Mourning Gecko – The Ultimate Guide

mourning gecko

Geckos are fantastic pets to have at home. However, not all geckos are the same. If you want gecko pets that can be easy to care for, the mourning gecko might be the one for you.

These geckos are easier to care for than more advanced geckos and reptile pets. However, they are still just as awesome! Moreover, they can cost much less than other more challenging geckos and reptiles. 

These pets are not usually handled, so they are suited for people who prefer more of a hands-off experience. They tend to be filthy, so you might avoid touching them anyway. 

These geckos are perfect for the keepers who want to get into breeding. As mentioned earlier, they are not costly reptiles. This is because they can be bred very quickly. That is why they are perfect for you if you want to gain experience and knowledge on breeding. 

Their habits are irregular. They spend a portion of their waking hours during the day and then spend a number of their waking hours at night. So, they can be technically classified as cathemeral. 


The Lepidodactylus lugubris, more commonly known as the mourning geckos, steadily develop to slightly over 3 inches. They are ideal for live vivariums and very easy geckos to work with. As previously mentioned, they are considered more of an observer species rather than one to engage.

This is because of their small size and somewhat rapid temperament, which can make managing them challenging. It has been found that keeping these cute geckos in groups allows for a lot of fun to watch interactions between them.

The geckos screech, click and engage in other unusual behaviors like tail waving during these entertaining interactions. However, it would be best if you were careful because geckos may, on occasion, lightly nip or bite one another, especially when they are kept in the same habitat for the first time. Usually, none of them gets hurt, so this is probably more about establishing a pecking order than violence.

These little geckos are often timid initially, but after settling into a vivarium, it’s normal to see them out and about. Even if the basic pattern and color remain the same, color brightness can change from dark to light in a few minutes.

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

Mourning geckos are widespread in many coastal regions, such as a portion of the Indian and Pacific oceans. They can be found in huge countries like China and India. There are also populations in the Maldives and Sri Lanka. Other mourning geckos reside in Myanmar, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, and Cambodia, while some live in Japan, Taiwan, and Singapore.

They can also be found in Hawai’i, Fiji, and Guam. Papua New Guinea. They also live on Cocos Island in Australia. They also have populations in the Mascarene Islands, Western Samoa, Pitcairn, and the Society Islands.

These species have been introduced to the Neotropics, too. Many have lived in Brazil, El Salvador, Mexico, and Guatemala. Meanwhile, some are found in Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, and Ecuador. A lot of these geckos also live in Chile and Columbia. 

These geckos can tolerate various conditions, and certain temperatures help them thrive and be healthier. These temperatures also improve their overall reproductive rate. Throughout their life, mourning geckos generally prefer the same temperature. However, hatchlings usually need higher humidity levels to ensure they can shed successfully.

They can thrive at 68-85% humidity. During the day, they prefer the temperature to be70-80F while it to be 65-75F at night.

What they eat

Most geckos are insectivores and require a diet composed of many insects and worms, such as crickets, waxworms, and earthworms. Mealworms, fruit flies, and moths are also viable options. 

You can also consider adding extra vitamins and minerals to the insects you plan to feed your pet mourning gecko to make their diet more robust and nutrient-dense. Offering a gut-loaded cricket filled with Calcium can help you achieve this goal by increasing the insects’ calcium and hydration levels. If you cannot gut-load them, you can dust the insects with calcium powder before feeding your gecko to provide extra nourishment.

By giving your gecko nutrient-dense fresh vegetables like leafy greens like broccoli and cauliflower, you may also boost your pet’s health. If you can prepare parsley and carrots, they may also work. 

In addition to consuming insects and leafy greens, mourning geckos also like to consume fruit. Mourning geckos are among the most prevalent frugivorous species. It would be great to feed them fruit once a week. You can choose from papaya, pears, and blueberries. Mangoes and guava can also work. Cherries, pineapple, plums, and grapes are great options too. You can also prepare apples, melons, and bananas. Due to their size, you should always serve these fruits in pureed form. They can also consume pollen and sap.

How long do they live

As with many other gecko species, the mourning gecko usually reaches longer lifespans in captivity rather than in the wild. This is due to particular challenges brought by their size and living conditions. 

They are generally smaller breeds, so there are a lot of other animals that can predate them. They can also find it challenging to compete for food.

In captivity, however, they can live for about 10-15 years. It is essential to ensure they get all the proper care they need to reach the entire length of their lives.

Type of enclosure

Because they are arboreal and require a large climbing area, mourning geckos should have at least a 30 x 30 x 45cm Exo Terra. A group of 6 to 8 adults would have plenty of room in a bigger enclosure, such as a 45 x 45 x 60cm Exo Terra, and space for their kids when they breed. You can go even more significantly for an incredible display arrangement. A group of six mourning geckos would benefit greatly from our whole crested gecko arrangement, which is also quite affordable.

Lots of bushes, branches, and hiding spots should be available. You may go partly bioactive if you only want some advantages without growing actual plants or using plant lights. The non-bioactive (plastic) plant configuration shown below still includes a bioactive foundation and a cleaning staff. Continue reading to learn more about bioactive.

A layer of drainage balls at the bottom of the tank is necessary for a bioactive arrangement to prevent water buildup. Your soil mix substrate is followed by a layer of substrate mesh, which caretaker insects like woodlice and springtails will fill. Even though the geckos will occasionally consume these, they spend most of their time cleaning the substrate, so they shouldn’t sustain much harm from a population of well-fed geckos.


Mourning geckos reproduce via a process known as pathogenesis that effectively makes genetic copies of them without the need for fertilization. Even if there is just one gecko, they will still do this. They deposit two eggs every 4-5 weeks during the breeding season. They will use glue to attach these eggs to a log or cage, generally at the top of the enclosure where it is hottest. As moving them will harm them, they nearly always need to be left in situ to incubate in the cage naturally.

In the enclosure, the eggs will take around two months to hatch; after 8 to 10 months, the young animals will start hatching their eggs.

Mourning geckos grow somewhat diverse colors and patterns while being genetic clones, so you might be able to distinguish them as distinct, but most seem incredibly similar. Different regions in the wild have distinctive patterns, and some American breeders have reported challenges combining various areas in a single tank. 

Even when there are many other food sources available, adult mourning geckos occasionally devour their young. This behavior seems more prevalent in smaller enclosures and may be a natural method of population control when adults feel that the colony has become too large for the area.

To give the young the best opportunity of maturing, we remove them from the adult enclosure as soon as we notice them. We nevertheless maintain them in groups for social reasons rather than holding them separately, as we would many animals, even though moving them to a smaller cage increases their likelihood of obtaining food. Specific individuals choose not to eliminate them and accept that some people won’t make it.

Final Thoughts

Mourning geckos are great for neophytes who would love to get into keeping and breeding. They are long-term pets, but you should take extra good care of them. If they are paired, you would have to ensure they both live their lives. They are called mourning geckos because they make mourning sounds when their partner dies. They are fun to watch as they interact with each other. They can be the start you are looking for, and they can also be an addition to your current collection.

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