View Full Version : Looking for Advice: Cyrtopodion scabrum

06-10-2010, 03:46 PM
Hello everyone - I have found myself to be a new gecko wrangler in quite a odd fashion...

I live in Michigan - and last I checked we had no indigenous geckos

Monday, my co-workers claim they spotted a lizard in our server room and it just vanished under a cabinet (we thought they were crazy)

That is until.....yesterday, when I spotted a lizard scamper across the floor of our server room just before I left work. So I armed myself with a flashlight and I followed it.....and I caught the little guy! it's been identified as a Rough-tailed Gecko (Cyrtopodion scabrum)

so without further adieu I will dazzle you with photos.....





Now I just need to figure out what I need to supply him with in regards to food and shelter!

Elizabeth Freer
06-13-2010, 11:07 PM
Hi Argent ~

Dazzled by your photos! Have you tried googling Cyrtopodion scabrum? Some hits came up when I just tried.

06-14-2010, 10:33 AM
Thanks Elizabeth - I have tried web searching but haven't found much actual knowledge on the care and keeping of them. Seems like they are still being studied - which really makes me wonder where the heck the little guy came from.

06-14-2010, 10:26 PM
new pic from tonight


Elizabeth Freer
06-15-2010, 12:06 AM
Hi Argent ~

Just love your photos :yahoo:. Any computer stuff come from his native lands or any co-workers back from there that could have had luggage in which this guy took a free ride to Michigan?

I am glad that you have caught him and have befriended him.

Once in the mid-'90s a local Seattle florist shop called me with a Hemidactylus garnotti stowaway who arrived with some orchids. Raised him from a youngster.

06-15-2010, 06:19 AM
thanks for the compliment Elizabeth - I'm a nature photographer in my free time

we haven't gotten any new computer stuff that he could have stowed away on - but I work for the local Caterpillar dealership - and it's possible he might have come in on some parts shipment or something - that's the only excuse we could think of - that or someone was keeping him as a pet and escaped (but everyone's heard about the gecko I found and no one's said they are missing one yet)

I've got him set up in a 10G tank with some sort of green lizard mat from the pet store, a small water bowl, a log to hide under, and a rock and a green netting to climb on. He's certainly colored up since I got him home and he's been eating quite well - feeding him crickets and mealworms so far (very entertaining to watch him eat) He's just a tiny guy at 3" nose to tip of his tail.

Elizabeth Freer
06-15-2010, 06:48 AM
You are most welcome.

Yes, that's quite the story :).

Nice to hear that he's a good eater. Since he is young be sure to dust his crickets several times a week with a phosphorous-free calcium powder with D3. I like the Rep-Cal brand. He needs this in order to develop strong bones. Otherwise, metabolic bone disease could strike.

You might want to get a spray bottle. Sometimes geckos like to lick water droplets on the glass, plants.

06-15-2010, 08:08 AM
Thanks for the info Elizabeth - I'll see if I can find that Rep-Cal stuff and dust his food. I have a spray bottle, so I'll have to give him a lil mist and see if he likes it

Elizabeth Freer
06-15-2010, 11:19 AM
Hi Paul ~

I would dust his crickets several times a week throughout his first year, then slow down a bit on the dusting.

Sometimes you might have to get the pink label (ultrafine--sticks better) Rep Cal at a reptile show. I know the Beanfarm in Washington State carries it.

06-15-2010, 07:49 PM
Looks like PetSmart carries the pink stuff

Calcium with Vitamins from Rep Cal - Reptile - PetSmart (http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2754048)

I'll have the GF see if they stock it in her store :D

Elizabeth Freer
06-15-2010, 08:32 PM
Nice you found it locally! Go, go, GF :)!

06-16-2010, 06:44 AM
so is there a trick to dusting his crickets and mealworms? do I just toss them all in a bag and give it a shake? use the fairy godmother method and just sprinkle some over their heads?

(BTW - thank you Elizabeth for taking the time to respond to my topic - seems no one else cares or knows anything)

Elizabeth Freer
06-16-2010, 07:09 PM
Paul ~

Perhaps a more specific new thread entitled Advice Sought: Rough-tailed Gecko (Cyrtopodion scabrum) would get some replies? GU does care :).

