Scientific name: Gekko gecko
Danish name: Tokaygekko
Lifespan: 10-12 years
Distribution: Bangladesh, southern China, Indonesia, the Philippines and western New Guinea.
Legislation: Not protected
Toxicity: Not toxic
Body length with tail is up to 35 cm in large males. Females are smaller. The head is large, wider in males than in females. The species belongs to the largest animals in the gecko family.
The basic color is light gray or grey-blue. The upper side of the body, including the head, tail and legs, is covered in rust-coloured dots, which change to band-shaped patterns on the tail.
The underside of the feet is covered with lamellae. The toes are wide. As in most nocturnal reptiles, the eye pupils are vertical.
The tokay gecko lives mainly in tropical forests, e.g. in both rainforest and drier forests, where it lives on tree trunks or rock walls. However, it is also a cultural follower; which like to be found near human dwellings, where it is usually a welcome guest, as it is considered a useful animal, as it e.g. takes spiders, scorpions and skolopendras.
The gecko feeds mainly on insects, which it hunts at night. However, it also occasionally eats smaller lizards, mammals and birds.
The species lays 2 eggs per litter, which usually hatches after approx. 3-4 months.
Keep in terrarium
This gecko species is best kept in a large terrarium, preferably high up with good opportunities for climbing and movement. The geckos prefer to move on the side walls of the terrarium, so these can be advantageously decorated with flat pieces of cork bark or sheets of compressed coconut material.
The terrarium should contain a number of hiding places for the lizards, so that they feel secure in their surroundings, and thereby exhibit a more natural behaviour. This is to the delight of both the animals themselves and the viewers of the terrarium. Such hiding places can e.g. consist of live or artificial plants placed close to the back wall so the geckos can hide behind the leaves. Another option is to arrange a shelter of strong branches, which e.g. can be included in a natural background decoration.
The geckos drink water 1-2 times a day, but they cannot drink from a water bowl. Therefore, the terrarium must be showered with a water atomizer or a drip irrigation system 1-2 times a day. The geckos will then drink the water drops that are on the leaves and branches. Sprinkles with water also serve the purpose of keeping the air humidity at a high level. The humidity should be checked regularly and should not be below 60%. Because of these showers, the terrarium should be waterproof.
During the day, the temperature should be 26-28 °C, with one or more local heating areas, where the temperature reaches around 33 °C. The Tokay gecko is, like other lizards, warm-blooded. This means that its body temperature depends on the temperature of its surroundings. It must therefore regulate its body temperature by seeking out different places in the terrarium where it can achieve the preferred temperature. These temperatures are achieved by virtue of the terrarium's lighting; this can consist of one or more spot bulbs, as well as one or more fluorescent tubes, which can be particularly useful if you want to decorate the terrarium with living plants.
Plants can be advantageously used as decoration in the terrarium, as they create a natural environment, as well as good hiding places and climbing opportunities for the geckos. In a humid rainforest terrarium with frequent showers, it is even possible to establish a lush planting of epiphytic plants (e.g. orchids) on the walls of the terrarium, which can be both decorative and useful in relation to the geckos' need for hiding places.
The size of the terrarium can be 50x50x75 cm for one animal, or 80x60x100 cm (LxWxH) for groups of 2-3 geckos.
The geckos are offered various live food insects approx. every other day for adult animals and more frequently for cubs. More than three different insect species are preferably used as the main food, due to the different nutritional content of the insects. It is therefore important for the gecko's nutrition that not too few types of feed are used, as this will result in deficiency diseases. Favorite food animals that are readily available commercially are crickets, cockroaches, and grasshoppers. Mealworms, wax moths and walking sticklebacks are examples of other types of farmed fodder that can be given as supplements, but should not be used as main fodder.
However, the best supplemental food is insects and spiders from nature, which are easily collected with a net or in a cup during the summer.
An appropriate amount of lime and vitamin powder is added to the feed at intervals.
Signs of illness
Healthy tokay geckos are alert, fast and agile. Their appetite must be good. A vet should be consulted for sudden changes in behaviour.
The males display extremely aggressive territorial behaviour. The behavior of the dominant males can also have a negative impact on the well-being of one or more females in the same terrarium; it cannot be ruled out that it is sometimes necessary to separate the geckos if the female needs a stay during matings and egg-laying. When keeping several animals together, it is therefore important to observe whether the pair or group works well.
The females lay their eggs on vertical surfaces where the egg sticks. Often the eggs must remain and hatch in place, because they are usually too fragile to move, unless you have the opportunity to remove the object or piece of back wall decoration to which the egg is stuck. In such cases, the egg is placed in a home-made incubator with high humidity and 28-30 °C, still glued to the same object.
Males use a loud, audible call in connection with mating and territorial behavior.
Tokaygekko reproduce all year round and breeding requires no preparation apart from a possible preparation of incubator. 3-4 litters are laid per litter. year – all on 2 eggs. The eggs are stuck to plants or the glass pane.
Hatching of eggs
The eggs can be hatched in the terrarium or incubated in moist vermeculite at 30°C for 120 days if they can be freed from the oviposition site without being damaged.
The young are preferably kept in small boxes and fed like the parents.