Mossy leaf-tailed gecko (Uroplatus sikorae)
Biology: Uroplatus sikorae (Boettger, 1913) is a species of gecko commonly referred to as the mossy leaf-tailed gecko. The mossy leaf-tailed gecko is endemic to Madagascar. These geckos are an arboreal species relying on their natural camouflage as they dwell among the trees of the eastern and central tropical forests of Madagascar.
The Mossy leaf-tailed gecko (Uroplatus sikorae) has coloration developed as their camouflage, most being grayish brown to black or greenish-brown with various markings meant to resemble tree bark; down to the lichens and moss found on the bark.
The Mossy leaf-tailed gecko ranges in size 15 to 20 centimeters (6 to 8 inches) when measured from the nose to the base of the tail.
BION Terrarium Center has been keeping and breeding mossy leaf-tailed geckos (Uroplatus sikorae) since 2012. As of 2016, we had a group of 22 males and 22 females in our breeding project with this species.
The founder stock was legally imported as w.c. from Madagascar in 2012.
The keeping conditions:
Decorations: the big number of horizontal and vertical branches, live and plastic plants, lianas and bark pieces.
Substrate: soil with coconut chips as a lower level and small-sized or middle-sized bark pieces, covered with dry leaf-litter (usually, oak).
Illumination: we provide our animals up to 9 hours daylight (with a 5 UVB full spectrum lamp) during the breeding season, and a 7 hour day during the autumn and winter periods.
Temperature and heating: day 24-25ºC, night 21-23ºC. The 40 W lamps are used for a basking spot, but the basking temperature should be no more than 26ºC! Higher temperatures can injure animals! During the winter season, there is no need for heating.
Humidity:75-85%, for both adults and babies, achieved by spraying 2-3 times a day.
Diet: For adults: Turkestan cockroaches (Shelfordella tartara), locusts, and crickets. The insect size should be no more than 1.5 cm. From time to time, we give them snails. Food is provided 1-2 times a week, 1-2 insects per head. If a particular animal is prone to obesity (due to its low activity), the number of feedings should be reduced.
For babies: Turkestan cockroaches (Shelfordella tartara) and crickets. The insect size should be no more than 0.5 cm. Food is provided as follows:
For specimens under 2 months old, – 2-3 times a week, 2-3 insects per head.
For specimens older than 2 months – 1-2 times per week, 2-3 insects per head
Mineral supplements: Every other feeding, we sprinkle insects with calcium and vitamins. We use Zoo Med “Reptivit with D3” and “Reptivit without D3”, Reptical. Also, we give “Mineral All-in-One” from Repashi one time a week.
Males and females reach their sexual maturity at the age of around 24-30 months.
We keep adult lizards in pairs (1:1).
One female makes 3-5 clutches per season. The clutch consists of 1-2 eggs.
On average, 1 female gives up to 7 fertile eggs per season.
The incubation period takes 75-110 days with the temperature of 24 - 25°С (day) and 22 - 23°С (night). Lower incubation temperatures prolong the incubation period, but the kids hatch stronger.
The size of new-hatched babies is around 6-7 cm.
- In 2012, we had 2 babies
- In 2013, we had 19 babies
- In 2014, we had 8 babies
- In 2015, we had 32 babies
The total length of new-hatched geckos is near 6-7 cm and they add by 0,5 cm to their size every 2 months. A group of 3-5 juveniles could be settled together.
Geckos are liable to problems with shedding, which may be caused by low humidity or vitamin A deficit. To avoid this, you need to increase the overall humidity in the terrarium.
Also, in case of problems, we give them to drink the solution of the vitamin product “Chiktonik” (2-5 times in 2-3 days with a concentration of 1 part vitamin to 100 parts water) if any signs of shedding problems are visible.
The second main problem is a lack of Calcium. Tremors, spasms in the limbs could appear. We give such animals orally the solution: dry powder calcium diluted with glucose, 2-3 drops per head every other day until the symptoms disappear. For adult animals, also, you can use a calcium chloride solution, 2-3 drops 2 times a week until the symptoms disappear. After the female lays eggs, we also give her orally the calcium chloride solution, 7-10 drops every other day.
Also, these geckos are suffered from dehydration. Their tails get twisted. In this case, we provide such animals with Locke-Ringer solution orally, 4-6 drops every other day.
- Frank Glaw - Miguel Vences. 2007: Field Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Madagascar. Vences and GlawVerlagGbR 3rd Edition. 496 pp. Germany
- Sacha Svatek and Susanna van Duin. 2001. Leaf-tailed geckos – the Genus Uroplatus.Brahmer-Verlag, 161 p. Germany