I am not a fan of mealworms and scarcely have any experience with them. I have heard that crickets offer more protein. Recall that the calcium powder did not "stick" to my mealworms at all because of their tough exoskeleton.

A variation of the "shake and bake" method does work. I take a tall deli cup, say the 32 oz size, or any tall plastic container. Place the ultrafine powder in the bottom and then add the crickets. Swirl the crickets in the powder until they are well-coated. I use a tablespoon-size measuring spoon with the really curved sides to get the crickets out and into the tank. In most of my tanks I use a feeding dish of some sort just to confine the crickets. Your gecko should scarf up the crickets soon. Extra crickets crawling around should be removed, so they don't stress out your gecko. The longer the crickets are in the tank prior to being eaten, the more powder will fall off.

06-17-2010, 10:35 AM
Thanks for the suggestion Elizabeth - guess I just assumed people would read my post and chime in (you're the only one who responded to my introduction post as well)

Guess maybe if I had a more 'popular' gecko I'd get more responses :)

you've been quite a big help though!

I'm thinking of getting one of those fake rock walls for the back of his tank - and I would really like to 'upgrade' from the green reptile mat I have to the bag of desert sand that came with the tank - was told to not to put him in sand yet because he might ingest sand when he tries eating his bugs (because he's young?)

Want to give him more of a 'natural' environment to hang out in :)

06-18-2010, 03:40 PM
impaction is a worry (eating sand), i would defiantly get rid of the reptile mat because it can cetch in there tows and absorbs ura. i would suggest for the time being going with tiles and some type of drift wood. the one sort of care sheet i found suggested a tank with sand (for digging) and lots of rocks. if you do use sand i would use fine play sand like you find in home depo.

Cyrtopodion scaber - Reptile Forums (http://www.reptileforums.co.uk/forums/lizard-care-sheets/131024-cyrtopodion-scaber.html)

06-18-2010, 04:22 PM
Congrats on the find!!

My nactus pelagicus came as stowaways in shipments of fish from Vanuatu. This doesn't surprise me as they seem to have an affinity for dark and moist spaces. When I was there I used to always find them hiding under damn near anything that remained moisture.

the store I used to manage had routine shipments from vanuatu, the marshalls and fiji. we had a variety of Vanuatu geckos roaming free in the 7000 square foot store. the Lepidodactylus escapees even started breeding! The auto parts store next door used to call and ask "why are we finding geckos in our warehouse?"

06-18-2010, 04:33 PM
Hahaha - that's a great story! Its interesting to hear about other random stowaways finding new homes.

Wanderer - I'm guessing you work for a saltwater aquarium store with shipments from Vanuatu, marshalls and fiji (live rock, inverts, and fish I'm guessing)

I also have a 24G AquaPod HQI reef setup in my dining room....

06-18-2010, 05:04 PM
Hahaha - that's a great story! Its interesting to hear about other random stowaways finding new homes.

Wanderer - I'm guessing you work for a saltwater aquarium store with shipments from Vanuatu, marshalls and fiji (live rock, inverts, and fish I'm guessing)

I also have a 24G AquaPod HQI reef setup in my dining room....

yeah it was primarily an aquatics store. I have worked in the saltwater industry for about a decade now. In the mid east, europe, oz and north america. I work for a wholesaler now that specializes in high-end german brands.

Elizabeth Freer
06-19-2010, 05:11 AM
Paul ~

Right now I would use either paper towels or slate for the substrate till your gecko is about one year old. I'll admit this is my bias, but I advise all (especially beginners) to steer clear of any silica-based sand. Check the sand in question out under a magnifier or a microscope. Silica sand has pointy crystals which can accumulate in a gecko's gut and cause impaction. Quartz-based sand has rounded crystals and reduces the possibility of impaction. Even though it is more expensive, I highly recommend geologist Jerry Bergosh's Jurassic Reptile Playsand which he collects from the Utah deserts. It is exceptionally clean and has 100% quartz granules.

06-19-2010, 09:16 AM
Wow - thanks for the move again Elizabeth - as for the ID that I had - it was given to me by someone over on Flickr when I posted my pics of him up there asking for an ID....

