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Flying gecko care
ok here is a care sheet i got off http://www.freewebs.com/geckosaucecare/flyinggeckocare.htm they also have care sheets for several other species of geckos. Check it out if you want.
Flying gecko (Ptychozoon kuhli) care sheet.
A Flying gecko (Ptychozoon kuhli)
The flying gecko is a small and attractive gecko which got its name from its adaptation of jumping or gliding from tree to tree which it does by using skin flaps along the flanks of the gecko and webbed feet which create wind resistance that stops the geckos from falling and glides, this way of moving as been described as flying, gliding, and even falling with style but the most appropriate name for this would be parachuting as the flaps along the gecko acts kind of like a parachute. The flying gecko belong to the family gekkoninae and the genus Ptychozoon, other similar members of the genus include p.lionotom which is very similar and the only ways to tell these apart is that p.kuhli posses 2 rows of enlarged tubercules along its back and p.lionotom does not.
About the flying gecko.
The flying gecko is a fairly hardy gecko, which is relatively easy gecko to maintain, the flying gecko is also a very fast gecko, which does not tolerate handling very well as well as having fragile skin. Flying geckos get to about 8 inches maximum when adult. The colour of flying geckos is very variable and is usually ranging from a light grey to light brown with greens, whites and blacks, they posses a striped pattern on there back. The average age of flying geckos is about 8 to 10 years.
The minimum vivarium size for an adult pair of flying gecko’s id 1.5x1x2feet (18x12x24 inches) although 2x1x2 feet (24x12x24inches) is better. Because these geckos are arboreal floor space is not as important as height for these geckos, and they spend much of there time up in branches and in the foliage and rarely venture to the ground, only to get food.
More then one male cannot be housed in the same vivarium together as they will fight, sometimes to the death, with each other. The best arrangement would be to have either one gecko per a tank, sexed pair or 1 male or 2 female.
For juvenile flying geckos small geo flats are ideal, you can buy the geo flats which are about 1.5x1.5x1feet made out of plastic with a plastic vented lid, and often cost only about 15 to 20 pounds. The geo flats are very easy to clean and heat and make a good choice as a vivarium for a flying gecko.
The best substrate for flying geckos is a bed a beast or forest bed type bedding; they are both expandable natural beddings, this is because it is good for geckos which need a fairly high humidity such as the flying gecko. Other substrates that are suitable for flying geckos are reptile turf, newspaper, kitchen towel and soil. Most substrates have a chance of impaction; the only safe substrates that can be used are newspaper or kitchen towel but these aren’t necessarily the best. Forest bed come in small compact packs and are relatively cheap when compared with the area that can be covered. Paper can be cheap and easily replaced and is very absorbent which can decrease smell (which flying geckos make very little of). The substrate should be spot cleaned every other day and completely cleaned out every 1 to 3 months.
I also like to use a small section of moss both on the floor and draped over branches and twigs, this may help keep humidity up and look nice along with the branches and plants.
Flying geckos need a hot spot temperature of around 85 f, which can drop to the 70’s at night. Within the tank there must be a temperature gradient this allows the gecko to thermo regulate, this is basically regulating there own temperature. My preferred style of heating is the use of a red bulb, controlled by a thermostat, which is secured within a wire cage, the wire cage is to stop the geckos from coming into contact with the bulb and burning themselves. The thermostat should be dimming thermostat, as normal thermostats will blow the bulbs. Heat mats may also be used although as the flying geckos need to be maintained in humid environment water may lack into the mat and cause a electric shock or even fire, if a heat mat is being used the thermal block should be covered or insulated from water. The heat mat should also be used with a thermostat although a mat stat can be used and are cheaper then dimming or other types of thermostats. The heat mat should be placed on the side of the vivarium and should be covered with something like card to stop geckos from having direct contact with the heat mat.
The humidity needs to be around 75 % this can be achieved by a having a water bowel in the vivarium and having a heavy misting once a day, evenings are better. The geckos will drink from the water drops and also less from the bowel. Misters/sprays can be bought from most diy stores and gardening shops. The water used in the sprayer should be left to stand over night in order to any chemicals in the water to evaporate.
Flying geckos are nocturnal and as such do not need any special lighting such as u.v although standard lighting may be used to enhance the aesthetics of the cage, the lights should be protecting from the geckos in a metal cage, which can either be bought or made. Day lighting should be used on a 12 hour on 12 hour off cycle be the use of a timer.
Décor is an important part of a flying geckos vivarium. Branches and twigs need to be provided because flying geckos are arboreal and like to climb. Fake plants should also be provided for the geckos to climb on and hide in, I have found that when I put hides in with my flyers they do not use them and prefer to use the leaves and wood as camouflage, this may not be the case with other flying geckos and hides should be placed in the vivarium. Hides can be almost anything from coconut shells to cork bark. Stones can be used as long as they are larger then the gecko’s head; this is to stop the geckos from possibly swallowing the stones. All décor that goes into the vivarium, new, old or collected should be disinfected and washed.
Feeding and water.
Flying geckos are insectivorous and should be feed on a diet of insects, the most suitable live foods are crickets and mealworms, crickets are the more balanced food but meal worms can also be used, you mat hear stories about mealworms eating there way through geckos stomachs but these are just stories, geckos will crush the mealies before eating them and even so the stomach acid will finish them off. If you wish to act more cautiously may can cut the mealworms head off. Other foods that can be offered are silk worms and wax worms, silk worms are not often available through pet shops and you may have to order offline, and wax worms are very fatty and can become addictive, if overfed your gecko could refuse to eat over life foods for some time. Flying geckos can be offered 5 food items each or 10 every other day, I have found that flying geckos do not eat as much as other geckos such as leopard geckos. Juveniles should be offered at least 5 food items a day. Wax worms may be offered once a week and about 4 wax worms are enough to feed the gecko. Food items should be dusted with multi vitamins once a week and with pure calcium at other times, multi vitamins can be bought from pet shops and calcium can be bought or ground up kettle fish bone can be used (soft part only). A bowel of calcium should be left in the vivarium this will let the gecko eat calcium whenever it wants which aids in bone growth and strength.
Flying geckos will often drink from water that was sprayed to keep humidity up but as well as this a small bowel of water should be placed in the cage both to keep humidity up and to allow the geckos to drink if they are thirsty.
Sexing is reasonably easy with adults; the males have hemi penile bulges, which can be easily spotted at the base of the tail, females lack these. Both male and female posses spurs these are small pieces of bone, which are used to hold the cloaca open during mating. Male’s posses larger spurs then females.
Flying geckos are defiantly not the type of handable gecko like the more common leopard gecko and are ofteneasily stressed by handling, as well as this they are very flighty and may try to jump off your hand. Flying geckos should only be handled when necessary such as when the cage is being cleaned out. The best way to catch a flying gecko is to use a cricket tube which you can place over the gecko and put the lid on, I believe this to be the most easy and stress free for the geckos and us.