Ragazzi’s Fan Footed Gecko – The Ultimate Guide


Fan Footed Gecko

Origin 

Ragazzi fan-footed geckos are also known as Sahelian fan-toed geckos. This type of lizard has the scientific name  Ptyodactylus Ragazzi and is a known pet in the hobby. This exciting animal has many interesting characteristics which make it a good pet!

Fan-footed geckos have originated from Northern Africa, Egypt and some areas of Southern Algeria. They are considered solitary animals but they can also live with their pair in their natural habitat. This terrestrial animal primarily lives on land as compared to the arboreal animals which basically dwell on trees and higher areas.

There being desert animals makes them hardy and easy to care for in captivity. They can survive with minimal care. They don’t require too much technicality in handling. 

The term Ragazzi in its common and scientific name has been held in honor of Vincenzo Ragazzi, an Italian physician in natural history.​​ They are not common pets in the hobby and distribution only depends upon wild imports from other countries.

Identifying Traits 

Ragazzi’s fan-footed gecko is a nocturnal animal. They are basically out during the night to hunt for food. They are also agile animals and they can move so fast. They are also rupicolous animals and they live in rocky areas. They have unique large toe pads which make them move efficiently on rocky areas.

They have an interesting mix of colors with spotted patterns on their skin. Color varies from beige to orange. As to the identifying traits of the males, they are usually characterized by their hemipenal bulge located at the base of their tails. The main characteristics of either sex can be determined with proximity as the gecko matures.

As to size, adult geckos reach 6 to 7 inches, measuring from the tip of their tails up to their head. Hatching, on the other hand, reaches the size of more than an inch.

Habitation

They live in desserts places, particularly rocky areas and shrubland. They also thrive in savanna and areas of higher altitudes. They are also accustomed to arid and hot weather conditions. Hence, they are more hardy compared to other species of geckos. 

A 12 by 12 by 18 glass enclosure is recommended for this type of gecko since they are relatively bigger types. This size can house an adult pair. However, if the adult geckos are full grown, bigger enclosures are more suitable such as 18 by 18 by 24. 

Substrate

Sand is a suitable substrate for geckos because its natural, easy to clean and looks better inside the enclosure because of its fineness. Although this may cause impaction, the same will not be detrimental if your geckos are physically healthy. However, considering that this type of gecko originated from desserts, sand is not much of an issue. 

Although spot-cleaning as maintenance of sand is easy to be done, it has to be replaced every other 3 to 4 months to avoid the growth of bacteria. 

Humidity and Temperature

Fan-footed geckos thrive in 40 to 50 humidity levels. It is necessary to place a humid area in the enclosure to support them in laying and shedding. To enhance the humidity level, you can mist the enclosure at least 3 times a week or place a water dish. You can also add humid hides where the substrate use retained moisture such as sphagnum moss or coco coir. They can stay there every time they are about to shed their skin.

Temperature ranges between 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Daytime temperature can be placed between 80 to 85 degrees while the temperature during the night may drop to 70 degrees. A basking lamp may also be utilized to regulate the temperature inside the tank and the same can be monitored by using a digital thermometer. 

Light Requirement 

Fan-tailed geckos do not bask all the time. Hence, they don’t require powerful UV lighting. However, they still need UVB in order to synthesize vitamin D3 and make their body work properly. It makes their body strong and prevents sickness caused by low immunity. 

Decoration 

Decorating the enclosure is essential for the health and survival of your geckos. It serves as a place where your pet interacts with the environment. Hence, proper decoration must be in order and the same must be suitable for their innate characteristics.

This type of gecko is native to arid desserts. Plants such as succulents may be added to the tank. Remember not to use cactus since this plant has a lot of thorns which may cause wounds or injuries to your pet. You may also add rocks or hides for their comfort and security.

Diet and nutrition/Supplements 

Adult fan-tailed geckos like to feed on crickets, mealworms and dubia roaches. They can also consume fly larvae, wax worms and hornworms on an irregular basis since consuming them may cause obesity due to their high-calorie level. These insects are great sources of protein but lack other essential nutrients for their growth. 

To enhance the quality of their feeds, there are two types of methods used. First is the dusting of insects with vitamins before they are fed to the geckos. The second type is gut-loading. Here, the insects are fed highly nutritious foods at least 24 hours before they are fed to the geckos. Either of the two ways ensures that your geckos are feed with highly nutritious food. 

Breeding   

Brumation of reptiles usually occurs during the cool periods of the year. During this time, the reptile happens to experience a slow metabolic process. During this period, their body is synchronized and prepared for breeding.   Brumation occurs for 6-7 weeks. After this, you can start to reverse the light, and temperature of the enclosure. As the temperature becomes warmer, their bodies tend to become active again. Hence you must give them enough food, water and good resting condition before you start mating your true pairs.

Introduce the pair by placing them in a single enclosure. Once breeding was successful, you will start to observe eggs on the surface of the tank. Laying eggs happen once every 3 weeks. This type of animal tends to attach its eggs to the walls. Hence, it must be removed carefully and transferred to an incubator since this animal also has the tendency to cannibalize its hatchlings. 

          

Common Health issues 

Fan-tailed geckos are hardy animals but they can also acquire diseases such as respiratory problems, lethargy and weakness, bone diseases and weight loss conditions. 

Respiratory problems among geckos are normally caused by poor living conditions. Having the enclosure too humid and cool results in this condition. To regulate the humidity level inside the tank, make use of a hygrometer. Also, make sure to maintain the cleanliness of the tank.

Lethargy and weakness are caused by leading health issues such as parasitic infection or weak immunity. This can be remediated by adding nutrients and vitamins to your gecko’s diet. For parasitic infection, you can make your dewormers specialized for your delicate geckos. 

Bone problems is very common in most reptiles held in captivity. This is caused by a poor diet and a lack of calcium or vitamin D3 in the diet. In order to remediate the same, you may add vitamin D3 supplements or calcium supplements to the insect feeder. You can also add UVB lighting on their basking area to help their body synthesize D3 and calcium.

Weight loss, on the other hand, is normally caused by stress or other subsisting health issues.

Final Thoughts 

Handling fan-tailed geckos can be exciting and challenging at times. They can be excellent pets because they are hardy and low maintenance pets. But they can also be demanding especially when there are having health issues. 

Just like other animals, they are very prone to stress and health problems. Hence, proper observation and care should be maintained in handling them . Insects must be meticulously selected to provide a sufficient source of nutrients for their bodies.

The enclosure must also be suitable as a living condition since this is the place where they spend their entire time. The same must be interactive to maximize their active behavior. 

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