The keeping & breeding of Mossy leaf-tail gecko (UROPLATUS SIKORAE) at BION Terrarium Center
Biology: Uroplatus sikorae (Boettger, 1913) is a species of gecko commonly referred to as the mossy leaf-tailed gecko. Uroplatus sikorae 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.
Uroplatus sikorae has coloration developed as 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 from 15 to 20 centimeters (6 to 8 in) when measured from nose to base of the tail.
BION Terrarium Center provides keeping and breeding of Uroplatus sikorae since 2012, and for 2016 we have a group of 22 males and 22 females in 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 piece of barks.
Substrate: soil with coconut chips as a lower level and small-size or middle-size bark pieces, covered with dry leaf-litter (usually, oak).
Illumination: we provide our animals up to 9 hours day light (with 5 UVB full spectrum lamp) during the breeding season, and 7 hours long day during autumn and winter period.
Temperature and heating: day 24-25ºC, night 21-23ºC. The 40 W lamps are used for basking spot, but basking temperature should be not more than 26ºC! The higher temperature can injure animals! During winter season no need to heat.
Humidity:75-85% - both for adults and babies reached by 2-3 spraying a day.
Diet: For adults: Turkestan cockroaches (Shelfordella tartara); locusts and crickets. The size of insects should be not more than 1.5 cm. From time to time we give them snails. Food is provided 1-2 times per week by 1-2 insects per head. If the certain animal has a tendency to obesity (due to low activity) number of feedings should be reduced.
For babies: Turkestan cockroaches (Shelfordella tartara) and crickets. The size of insects should be not more than 0.5 cm. Food is provided by following:
For specimens up to 2 months old – 2-3 times per week by 2-3 insects per head.
For speciemens older than 2 months – 1-2 times per week by 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 per week.
Males and females reach sexual maturity 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.
In average 1 female gives up to 7 fertile eggs per season.
Incubation period takes 75-110 days with temperature 24 - 25°С (day) and 22 - 23°С (night). Lower incubation temperatures lead to a lengthening of the incubation period, but the kids are hatched stronger.
The size of new hatched babies is around 6-7 cm.
- In 2012 we have got 2 babies
- In 2013 we have got 19 babies
- In 2014 we have got 8 babies
- In 2015 we have got 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 month. 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 it, you need to increase the overall humidity in the terrarium.
Also, in case of problems we give to drink them the solution of vitamin product “Chiktonik” (2-5 times in 2-3 days with concentration 1 part of vitamin for 100 parts of water) if any signs of shedding problems are visible.
The second main problem is the luck of Calcium. Tremors, spasms in the limbs could appear. We give to such animals orally the solution: dry powder calcium diluted with glucose by 2-3 drops per head every other day until symptoms disappear. For adult animals also you can use solution of calcium chloride by 2-3 drops 2 times per week until symptoms disappear. After laying eggs we also give to every female orally solution of calcium chloride by 7-10 drops every other day.
Also these geckos are suffered from dehydration. Their tails are twisted. In this case we provide such animals orally Locke-Ringer solution by 4-6 drops every other day.
- 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