View Full Version : First chahoua (First Rhac actually)

Joe Farah
11-13-2006, 04:05 PM
Hello New Cal Gecko People,

I wandered over here from the Phelsuma (Day Gecko) section because I just got my first Rhacodactylus gecko. Its a baby R. chahoua from the Crested Lady - Thanks Sarah! I was fortunate enough to pick this up from her in person at the Reptile Show in Denver this past Saturday where we both had vendor tables. She had a nice adult mainland pair for sale too (the parents of my baby, I believe), but they would have cost me all the money I made at the show. Plus, I would have had to find a place to stay for a couple of weeks while my wife calmed down :)

Anyhow, I think I just caught the bug with these R. chahoua. Im already looking to buy more. Its so cool to watch him slowly, curiously exploring his enclosure after dark. They are really neat looking animals. I can see why Rhacodactylus is such a popular genera of geckos.

If anyone with some chahoua experience would like to give me some captive care advice, or point me to some good reading on this species, I would greatly appreciate it.

Is this an aggressive species? Can juvies be housed together?
All of my other geckos are housed individually already, so its no big deal, I was just curious.

Im pretty much looking to read anything I can get my hands on pertaining to this species.

Thanks for any help.

11-13-2006, 05:22 PM
Hi Joe,
R. chahoua are a great species. Nice calm, placid gecko often with exceptional markings. They are to be kept just like the other Rhacs i.e Room temp, no need for extra heating or lighting, sprayed once nightly and with plenty of foliage and branches. As you are probably aware they can be fed a mix of crickets and/or other prey items (mine adore roaches) and fruit based baby foods (non citrus). As with Phelsuma height rather than length matters more in the terrarium.

The take somewhat longer to mature than he more common rhacs like ciliatus and are small bit harder to breed but it's more than worth it.

I hope this helps. If you need any more help just holler. They're a great species.

Be sure to take some pics! :wink:

11-13-2006, 08:31 PM
Congrats, I know Sara she has some great animals :D Chahouas are like puppy dogs, mine just chill out on my arm when I clean their cage. You can house a baby in a med. kritter keeper with an adult pair being able to be kept in a 72 qt. sterilite (or similar sized cage). There are numerous basic care sheets out there, but they are basically the same care as aurics, cresteds, etc. Except for needing more space and some minor diet adjustments.

Great species their eyes are amazing ;)

Let us know if you need anything,

Joe Farah
11-13-2006, 10:43 PM
Thanks guys. Yeah, I keep hearing that they become very placid as adults. They caught my eye before I had heard that, but that just makes them cooler.

Heres a pic of the enclosure. He's not in sight. That nocturnal thing makes photographing them so much harder. I've been thinking my Day Geckos are impossible to take good pics of, but I guess I've had it easy this whole time since they are always out in plain sight all day.
Dang. I think I'll vote for a nocturnal species in that photo contest :)


Let me know if I should add or subtract anything. Seriously, I'd like criticizm. The temps are in the low to mid 70's.

Really cool pic Derek. I didnt realize their eyes looked like that. Its crazy.

Preston Cook
11-14-2006, 01:18 AM
I would add some paper towel to the bottom, just so he has some grip.

11-14-2006, 02:47 AM
Hi again, If the chahoua is only a youngster I'd make the setup a little simpler so it's easier for the gecko to catch prey. Other than that it looks great.

Tariq Stark
11-14-2006, 04:48 AM
Im pretty much looking to read anything I can get my hands on pertaining to this species

I've written a 9 page article about R. chahoua. Alas, it is written in dutch (my native tongue). It's divides in several chapters, here is the link: http://rhacodactylus.nl/chahoua/index.php

If you have any specific questions I'd be glad to help you :)


Joe Farah
11-14-2006, 10:37 AM
Ok guys, this is good stuff. I appreciate the suggestions.

Preston - I thought about the paper towels on the bottom. I use them on the bottoms of my Phelsuma enclosures and they're great. I left them out of the chanoua cage because I thought he might enjoy the cool touch of the glass. I'll put some in though.

Justin - I had the enclosure simpler at first and then I kept adding cork bark and stuff because he looked like he could use some more climbing features. The cage is a bit big for such a little guy and I see what you mean about the crickets and stuff getting lost in there... I've only had him a few days now and so far I have been feeding him from forcepts at night instead of just turning insects loose in his cage. This will end soon though and then I'll probably simplify things in there, or make the enclosure smaller.

Tariq - Damn I wish I could read Dutch :) My buddy found a website recently that translates bodies of text from one language to another. Im gonna try to run your care sheet through that thing and hope for the best. I would really REALLY like to read a 9 page care sheet on chahouas!

Thanks again boys.

BTW - Humidity levels? and what about aggression between juvies? Im planning to get a couple more and I want to know if I should house them seperately or if they would be ok together.

11-14-2006, 11:03 AM
Hey Joe,
Ive heard/seen of people keeping juvie chahouas with cresteds and sarsinorums.So i dont think it would be a problem to keep juvies together.But I dont keep any ,so i dont know if its true.

11-14-2006, 03:10 PM
First off Joe, grats on the chahoua. They are easily my favorite rhacodactylus for their docile nature (as mentioned prior) and their inquisitive nature. The cage you put together, though I would've chosen a plant with more branches as to maximize climbable surfaces like a good ficus; looks to be very suitable. Not sure on the species of that rubber plant, but I'd keep an eye for secretions and be careful of any breaking any leaves. I have always stayed away from those type of plants and as soon as I can remember the details of EXACTLY why, I'll let you know. If you have any additional specific care questions, just ask.

