude themselves on occasion and will appreciate a “cork round” which is a tubular shaped piece of cork bark and which can be oriented either vertically or horizontally.  The tube should be wide enough so the Leachie can enter easily.  Be sure to anchor all “furniture” so it doesn’t fall over and injure the gecko.  A front-opening enclosure is best for care and easy access.  Many Leachianus Geckos are kept in planted enclosures with an e panded clay ball and mesh drainage layer topped by coco fiber or other vivarium soil mix.  Due to their heavy bodies it is difficult to find plants that they won’t crush, though sansevieria can work well. Leachianus Geckos can also be kept on non-particulate substrates such as paper towel with real plants in pots or artificial plants. A water dish can be provided if desired, though Leachianus Geckos get most of their hydration by licking water drops from their environment.  Humidity of at least 80% in the evenings should be provided by heavily misting each night.  Humidity levels can decrease during the day.


Heating and Lighting

Leachianus Geckos do not require additional heat as long as the ambient temperature in the room is usually between 65-80F.  Additional heat can be supplied if necessary by placing a heat pad or heat cable on the back wall of the enclosure.  If air conditioning in the summer months is not available, ice packs can be used in the cage to reduce the temperature on very hot days.

Leachianus Geckos are nocturnal and do not require lighting beyond the ambient light in the room.  Planted enclosures, however, do require light for the plants and a bulb that promotes plant growth should be chosen and run on a timer to allow a maximum of 12 hours of extra “daylight”.


Food and Supplementation

Leachianus Geckos are frugiverous (fruit eating) and insectivorous (insect eating), though some Leachies are less inclined to eat insects.   Their primary diet is usually purchased as a powdered fruit nectar which is rehydrated by adding water.  There are many brands and flavors of this diet.  It’s important to be sure that the specific brand produced states that it is a “complete diet”.  The product is generally referred to as “Crested Gecko Diet” or “CGD” (although originally provided for crested geckos, it is equally nutritious for leachies).  Recently, CGD brands have appeared which incorporate powdered insects with the fruit.  An adult Leachianus Gecko is usually fed a small bowl of CGD three times a week and insects, usually crickets or roaches, twice a week. Not all Leachianus Geckos will eat live prey.  It is not considered to be essential, though it is useful especially for juveniles who need more protein as they grow to adult size. Some Leachianus Geckos can learn to like crickets or Dubia Roaches.  To accustom them to this food, hold the gecko gently and poke a feeder at its mouth. Most geckos will bite the feeder and may eat it.  If they come to recognize it as food, they are more likely to hunt once the feeder is introduced.   

Leachianus Geckos require calcium, vitamin D3 and other vitamins and minerals for healthy growth and development.  These supplements are incorporated into the commercially available “complete” CGD diets.  In addition, live prey can be dusted with calcium and vitamin D3 every other feeding.


*This care sheet contains only very basic information.  If you are new to Leachianus Geckos, please do additional research to obtain additional information from more detailed care sheets.

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