View Full Version : Ptyodactylus/fan-footed geckos, in French with notes in English

05-24-2015, 04:22 AM

These are my personal notes and quick guidelines; users of the Google Chrome Internet browser can use the translation function, or online translators. I encourage people who want alternative choices other than the usual species recommended for beginners to show such species some interest.

They are display geckos only, no handling. Not requiring much space, hardy and not difficult to keep, active during the day and somehow during the night, not requiring to focus on humidity and not that difficult to breed once you have acquired some experience.

Often available in pet stores as imports, for cheap prices (US$ 15-50), no CITES documents needed, some CBB also available both in the US and Europe.

UVB 10% required, preferrably through neon bulbs (Zoomed, Arcadia, JBL...). These UVB bulbs lose their UVB output over time, they should be changed every 6 months.

They vocalize all (gentle bird-like sound, not a problem in a bedroom), are resistant to brutal temperature variations and a wide temp range.

Very fast, though not as fast as Phelsuma and other day geckos.

Of course purchasing CBB animals is preferrable, especialy for beginners.

Can live 10-15 years and maybe more under appropriate husbandry condition and abundant, frequent feeding.

No obvious sexual dimorphism as far as I know, males don't have pores but do have bulges, these bulges are smaller than those on a crested gecko though.

The genus is widespread from the Near East to the whole of North Africa, the Arabic peninsula, Israel and Jordan, South to Togo and Cameroon. All live in rocky environments on cliffs, boulders and inside houses. The genus belongs to Phyllodactylidae.

They climb glass, rocky surfaces and walls very rapidly and almost never stay on the ground unless they are in a very poor condition.

Very territorial, females can be housed together provided you double the minimum enclosure size and multiply hides.

All species of the genus can be kept with the same parameters.

Lots of variations within the same species, not mixing localities when you are able to know them is a wise choice.

Terrarium size from 12"x12"x18" for the smaller species (5-6" full length) in pairs, no males together, no juveniles with the adults, 18x18x24" for the largest species.

Small water dish at all times and rocks, the substrate must be kept dry and it could be about any sort of substrate provided there are no added chemicals. These species hardly venture on the ground. No other decoration needed, fake plants can be used to provide some shadow and sheltering though.

Branches are useless, they won't use them. Flat rocks only, moist hide not even required, though it doesn't hurt to have one per enclosure, f.e. a clay flowerpot with a hole just barely big enough to let them in and out of it. Don't use styrofoam or resin terrarium backgrounds (poor heat conductors), use natural slate, or flat rocks stuck to glass on all 3 vertical walls. Use silicon sealer sold in pet stores for fish tanks to stick stones to glass. This sealer requires to be used in a well-ventilated area as it emits some toxic substances while drying up. Allow up to 3 days of drying up prior to using it for geckos.

Temps in the upper 60 to lower 70 at night, basking spot 95-110F, cooler end 85ish. Heating through bulbs only, standard supermarket ones will do! No need to heat from below.

8 hours of heating and lighting in the winter months, 14 hours in summer with gradual variations, for example 30 minutes per week during intermediate seasons. Brumation: 2 months at room temps.

Mine take little interest in roaches but adults shall be fed 2-3 times weekly with about 10 adult crickets per animal. Dusting and gutloading prey on every feeding is important.

Hard-shelled eggs, stuck to stones. Don't try to remove them from stones. Can be incubated inside the enclosure or transfer the rocks in an incubator with 40-60% hygrometry and temps around 85F. As far as I know, TSD has not been proven in these species.

Spraying the enclosure once a week lightly with lukewarm water is beneficial for these geckos. Not spraying them at all is not a problem unless they are dehydrated fresh imports.

The rumor saying parents care about their own youngs is partly true. I have seen sometimes parents bringing food to hatchlings, though parents will eat their own youngs if you leave them together, so it's not a good idea at all to raise parents and their offsprings together.

All of them can go from a light to very dark coloration, depending on heat, stress level and other factors. A stressed out animal will always look dark. Seeing their ribs is not abnormal, as long as the belly is a little plump. Seeing the spine is NOT normal. They are naturaly emaciated species. Don't mix them with other geckos. Healthy adults should have bodies at least 3/4" wide. Under this, it's not safe to buy them.

In the wild, they often lay eggs inside the same rock crack and several females may stick their eggs on a very limited space. Provided they find enough food, they have a very small territory and do not need large enclosures. They will spend hours basking and can then be easily observed, though they will quickly retreat under cover when disturbed.

100% of imports carry intestinal worms and some also have mites. This is why imports should only be purchased with keepers already familiar with acclimating wild-caught geckos. CBB ones will be perfect for beginner to intermediate keepers.

The hatchlings are very large compared to the adult size, about 2" at birth with tail for the smaller species, 3" for the larger ones. They grow quicly inside individual terrariums with food 4-5 times/week. Such enclosures shall always have an UVB source and are miniature versions of those used for adults. One 8"x8"x12" glass tank per juvenile.

Again, they are ideal for anyone wanting a species different from what is seen everywhere and very easy to keep. Provided you buy CBB animals+ a new terrarium+ good quality UVB lighting, the starting budget should be below the $ 150-200 range (about the same in euros). If you buy a second-hand terrarium, it will be even cheaper. No difficulties to find the eggs, not even the need to build or buy an incubator. No multiple tanks if you want to keep a pair or 1:2. No worries if it can get very warm in summer where you live. People from the Mediterranean shores or the warmest places in the US may even keep them in outside flexariums during the summer months!


Above: P. togoensis (click to enlarge)


Above: P. guttatus, typical form imported from Egypt. (click to enlarge)

No artificially color morphs exist in captivity. I am unaware of any albino wild individual.

07-06-2016, 05:26 AM
Hi there thanks for the info. I just have adopted a fan-footed from petco 5 days ago and he is Darker skinned and wont climb the sides of the tank or eat. Now im thinking... well hoping that he is just trying to get acclimated to his new home but they had told me his back story so im a little worried that it may be more than that what do you think?