The breeding of Giant leaf tailed gecko (Uroplatus giganteus) at BION Terrarium Center
Uroplatus giganteus inhabits primary mid-altitude rainforests at the north of Madagascar and is well known from the national park Montagne d’Ambre.
For many years this species was considered as “white eyed” subspecies of Uroplatus fimbriatus but was descrided as the new species in 2006 (BYGlaw, Kosuch, Henkel, Sound & Bohme). As the matter of fact both species are resemble each other but also have the morphological difference. Apart of U.fimbriatus U.giganteus show at the night white eyes with red lines.
According the name “giganteus” – it is the largest of all existed Uroplatus species for today.
The basic color of U.giganteus could varied from grey till dark orange with brown. The babies usually show a light grey coloring .
For November 25, 2014, we have 4 adult males, 4 adult females and 2 juveniles 1 year old as our breeding stock. + 10 eggs in incubator. For the moment 9 U,giganteus are hatched in BION Terrarium Center.
The details of keeping
Cages: For adult pairs we are using 90х65х120 cm glass terrariums with two ventilation’s panels on top and below front side of each cage.
Substrate: Large pieces of oak bark. For babies we are using 30х30х30 cm glass terrariums. Young geckos are kept one by one. With the growth of animals we put the min larger cages.
Substrate: small pieces of oak bark
Decoration: We always settle large vertical and horizontal branches for adult species and smaler size branches – for babies; artificial lianas; sometimes - live plants .
Diet: For adults: large roaches, locusts, crickets,snails. The size of insects & snails should be not less than 2.5 cm. Food is provided 1-2 times per week by 1-2 insects or snails per head
For babies: roaches, locusts, crickets. The size of insects is always correspond with gecko size. Food is provided 3 times per week by 3 insects per head.
Lighting : Full spectrum lamp is providing on a regular base; Light duration - 10 hours per day from all year round except 2 winter months.
Heating: 40 watt spot lamp, temperature in a basking place – maximum 29°C. During 2-5 hours at winter time (depends on the temperature in the terrarium).
UV: Full spectrum Zoo Med lamp “Reptisun 5 UVB”; 1-2 hours per day.
Temperature: day - 24-26°C (basking place - maximum 29°C), night - 20-23°C.
Humidity: 60-80% is achieved by spraying cage & decorations 2 timesper day.
Mineral supplements: The dish with Calcium with D3(powder) is provided on a regular base.
Males and females could reach their sexual maturity around 2.5 years.
We keep adult lizards in pairs (1:1).
One female makes 3-5 clutches per season.
The clutch consists of 1-2 (more often 2) eggs.
In average 1 female gives up to 6 fertile eggs per season.
Pregnancy lasts about 30-50 days.
There are about 30-50 days between two clutches.
The incubation period is around 3.5-4.5 months.
We try incubating eggs in two temperature ways to see how it will affect sex of newborn lizards:
- First way : day - 24-25°C, night - 22-23°C;
- Second way : day - 23-24°C, night - 21-22°C
The humidity levelof should be around 75-85% (a drop of water appearson the surface of vermiculate after pressing it by fingers).
We got first clutch of 2 eggs in July 2013 from a single female. Hatchling occurred in November 2013.
In 2014 we got 5 clutches from 4 females, including 25 eggs total (18 fertile + 7 unfertile)
For the moment 9 babies are hatched. Other eggs are still in process of incubation.
The size of new born lisards are about 9-11 cm, including tail. According to our observations, if a baby is born smaller, it usually don’t survive.
Healthy babies grow well adding by 1-1.5cm to their size each month taking into consideration the increasing cage dimensions in the process of growth (size of terrarium should be changed every 1.5-2 months).
Rickets (deformation and softening of the bones) may develop in juveniles and adults in case of wrong care.
In this case the exposure of UV should be increased (“hard” UV over than 280nm during 2 minutes every other day until improvement)
Also the dose of calcium should be increased (liquid calcium gluconate can be offered with drinking by 2-3 drops from a syringe 2 ml every other day until the condition improves).
Mouth rot occurs when keeping at low temperatures. For treatment we use Vitamin C (orallyby 1-2 drops from a syringe 2 ml every other day), Dioksidin (dioxydinum) solution & veterinary ointment “Mastidek-A” (applying to jaws with a cotton swab).
- Frank Glaw - Miguel Vences. 2007: Field Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Madagascar. Vences & Glaw Verlag GbR 3rd Edition. 496 pp. Germany
- Sacha Svatek and Susanna van Duin. 2001. Leaf-tailed geckos – the Genus Uroplatus. Brahmer-Verlag, 161 p. Germany