If it's wrong - well then - I'd love to find out just what Cicso is :)

EDIT: and I just checked to see what my bag of 'sand' that came with my tank was - and it's actually Desert Blend Lizard Litter - Ground English Walnut Shells

I'm guessing I won't be using this

06-20-2010, 07:45 AM
Good info here: http://www.geckosunlimited.com/community/bent-toed-bow-fingered-geckos-cyrtodactylus/25394-cyrtopodion-scaber.html

They are very easy to keep and can be found all over the Southern US. Likely it arrived on a shipment of good from the South and if that didn't happen recently, the gecko has been hiding a while. From the original pics it looks like it is a little dehydrated which make sense living in a server room.

Check out the Wiki article about Agamura persica and that will give you more details about keeping a gecko like this.

This is a basic desert gecko so care is very easy. They also breed well and the young are pretty robust. One of my favourites.

06-20-2010, 08:25 AM
Thanks Mike! :) he certainly is interesting to observe. I got him a new light fixture today (Zoo Med Terrarium Hood) with a red night bulb and a blue daylight bulb. It's keeping the tank upwards of 85+ now (which I gather is a good thing) and he seems more active now that it's warmer in there. I've noticed now that I should probably get a proper reptile thermometer as the stick on one that was in the tank only goes up to 86 :)

Thanks for everyone's help and information - you've made Cisco a happy gecko!

06-23-2010, 06:23 AM
Latest photo of Cisco - he looks much healthier (quarter for scale)

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs146.snc4/36652_1495252026611_1393385590_31326177_8043511_n. jpg

Elizabeth Freer
06-23-2010, 10:21 AM
Way to go, Cisco! (Excellent job, Paul :))

06-23-2010, 02:52 PM
Thanks - sorry for the crappy shot - I had my cell phone close by - I'll drag the big camera out and see if I can get some new shots :)

06-26-2010, 09:46 AM


Elizabeth Freer
06-26-2010, 04:17 PM
Cisco is lookin' good. Just love your photos, Paul :yikes:!

06-26-2010, 05:17 PM
Thanks Elizabeth :)

07-08-2010, 06:48 AM
Well I must be doing something right :) today I noticed Cisco has gone all pale and is starting to shed!

Is there anything special I should know/do to help with the shed or just leave him be?

Elizabeth Freer
07-08-2010, 03:25 PM
Yeah, Cisco! (I would just stand by and see how it goes. Does he have something in his tank like a rough rock to rub up against if necessary?)

If he sheds completely, no worries. If some old skin remains, he may need a humid hide in the future. I have some ideas for a temporary "humidity chamber".

Good to note earlier that Mike-Spider Gecko had replied to one of the posts on this thread of yours. Perhaps you could PM him for specifics? I wonder how Mike has kept these guys in the past?

Well I must be doing something right :) today I noticed Cisco has gone all pale and is starting to shed!

Is there anything special I should know/do to help with the shed or just leave him be?

07-15-2010, 08:50 AM
Well by the time I got home - he had finished shedding

he's certainly colored (and plumped!) up since I brought him home....

Elizabeth Freer
07-15-2010, 03:26 PM
Good job, Cisco, on your shed! You must like it in Michigan :).

07-15-2010, 04:13 PM
Of course now I want a crested gecko too!

and maybe a bearded dragon! :yikes:

Elizabeth Freer
07-15-2010, 07:22 PM
That's good :D...go, Paul, go! Cresteds are very nice, easy, room temp geckos. Once they drop their tails, they do not regenerate. Can be a bit skittish... Have a crested, never a beardie.

07-16-2010, 03:59 AM
beardies have their own set of needs, but with that comes great personalities.

glad to see cisco is doing better!

07-19-2010, 04:19 PM
yeah - I've been reading that beardies get BIG - meaning I need a BIG tank - which I don't have room for :(

01-31-2011, 05:43 PM
I'm sad to say that this evening when I returned home from work I found poor Cisco dead.

Farewell my friend, for I believe you lived a greater life at my house than you would have under the floors of my server room so far away from your real home.

You will be missed :'(

Elizabeth Freer
01-31-2011, 09:56 PM
Paul ~

I am sorry to hear of Cisco's passing. He was a good gecko. You gave him the best home away from home!

02-24-2012, 04:41 PM
I just got a pair of these guys myself, they were labeled as croc geckos!