Animals / Reptiles

The Baweng Satanic Leaf Gecko

Синонимы и названия на других языках

The Fantastic leaf-tailed gecko, the eyelash leaf tailed gecko

Gespenst-Plattschwanzgecko (German)

Классификация

Order: squamata

Family: gekkonidae

Subfamily: gekkoninae

Genus: uroplatus

Species: Uroplatus.

Ареал

The Baweng satanic leaf gecko is native to the tropical forests of Madagascar and to the small islands nearby.

It is an arboreal species that almost doesn’t get down to the ground. Depending on the environment temperature the gecko can live in the upper branches of the tree to get closer to the sunlight or in the lower branches if it is too hot.

Внешний вид

Females can reach 15 cm, males are smaller, they are normally about 10 cm long.

This species has protective colouring that varies depending on the location from brown-gray to yellow, green and orange. There have been reported red-eyed specimens.

This lizard has unique appearance. The gecko’s shape and color make it look like a dry twisted leaf. Thanks to such ideal disguise the Baweng satanic leaf gecko is well protected against numerous predators and can creep to their prey. The eyes are big, without eyelids, so the geckoes clear the eyes with their tongues. 

Характер

These lizards cannot be handled: they are nervous and skittish. But if you are careful and don’t scare them, they can get used to seeing people behind the glass of the tank. But this gecko has interesting behavior and unusual body shape, it is fun to watch and this makes it a good pet.

Содержание и уход

The Baweng satanic leaf gecko doesn’t need a big tank since this is a rather small lizard. One gecko needs a vertical tank with a volume of 40-50 liters. A couple of geckoes needs a bigger tank, starting from 70 liters.

It is an arboreal species, so you can use vertical logs as decorations. The grapevine and bamboo are the best options. The gecko needs hiding places, and real plants are very good for that. They make beautiful background and help to maintain high humidity in the tank. For substrate you can use coconut husks or gardening soil. You can put the plants right into the substrate and cover it with sphagnum. Another option is to put pots with the plants on the substrate and to fill the space between them with sphagnum which increases humidity. Males are always aggressive to each other, it is not possible to keep two males even in a very large tank.

The water bowl is not needed, geckoes lick the water drops from the plants, so you will have to mist daily. UV lamps are not necessary but desirable. A heating lamp is needed in order to maintain the temperature in the tank around 24 degrees. At night the temperature should be about 17 degrees.

The ambient temperature should be between 22 and 26°C at daytime and between 16 and 18°C at night.

The air humidity should be about 75-80%.

The geckoes need medium light of fluorescent lamps. 

Кормление

The Baweng satanic leaf gecko is an insectivore species. They would eat any insects that fit into their mouth: cockroaches, crickets, mealworm, superworm, snails. Large females can eat pink mice. Once a week you will need to cover the insects with calcium powder, and twice a year the geckoes must receive vitamins. Adult geckoes should be fed every second day, and young geckoes have to eat daily. 

Особенности

This species has a unique body shape and displays interesting behavior; they are fun to watch.

This lizard doesn’t require a large tank.

It is very skittish and hard to tame.  

These lizards are hard to get, because they are steadily disappearing on Madagascar and their export is restricted. They are rarely bred in captivity because the process is complicated.

The satanic leaf gecko requires live feed.

 

Болезни

If the level of humidity in the enclosure is not high enough, the geckoes can keep some shed skin on and this can lead to necrosis. The molted skin has to be removed with the help of tweezers, but you have to wet it properly first. The prevention is to maintain the appropriate level of humidity in the enclosure. 

Разведение

Breeding in captivity can be difficult.

First of all, it can be difficult to form a couple. When the geckoes are put together, they can hiss at each other; it means that these geckoes won’t mate but will just fight. The sign that the couple can mate is the male’s behavior: it rocks its tail and the female allow it to approach. The courtship is very short, only lasts for a few minutes, and the copulation can take up to one hour. The female incubates eggs for about 30 days, during this time it should get calcium supplements and be isolated from the male. Females lay eggs into the nests which they dig in the ground in the morning. The clutch usually contains 1 or 2 eggs. It is best to take out the eggs and put them in an incubator. They should be kept on vermiculite with water. The hatchlings come out in about 80 days of incubation under 26 degrees. They start eating small insects almost immediately.

Average life span in captivity is about 10 years. Females normally live longer than males. 

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