Spearpoint leaf-tailed gecko
Biology: Uroplatus ebenaui (Boettger, 1879), commonly known as the spearpoint leaf-tailed gecko, is an arboreal and nocturnal gecko, which is found on Nosy Bé island as well as in western and northern Madagascar. The spearpoint leaf-tailed gecko (Uroplatus ebenaui) lives in tropical rainforests and dry deciduous forests.
The Spearpoint leaf-tailed gecko (Uroplatus ebenaui) is the smallest species of Uroplatus and can reach a total length of around 80 mm (including the tail). The spearpoint leaf-tailed gecko resembles the closely related satanic leaf-tailed gecko (Uroplatus phantasticus) but lacks a long leaf-like tail. They can be easily distinguished by the color presented in the back of their throats.; "True" spearpoint leaf-tailed geckos possess a black coloration while other subspecies have a pink coloration.
At BION Terrarium Center, we have been keeping and breeding spearpoint leaf-tailed geckos (Uroplatus ebenaui) since 2014. As of 2016, we had a group of 6 males and 13 females in our breeding project with this species.
The founder stock was legally imported as w.c. from Madagascar in 2013.
The keeping conditions:
Enclosure: The terrarium size for adult species is no less than 45x45x45 cm. For babies, we first use plastic boxes of 30х15х20 cm for the first 1,5 – 2 months. When they reach 2 months of age, we use the same terrarium as for adult specimens.
Decorations: a big number of thin branches (vertical and horizontal) and live plants are provided.
Illumination: we provide our animals 10-hour daylight (with a 5 UVB full spectrum lamp) during the breeding season, and 8-hour long day during the autumn - winter period.
Temperature and heating: only in winter to maintain a temperature of 24°C. At other times, we keep them without heating. The optimal temperature for spearpoint leaf-tailed geckos is 19-22°C (at night) and 24°C (in the daytime). Higher temperatures can injure animals! A basking spot is not needed.
Humidity: 70-80% - both for adults and babies.
Diet: For adults: turkestan cockroaches (Shelfordella tartara), lobster cockroaches (Nauphoeta cinerea) (insects should be proposed with a help of tweezers, as they bury to the substrate), and crickets. The insect size should be no more than 1.2 cm. Food is provided 1-2 times a week, 2-3 insects per head. If a certain animal is prone to obesity (due to its low activity), the number of feedings should be reduced.
For babies: turkestan cockroaches (Shelfordella tartara), lobster cockroaches (Nauphoeta cinerea), and crickets. The insect size should be no more than 0.7 cm. Food is provided as follows:
- For species under1,5 months old – 2-3 times a week, 3 insects per head.
- For species older than 1,5 months – 1-2 times a week, 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 once a week.
Males and females reach their sexual maturity at the age of about 12-18 months.
We keep adult spearpoint leaf-tailed geckos in pairs (1:1) or groups (1:2).
One female makes 2-3 clutches per season. The clutch consists of 1 or 2 eggs.
On average, 1 female gives up to 5 fertile eggs per season.
The incubation period takes 75-90 days, with the provided temperature of 24 - 25 °С.
The size of new-hatched babies is around 3 cm (including the tail).
- In 2014, we had 38 babies out of 50 eggs
- In 2015, we had 37 babies out of 48 eggs.
The total size of new-hatched spearpoint leaf-tailed geckos is near 3 cm and they add by 0.5 cm to their size every 2 months. Up to the age of 2 months, we keep them in plastic boxes no more than 2 individuals in every box. After that, we use glass terrariums and keep them by 2-4 individuals depending on terrarium dimensions.
Spearpoint leaf-tailed geckos ((Uroplatus ebenaui) are prone to shedding issues, 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 issues, we give them to drink the solution of a 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 issues are visible.
- 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