African Fat Tailed Gecko


African Fat Tailed Gecko

There are a lot of popular gecko breeds which are appropriate for first-time gecko keepers. However, gecko breeds are not as popular as other well-known pet breeds but can be just as great. 

A great example of this is the African fat-tailed gecko. For starters, they are generally smaller than many other breeds. They are also not too hard to care for. However, it is still essential that you do your due research before grabbing one for your home.

These lizards are nocturnal. Even during their waking hours, they are still sedentary. This will be great for beginners who are not yet versed in handling geckos as they do not need much interaction to thrive. They can be happy as long as they are provided.

 Whether you are an absolute beginner or a seasoned gecko keeper, you should consider getting one for your home. These geckos might be great pets that will fill up the space in your home and make it beautiful. 

Appearance/Size

Fat-tailed Geckos are from the eublepharine genus. They are terrestrial geckos with natural eyelids but do not have toe pads. Although some adults of these stocky geckos may be more miniature due to age, nutrition, or gender, they can weigh up to 75 grams and grow to an average length of 8 inches.

Fat tail geckos often have a brown or tan appearance with varying light and dark spots or broad bands over the top back and tail. Depending on their age, these geckos’ patterns might change. A central white stripe that runs from the head down the back and onto the tail may also be present in certain species.

The typical brown-banded color pattern that most Fat-tailed Geckos have is still present in these striped geckos. The curve of their jaw is another distinguishing characteristic of this species. It gives the impression that they are always smiling.

The bulbous fat tails of fat-tailed geckos are another distinctive feature. The shape of the tails can also vary; a typical variant is a teardrop-shaped tail that resembles the shape of the gecko’s head and may be utilized as a defensive strategy to fool predators in the wild. The storage of fat, which may act as a source of energy when food is in short supply, is another role for these tails. When healthy and able to obtain enough food, Fat-tailed Geckos can have tails that are 1.25 inches thick or more, which is a good indicator of their health.

Habitat (where from in the wild, temperatures, conditions, etc.)

Fat-tailed geckos need relatively high temperatures to survive and flourish because they are ectothermic. The ideal temperature range for fat-tailed geckos is between 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit. Although the effect of humidity on these geckos is not fully known, they occasionally need mild humidity to correctly shed their skin since they do so like other gecko species.

The environments that these geckos call home are typically 1000 meters above sea level. However, this height might vary depending on which regions of West Africa the gecko is found. Fat-tailed Geckos are used to live in particular sorts of West African terrain in addition to their temperature and humidity needs.

They are skilled at hiding under accessible surface debris or deserted burrows and are found in rocky forests and savannas. Because they are nocturnal, fat-tailed geckos evolved to live on rocky and uneven terrain. During the day, they will likely be found in various shelters, including tunnels, holes in the ground, or other makeshift hiding places, where they will sleep. Because these geckos are territorial, they may also choose these tunnels or shelters because they provide them with a distinct region to occupy and defend against other geckos.

What they eat

Fat-tailed geckos’ diet consists of meat. They eat insects and other invertebrates in their environments because they are predominantly insectivores. Due to their nocturnal nature, fat-tails hunt various insects at night. They consume insects like beetles, crickets, and worms.

They are fed either crickets, mealworms, or wax worms. Additional supplements to the gecko’s food may be necessary for captivity to ensure it gets all the essential vitamins and minerals. It’s possible when vitamin powders are “dusted” onto crickets or other feeder insects.

How long do they live

These geckos fare very well in captivity and may survive for over 15 years, perhaps even up to 20 years, if given the right food and care.

Although not well researched, it is believed that these geckos’ potential life in the wild might be similar to that in captivity, lasting 10 to 15 years in their natural environments.

A gecko’s lifetime may be shortened by inadequate housing or care. These geckos are vulnerable to disease and predators in the wild or other elements that frequently cause premature death.

Type of enclosure

African fat-tailed geckos don’t need much room. A 10-20-gallon aquarium with a mesh or screen top may accommodate one or two geckos without any problems. This enclosure allows easy cleaning, safe heat lamp attachments on the lid, and protection for the geckos. Whether it’s a rock cave or a half-log to sleep in the tank, supply different dry and humid hides. On the tank’s hot portion, about 90 degrees Fahrenheit is the recommended temperature, while the cool side should be approximately 70-80d degrees Fahrenheit. For this species, humidity should range from 40%-60% on average.

Because African fat-tailed geckos are endemic to that continent, their natural habitats are arid. Since they can’t climb or burrow, all you need to provide them is some simple substrate in addition to the hide. You can choose between paper towels or newspapers. Butcher paper can work too. Meanwhile, a reptile carpet is an excellent alternative for a safe substrate that is simple to clean and cannot be digested by the lizard when it consumes its food. 

Breeding

The average size difference between men and females of fat-tailed geckos is a sign of sexual dimorphism. You may determine the sex of these geckos through the presence or absence of femoral pores on their tail’s underside. When comparing the areas immediately before and posterior to the cloacal aperture, sexually mature males will show bigger preanal pores forming a slightly chevron-shaped pattern and a relatively bulging anus.

In the species of fat-tailed geckos, males are more prominent than females. During the mating season, males dominate and mate with numerous females. Depending on how many men mate with them throughout the mating season, females can produce several clutches of eggs. At the start of their reproductive season, mating commences (from November-March). During courting, the male takes the female by the neck and holds her firmly while mating. Both sexes are fiercely territorial, and males will fight over females. 

The breeding season for fat-tailed geckos annually lasts for around five months. Although many will lay fewer clutches in a year, the female can apply a maximum of about five clutches of eggs during this period. These geckos’ incubation times in captivity are influenced by the temperatures at which the eggs are stored. Compared to higher temperatures, lower temperatures (80–85 degrees Fahrenheit) will cause a lengthier gestation period (88-90 degrees Fahrenheit). After the gestation period, geckos develop equally in size, regardless of gender, reaching maturity 8 to 11 months after hatching and starting with a mass of around 4 grams.

One intriguing aspect of the reproductive of the fat-tailed gecko is that males of this species compete for mates while females do not. Because of this, larger animals are more likely to reproduce successfully and dominate smaller males. These geckos’ aggressive and territorial attitude most likely causes females to be more inclined to mate with males who can protect their territory and keep other geckos at bay. Females of this species do not suffer as much competition as males since clutch sizes are regulated at 1-3 eggs, and there is no known benefit to producing larger or smaller eggs. Male Fat-tailed Geckos are the only ones who benefit from being more significant in size.

Final Thoughts

Beginning a new hobby can be difficult. That is the case for gecko keeping. If you are looking for an easy spot to start on, you might want to consider the African fat-tailed gecko. They are not too hard to care for. 

These pets look fantastic, and they will look great in your home. However, you should keep in mind that they are not mere decorations. You must take proper care of them so they can be healthy for the long term. 

Don’t worry! Taking care of them will initially seem tedious, but once you get the hang of it, it will be a fun activity you can do with the family. 

This gecko is also great for long-time keepers looking to expand their collection. There is not much pressure on keeping African fat-tailed geckos. You can be slightly laid back and relaxed because they are laid back too.

So, if you want your first gecko, you should consider getting the African fat-tailed gecko. 

 

 

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