View Full Version : (Underwoodisaurus Milii) Caresheet

04-08-2012, 05:31 AM
Formerly Underwoodisaurus Milii Caresheet

General Introduction:
Nephrurus Milii grow to a size of anywhere from 13-15cm and weigh anywhere from 15-22 gram’s. Quite often or not people have heard of these gecko’s before, but not thought twice as most people refer to them as other names. U. Milii, N. Milii, Thick tailed gecko, aussie barking gecko, barking gecko, they can be found around almost all of Australia.

Adult U, milii are relatively easily sexable. With great google ability and eye sight you will notice males generally have thicker body structures, the most easiest way to sex them is males will have hemipenal bulges at the base of the tail that are obviously lacking in a female. Sexing juveniles is difficult until they reach atleast 6-10 months of age.

U, milii geckos living in captivity can live anywhere from 8-10 years of age. Breeding females peak at about 5 or so years of age.

Natural Habitat:
Of the many gekkonid species endemic to the wild parts of Australia, the underwoodisaurus have generated an awesome amount of popularity in the reptile community of Australia. They have found all over the entire continent of Australia in a variety of habitats, Generally speaking they are found in semi-arid scrublands, Rocky cliff faced scrub areas are where I seen the most.

Caging and housing for this gecko is quite easy and simple. I find they can thrive in a very basic setup. a 5 to 10 gallon tank (I personally prefer 10gal+) would suffice for a single gecko. Most say each gecko should be housed separately to ensure there is no competition for food water etc, I find as long as your not housing 2 males together things are okay, though it’s up to you. I suppose do the right thing and house them separately then you can be sure there is no competition. For substrate you can use paper towel, sand or some sort of slate tile of sorts.(NEVER AND I REPEAT NEVER USE CALCIUM BASED SAND FOR SUBSTRATE.. YOU DO NOT WANT YOUR GECKO USED TO EATING SAND) Paper towel is preferred over sand as it is easier to clean and for prevention of health issues, such as impaction. Heat should be given on one side of the enclosure or some part of the enclosure so the geckos can get some heat if they are feeling cold. Place a water dish in there halfway in the tank between the hot and cold side. From personal experience exact temperature of the tank is not relative as long as its within reason. (not too hot as it would harm your gecko). I have my warm end set around the 27-28 degrees in the warmer months and they seem to be thriving in it.

These geckos are not exposed to natural light cycles being as they are nocturnal. This can easily replicated or closely done by utilising a 40w fluorescent tube connected to a digital timer.
These geckos have incredible sight though as a personal preference I use a 25w blue globe located on the lid of their enclosure to help with lighting that would occur from the moon. (helps with catching of prey and water etc.) These geckos are easily heat stressed so I make sure not to overheat there tanks. During the summer months tanks can be kept at around 23-28 degrees Celsius dropping to the mid to low 20s over night. During winter I let the temperatures drop especially during the night trying to keep them as natural as possible. Nights would drop to a minimum of 10degrees Celsius and day times still getting a good around 18-20degrees Celsius. The best way I have found so far to heat these tanks is by buying a heat cable. Can be easily and cheaply purchased online (search ebay) my 12m cable cost me $35 including postage. With this heat cable I first taped it to the underside of the tank but eventually went out and brought a router and routed into a piece of mdf for the cable to lay in. With the mdf piece sittig flush on the bottom of the tank it heats the selected areas of the tank you have chosen by routing the mdf.

As these geckos are nocturnal
Adult Male geckos should be given around 3-5 dusted crickets every other day. Adult female geckos can be given as many crickets as they can eat every second night(I have found thats anywhere from 3-10 medium crickets) Feeding the females during breeding season is important. During this time try to feed the females every night starting about 5 days before breeding season begins. Keep this feeding up until about 1-2 weeks after the last clutch is laid. I’ve found feeding pinkies to my females during breeding season has not been successful so save the money and keep them on their dusted crickets. I use repti-cal to dust my crickets as it gives them great nutrients they would otherwise miss out on in captivity, Simply by putting a bit of repti-cal in a container adding a few crickets and gently shaking the container to lightly dust the crickets with the supplement. Also I have heard many people like to sprinkle gutload on their crickets food as to promote a strong and healthy and nutritional food for their gecko’s. Do not keep your geckos on a diet of mealworms as they are hard for them to digest and could kill your gecko. Crickets are best with sometimes giving them treats of mealworms once a month or so they can also eat various other insects and bugs.
I would also like to add that I’m not sure if people agree with this but I find my geckos quite like earwigs and I cannot find any reason why not to allow them to eat them.

