The keeping & breeding of Spearpoint leaf-tail gecko (UROPLATUS EBENAUI) at BION Terrarium Center
Biology: Uroplatus ebenaui (Boettger, 1879), commonly known as the spearpoint leaf-tail gecko, is an arboreal and nocturnal gecko, which is found on Nosy Bé island and in western and northern Madagascar. Uroplatus ebenaui lives in tropical rain forests and dry deciduous forests.
Uroplatus ebenaui is the smallest species of Uroplatus and can reach a total length of around 80 mm (including tail). Uroplatus ebenaui resemble the closely related satanic leaf-tailed gecko (Uroplatus phantasticus), but lack a long leaf-like tail. They can be easily distinguished by the color present in the back of their throats; "true" Uroplatus ebenauipossess a black coloration while other subspecies have a pink coloration.
BION Terrarium Center provides keeping and breeding of Uroplatus ebenaui since 2014, and for 2016 we have a group of 6 males and 13 females in 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 not less than 45x45x45 cm. For babies from the beginning we use plastic boxes 30х15х20 cm in the first 1,5 – 2 months, in 2 months we use the same terrarium as for adult specimens.
Decorations: the big number of thin branches (vertical and horizontal) and live plants are provided.
Illumination: we provide our animals 10 hours day light (with 5 UVB full spectrum lamp) during the breeding season, and 8 hours - long day during autumn -winter period.
Temperature and heating: only in winter to maintain the temperature 24°C. Other time we keep them without heating. The optimal temperature for Uroplatus ebenaui is 19-22°C (night) and 24°C (day). The higher temperature can injure animals! The basking spot is not needed.
Humidity:70-80% - both for adults and babies.
Diet: For adults: Turkestan cockroaches (Shelfordella tartara); lobster cockroaches (Nauphoeta cinerea), but this species of insects should be proposed with the help of tweezers, as insects bury to the substrate; crickets. The size of insects should be not more than 1.2 cm. Food is provided 1-2 times per week by 2-3 insects per head. If the certain animal has a tendency to obesity (due to low activity) the number of feedings should be reduced.
For babies: Turkestan cockroaches (Shelfordella tartara); lobster cockroaches (Nauphoeta cinerea), crickets. The size of insects should be not more than 0.7 cm. Food is provided by following:
For species up to 1,5 months old – 2-3 times per week by 3 insects per head.
For species older than 1,5 months – 1-2 times per week by 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 their sexual maturity around 12-18 months.
We keep adult lizards in pairs (1:1) or in groups (1:2).
One female makes 2-3 clutches per season. The clutch consists of 1-2 eggs.
In average 1 female gives up to 5 fertile eggs per season.
Incubation period takes 75-90 days, temperature 24 - 25 °С.
The size of new hatched babies is around 3 cm (including tail).
- In 2014 we have got 38 babies from 50 eggs
- In 2015 we have got 37 babies from 48 eggs.
The total size of new-hatched geckos is near 3 cm and they add by 0,5 cm to their size every 2 month. Up to 2 months old we keep them in plastic boxes not more than 2 pieces in every box. After that we use glass terrariums and keep them by 2-4 pieces depends on terrarium's dimensions.
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.
- 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