Taylor's fat-tailed gecko
The Taylor's fat-tailed gecko (Hemitheconyx taylori) is a middle-sized Eublepharid lizard with a velvety skin, short fat tail, and original appearance. Because of these features and its peaceful nature, this species is becoming more and more popular in herpetoculture.
However, the successful breeding of these lizards in captivity is still a great luck. As a matter of fact, they are still rare and hard to get from nature.
The Taylor's fat-tailed gecko (Hemitheconyx taylori) inhabits desert landscapes of Somalia. The animals are nocturnal and not easy to meet in the natural conditions. These geckos are completely insectivorous. There is a lot of unexplored shades in the ecological characteristics of this species, so, we hope to find answers on many questions during our laboratory research.
As of 2014, we had got 2 adult males, 1 female, and 1 young individual at our disposal.
For the adult pair, we use a glass terrarium of 450x500x450 mm.
Substrate: clay (for adults).
Decoration: a water bowl, bamboo and stones shelters, moist chamber (with moss or wet paper sheets).
Illumination: we always use a full spectrum lamp. The day length is 14 hours during the activity period. In the winter season, lighting is not needed.
Temperature and heating: for our Taylor's fat-tailed geckos, we use a 40 W spot lamp, but we usually control the temperature at the enclosure (if it`s too high, we switch the spot lamp off). It should be 29-32º C during the daytime and 25-25º C at night, and the basking spot temperature achieves 40º C.
Humidity: 40-60% (with a water bowl and without spraying).
Diet: adult animals prefer Shefordella tartara (cockroaches), crickets (without legs), and pickleworms. They receive insects 2 times a week (4-5 ones per each lizard). We also offer 1-2 white zophobas larvae to each individual once a week.
Mineral supplements: we give Calcium with every feeding with insects. This is particularly important for young animals and gravid females.
When Taylor's fat-tailed geckos reach 2-month age, we also give vitamins – Reptivit (with and without D3 ), Repashi, and Mineral Oll – every week.
Hibernation: the winter period takes about 4 months (from November to February). Temperature: 24-26º C (day), 22-23º C (night). A water bowl is necessary. We also provide the animals with insects 1-3 times a week, even during their hibernation.
In February, we start to raise the temperature (to 29-32º C in the daytime, 25-26º C at night, 40º C in a basking spot).
We use temperature raising, 14-hour daylight, keeping 2 males together with 1 female to stimulate mating.
The first clutches are observed in April. 24-37 days after this, we have got recurring clutches (usually, 2 eggs in each one).
The temperature of incubation: 28º C.
Humidity for incubation: 70-80% (a drop of water should appear on the substrate surface, vermiculate, after pressing it).
Hatching occurs in 71-78 days.
We keep young animals separately in boxes of 200x300x3150 mm.
The temperature should not fall below 28º C.
Substrate: paper towels.
Humidity: babies need a moist chamber as well as adults.
Feeding: crickets and pickleworms of a propper size, 4-5 insects per each lizard every day. Youngs start to feed at the age of 10-14 days, but after this period, force-feeding is sometimes necessary.
Calcium should be provided with every feeding.
The most appreciable is the feeding problem of young Taylor's fat-tailed geckos (see above).
- The Eyelash Geckos, Care, Breeding and Natural History by Andreas Kirschner, Yuri Kaverkin, Hermann Seufer (Hollywood Import and Export, Inc. 2005)