Water and watering are easy I keep a shallow water container halfway in the tank between the cool and the warm side of the tank. Mist the tank once a week on the cool side try not to saturate the cool side of the tank just a light to medium mist is fine.

Breeding usually occurs after a brumation period of about 2 months. In the late of September breeding can begin. People recommend introducing the female to the males cage as they are more readily to breed but I find introducing him to hers is just as good. Once introduced the males so just about instantly be on the chase for the female with eventually her giving up and being pinned to the ground by the male with her tail in the air. If you find the female is just not going to give in and the male backs off and hides. Take him out and re-introduce him with her in about a week’s time, continue this until the female is bred. Once this has happened make sure there is a spot for her to lay her eggs. (I generally already have 2 moist hides in the tank already as to help with shedding throughout the year) I have one at either end one in the cold side and one on the warm side. Moist hides can easily be made by using a simple zip lock container with a hole cut in either the sides or on the lid. (I cut mine on the lid as I bury the moist hide for more privacy, it encourages her in there more) fill the container with about 2-3 inches of vermiculite and mist with a mister as to not make the hide too wet. I find if the hide is too wet she will spend barely any time in there. In about anywhere from 2-6 weeks she should have laid her first clutch. They can generally lay an average of 5 clutches or so over the span of about 4-10 months. Remove the eggs from the moist hide and prepare for incubation.(read the incubation section for preparation of incubation and proper removal of eggs.)

Preparing the eggs for incubation is quite easy, the following method is what I use to prepare and incubate my gecko eggs.
When I think there are eggs in the moist hide I get a paint brush (new brush and or very clean and sanitized.) and gently brush away at the vermiculite in the moist hides. If there are eggs you will reveal them quite easily with gently brushing at the top layers of vermiculite. Before you fully reveal the eggs grab a marker of some sort like a highlighter or texta and mark the top of the egg. When you remove the egg from the vermiculite moist hide DO NOT and I repeat do not turn these eggs if you do it will kill them. With an incubator already set up place the eggs inside the incubator in the exact position you took them out of the moist hide with the marking you made earlier from ontop of the egg still on top now. The rest is just a waiting game. Eggs can take anywhere from 45-70 days to hatch and I have heard of healthy hatchies hatching up to the 100 day mark. Studies have shown that incubation temperatures can be a deciding factor to the sex of the gecko hatchling. Keeping the incubator at a rate of mid 80 degrees Fahrenheit (85-86) you should receive a ratio of %50 male %50 female. Higher temps will decide males and lower temps will decide females. Remember to make a note of when the eggs were laid and put into the incubator. Watch out for Mould growing on the eggs as it is a sign of a dud egg and you would want to remove it as soon as detected as not to effect the other eggs. Do not forget to open up the container in the incubator (if eggs are placed in a sealed container) once a week to give the eggs some fresh air.
If you have no idea about incubators go onto YouTube and search “DIY home made reptile incubator” If you have brought an incubator. Make sure it does not have the automatic egg turner function as it will kill the eggs. Also hovabator incubators should not have turbo fan as it will dry out the eggs. I will post a link to a video I used to make my first incubator later.

Hatchling care:
Caring for the gecko hatchlings is quite easy, once they have hatched open up the incubator and place them in roughly a 7-10 litre container. I use a KLIP IT 7 litre container with a lid that clips on to become air tight brought from bigw for $10, of course I put ventilation holes in the lid and sides for fresh air for the gecko. Substrate used should be paper towel kept moist so the geckos can lick and get water. After about 2-10 days they will start feeding some as early as 2 days will feed. Feed them small crickets dusted in repti-cal DO NOT give any hatchling free 24/7 source to calcium powder as it can result in an overdose I have seen this happen!! Hatchlings should be fed every day to every other day mine have always tend to feed every second day of about 2-4 small crickets. After around 2-3 months I move the hatchlings onto normal substrate with a small container of water (bottle lid) and still mist the container once a week. I often find the hatchlings do the same as the adult and more than not lick the droplets on the side of the tank when I mist more than drinking from the water bowl. Once the age of around 6-8 months have been reached you can generally sex the hatchlings. I keep all hatchlings housed individually as to easily take care of them monitor them individually and make sure there is no competition over food.

My refrences were mainly most of the users of this website and other reptile websites in the noob section and from my own personal knowledge of works well with my geckos.

if you have any questions at all dont hesitate to ask or if you feel something is wrong ask me about it. if you want something added aswell pm me and credit will be given where credit is due.