Gargoyle Gecko
(Rhacodactylus auriculatus)
Less common than their Crested cousins Gargoyle Geckos are easy to care for, quite tolerant to handling and fed primarily on pre-made powdered diets. I think both of us agree that Gargs are one of our favorite geckos to keep. - Appearance Named for their stoney appearance, Gargs range greatly in appearance from Black and White Striped to Red Blotched Retics, Gargs always impress.
Juvenile geckos do well in a smaller tank no larger than 12x12x18. As adults, singles and pairs can be comfortably housed in an 18x18x24 front opening tank. It is important to note that housing while females can often live happily together, two males together will likely result in aggression long term. Equally problematic is housing a male female pare before they are of proper breeding age. The opinion that cohabbing any gecko is a poor choice outside of short pairing sessions for breeding, is gaining momentum and while we agree with the reasoning behind it, we have had much success keeping small groups together indefinitely.
Heat & Lighting
Ideally these geckos like cool temperatures from 65-75, too far off either end of this range is considered dangerous. As heat producing bulbs are not necessary, choose a light best suited to plant growth. - Humidity Gargs like their humidity in the medium range from 50-75%. Depending on where you live, the number of daily mistings may vary but here in BC we mist one every evening.
Gargoyle Geckos are particularly nice geckos to keep because there are numerous meal replacement powders readily available at pet stores and online retailers. While Gargs can comfortably live entirely on MRPs, we recommend feeding appropriately sized vitamin dusted crickets as a small portion of their diet.
Size & Lifespan
A fairly long lived gecko at upwards of 20 years, Gargoyle Geckos can attain a length of 8-10". Those who have lost their tails are considerably shorter however they do regenerate their tails, though they do not always attain the same length, colour or pattern. On average a dropped tail measures up to 5", the most common cause of tail loss is fighting, a regular occurrence if juveniles aren't house singly.
Sexing & Breeding
Gargs are quite easy to sex as adults with males showing visible hemipenal bulges below the vent. Males also have visible pored in neat rows running from left to right just above the vent.
Range & Behavior
Native to New Caledonia, a small chain of islands North East of Australia. Tropical storms are par for the course and tropical fruit is abundant. In captivity Gargoyles are generally tolerant of handling and are equally tolerant of tank mates presuming you follow the rules set out above in the Housing section. Fairly slow witted, Gargoyle Geckos are prone to jumping when scared or aggravate though biting is uncommon.