The keeping & breeding of Northern Flat-tail gecko ( UROPLATUS ALLUAUDI ) at BION Terrarium Center
Biology: Uroplatus alluaudi (Mocquard, 1894) is a medium-sized leaf-tailed gecko with a snout-vent length (SVL) of between 69-79 mm (Glaw and Vences, 2007). The species is found in dense transition forest at medium altitude associated with the sub-humid microclimate. It is described as arboreal, and can occur in anthropogenically disturbed habitat (D'Cruze et al., 2008). The species can be confused with U. guentheri.
Distribution: Endemic to Madagascar. Prior to 2006, the species was only known from its type locality and was believed to have a range restricted to the isolated northern rainforest of Montagne d’Ambre.
Source: The initial found stock was obtained at 2012 as the custom’s confiscate. Together with others partners - we launched a joint pilot project with this species. In 2015, in the context of BION’s general Uroplatus breeding program, we formed the found stock and began to continue this project independently. BION Terrarium Center currently has breeding stock: 7 adult males and 7 females as the first generation(F1) .
The keeping conditions
Enclosure: adult animals are kept in pairs. The terrarium size is 45x45x60 cm.
Substrate: the level of small bark pieces, covered with dry leaf-litter (usually, oak).
Decoration: a number of shelters inside the enclosure are provided. We use tree branches with hollows, bamboo tubes, coco shells, etc. Live and plastic plants are used as well. Water bowl should be used on a daily base.
Illumination: full spectrum lamps are used on a daily base. We provide day length up to 10 hours in breeding season and 6-8 hours in autumn-winter season.
Temperature and heating: day 21-24ºC, night 19-21ºC in summer; day 21-24ºC, night 17-20ºC in winter. The 40 W lamps are used for basking spot, but basking temperature should be not more than 26ºC. During winter season the period of heating is 2-5 hours per day only.
Humidity: 60-80% - both for adults and babies.
Diet: We feed our Uroplatus alluaudi by Shefordella tartara, Pyralidae sps. and crickets. The insect’s size is not less than 15 mm for adults and not less than 7 mm for babies. We give 1-2 insects per each feeding to adult lizard 1 or 2 times a week and 3 insects per each feeding to juvenile lizard 2 or 3 times a week.
If the animal has a tendency to obesity (due to low activity), number of feedings should be reduced.
Mineral supplements: we use Calcium powder every second feeding (with insects) and sometimes we use D3. We also use multivitamins once per week.
We offer additional calcium supplements to females after each egg laying in a liquid form - calcium gluconate or calcium chloride (0.2 ml for one individual in a day, 5 times at all)
Animals become sexually mature at the age of 18 month. Females are larger than males of the same age.
For today (06.04.2016) we received from our females up to 3 clutches (1-2 eggs in each) during the breeding season (from September to December 2015):
1st female - 3 clutches of 2 eggs
2nd female - 3 clutches of 2 eggs
3rd female - 2 clutches (1 and 2 eggs accordingly)
4th female - 2 clutches of 2 eggs
5th female - 1 clutch (2 egg)
6th female - 1 clutch (2 eggs)
7th-female - 3 clutch (3 eggs) (unfertile)
Hibernation: To stimulate breeding in 2016 we provide mild hibernation at their cages. Males and females were kept separately( from the beginning of January to mid-February (1.5 months) at temperatures of 20-23ºC during the day and 18-20ºC at night, gradually reducing the temperature and illumination). Feeding: once per week by 1-2 crickets .
2015 – we received 15 clutches totally (26 eggs = 22 eggs good + 2 eggs became bad during incubation + 2 eggs unfertile)
2016 – in January we received first 4 babies in January, and 2 babies in March.
Offsprings : 6 babies ( according the last report on 6.04.2016)
The TL (total length) of newborn babies is around 40-50 mm
The duration of Incubation period - 74-124 days
Geckos, especially babies are liable to problems with shedding, which may be caused by low humidity or vitamin A deficit. To avoid it, the high humidity at the enclosures is necessary.
Also, in case of problems we spray our animals with solution of vitamin product “Chiktonik” (2-5 times a day, twice a week, with concentration 1 part of vitamin for 100 parts of water) if any signs of shedding problems are visible.
Despite these species are extremely rare in captivity because of luck of the official quotes for export they could be breed on a regular base in case of proper care and conditions.
As the matter of fact for today BION is one of very few legal sources of these lizards in captivity.
- 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