Tokay Gecko (Gekko gecko) is the largest species of gecko. These reptiles are native to Asia and other Pacific Islands. They have thick bodies and powerful limbs, with spots all over their bodies.
What are Tokay Geckos known for?
They are known for being able to stick to surfaces for long periods, this is because they have an incredibly strong grip because of their setae, the gecko’s tiny hairs on the bottom of their legs. Tokay geckos are also fast runners, have prehensile tails, and have a strong harsh bite.
As the largest species of gecko, make geckos grow up to 35-40 centimeters (13-16 inches), and females range from about 20-30 centimeters (8-12 inches). Male geckos have a more vivid color than females. Geckos have two large eyes and vertically-slit pupils with a brownish shade.
What do Tokay Geckos eat?
Tokay geckos largely consume invertebrates like cockroaches, spiders, centipedes, moths, termites, and mosquitos. They have also been known to eat smaller rodents such as mice and rats, as well as snakes on occasion. Tokay geckos are nocturnal hunters that typically remain in stationary positions for prolonged periods until potential prey arrives.
Where do Tokay Geckos live?
Tokay geckos are arboreal, meaning they live mostly in trees. However, you might see them sticking to walls and ceilings.
They thrive in tropical rainforests, rock crevices, or other manmade environments with diverse microhabitats. Black-spotted tokay geckos are more likely to live in rocky environments, while red-spotted ones prefer submontane rainforests or lowland areas. They also live peacefully with humans and often take up residences near homes or other buildings because prey like insects and pests are frequent in these areas.
How do Tokay Geckos communicate?
Tokay geckos are capable of vocalizing and will make a variety of sounds depending on their mood or the situation. For example, males will often call out to establish their territory or to attract mates. Geckos will also croak or hiss when they feel threatened or are in pain.
How do Tokay Geckos mate?
Male tokay geckos use a mating call to attract a female. The males repeat the “to-kay” sound which is where they got their name. Male tokay geckos secrete liquid from their femoral pores for easy copulation.
The male gecko grasps the female in its mouth to mate. They mate each month which allows females to lay multiple eggs and place them in a solid and secluded place. Once they lay the eggs, the female will abandon them and both parents defend the eggs (oval-shaped and 3-45mm long) until they hatch.
A newly-hatched gecko is about 5-7.5 centimeters (2-3 inches) long, and its first meal is the outer covering of its skin.
What is the lifespan of a Tokay Gecko?
When cared for by humans, Tokay Geckos live up to 10 years. Their life expectancy in the wild is unknown but is believed to be shorter. They sexually mature after a year and are aggressive as adult geckos.
Can you keep Tokay Geckos as pets?
You can have them as pets but be warned, they are not for first-time reptile owners. Consider preparing the following before you get your reptile friend:
Create a comfortable home. Tokay geckos are arboreal creatures, meaning they spend most of their time in trees. In captivity, you’ll need to provide plenty of hiding spots and vertical surfaces for your gecko to climb.
Provide a clean specialized tank, that consists of artificial branches and plants for climbing, a secure lid, and hiding spots. Set up an incandescent bulb that can be used for heat during the day, targeting 80 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit (27 to 32 degrees Celsius). At night, a nocturnal reptile bulb or ceramic heat element must be used that can provide 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (21 to 27 degrees Celsius).
Make sure the tank has good airflow and a 70% humidity level because geckos come from a tropical environment. You can create humidity for your gecko by using a water mister, a substrate that retains moisture, and a bowl of water.
Tokay geckos are carnivores and their diet should be composed of live insects like mealworms, crickets, and roaches. Adult geckos can be fed every other day while juveniles are fed every 24 hours. Make sure they have access to water as they like to drink regularly.
Before you bring home a tokay gecko, do your research. They are not low-maintenance pets and require special care. Be prepared to provide everything they need to thrive in captivity. They also have a reputation for being aggressive and noisy, so they may not be the best pet for everyone.
The tokay gecko is an interesting reptile that can make a great pet for experienced owners. If ever you decide to have a tokay gecko as your pet, make sure to do your research first in order to provide the best care for your new reptile friend.