Sarah is a cool person and you're be happy you bought that little on off her. If that is a Mainland Chahoua, then I'm pretty sure it came from that pair she's selling. But I'd ask her just to be sure. Doesn't hurt to know lineage especially if you decide to breed them in the future. Best of luck with 'em!

11-14-2006, 09:59 PM
I like to house most of my animals seprately, just to be safe and monitor growth rates etc. though I do house baby cresteds as clutchmates.

Anywho, it shouldn't be a problem if you house 2-3 babies in the same tank as long as you keep an eye on them....same as keeping any other species together.

I would though put them in a smaller cage I house babies in med. sized kritter keepers (just a size reference. I am sure a 10 gallon could easily house 2-3 babys easily, just make sure they have plenty of food and hide spots.

Just mist them down once or twice a day and you will be good, thats what I do and have never had a problem. You don't want it soaking in there all the time ;)

I think your baby came from Saras mainland pair as I think those are her first chahoua babies which hatched while up she was up in Tinley. Ask to make sure but I am 99 percent sure.

Thanks Derek

11-15-2006, 02:23 AM
Congrats with your new animal! R. chahoua is a real nice species!

Tariq ( my boyfriend) keeps two pairs, and we are keeping the hatchlings of 2006 to ourselfs so we can put to getter a third couple R. chahoua next year. I currently raising up two of the baby's.

Normally, we put them in faunaboxes ( critter keepers). Depending on size a 10 of 20 liter faunabox. This year though, I keep them in a terrarium of 40*45*60 (cm) and they seem to do just fine! They are good hunters. I also have a feeding bole. And the fruit obviously does not walk away, so they can always eat that.

There terrarium

Baby 1 between the plant

Baby two on a leave

Tariq Stark
11-15-2006, 06:01 AM
Is this an aggressive species? Can juvies be housed together?
All of my other geckos are housed individually already, so its no big deal, I was just curious.

I haven't found the juveniles agressive towards each other nor have I found big dominance problems. I keep clutchmates together without any problems.

Both juveniles as adult aren't agressive but I'm sure there are exceptions. Males can get a bit pushy towards the females during breedingseason. In this period both males and females vocalize a lot. Females who are defending eggs can be a bit agressive (defensive is a better word I think) (barking and lunging).

Preston - I thought about the paper towels on the bottom. I use them on the bottoms of my Phelsuma enclosures and they're great. I left them out of the chanoua cage because I thought he might enjoy the cool touch of the glass. I'll put some in though.

In all my Rhacodactylus/Eurydactylodes/Uroplatus terraria I use a mixture of peat (sometimes cocopeat) and spagnhum. The spagnhum helps to keep the soil "airy". I find if you don't do this the soil, especially whem kept relatively wet, becomes very dense. Eitherway, every 1-2 weeks I stirr the soil so I can that the soil comes in to contact with the air. This helps to keep the soil "fresh". As long as the ground smells like forestfloor it's ok. When it smells bad it's time to replace it.

To this mixture I add woodlice and other isopods. The woodlice actually make up quite a large portion of my animals diet in the breeding season because they have an excellent calcium-phosphorus ratio (12:1 , Bloodshoofd 2005). Further more I add snails (also a great food source). Springtails and mites whom feed on detritus are always present. These little creatures (springtails) are a very efficient clean-up crew. Some roaches (dubia/craniferr) are also always present. With there clean-up and burrowing activities they help to keep the enclosure clean and bring air in the soil. Rain-earthworms and other worms didn't really work for me. Recently I started breeding tropical isopods (a woodlice species). I'm planning to use them as a foodsource and clean-up crew.

Depending on the size of the tank, amount of soil and the amount of droppings the animals produce (etcetera etctera) I replace the substrate 1-2 times a year. I find that plants also help.

Sorry for the long post. Marlies already told the rest I had to say :) :oops:


Joe Farah
11-16-2006, 11:44 AM
Hey Guys,

Thanks so much for all the help. I am so dang busy with some projects for work now, but hopefully this weekend I can go through this thread and really soak up everything you guys have put out here for me.

Tariq, I've already read part of that caresheet translated from dutch to english and it's awesome! Amazing photos above too.

Thanks again guys,

Tariq Stark
11-17-2006, 06:22 AM
Thanks Joe :D. I really should translate my articles properly. I've written and published quite a lot but is a lot of work to translate it al (and I'm a bit perfectionist).

Have a lot of fun with your chahoua, they're awesome! It'll probably won't be your last,hahaha! :D


12-04-2006, 11:06 PM
So your the one who snagged Crested Lady's little cutie!!
He sure is a looker!! I just love how chewies are slow and calm even as babys, or at least the ones I worked with.

Joe Farah
12-06-2006, 06:32 PM
Yep I got 'em! Now Im hooked and I want more :x

Tariq Stark
12-07-2006, 03:26 AM
Chahoua's are great! Two more hatched here last week :D


Joe Farah
12-07-2006, 10:55 AM
Hey Tariq,

Thanks so much for all your help. I've got the chahoua baby in a much smaller neodesia enclosure and he's doing well. I'll bump him back up into the exoterra once he gets some size.

Oh yeah, and congrats on your new hatchlings!

Take care,