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  1. #1
    T-ReXx's Avatar
    T-ReXx is offline Junior member
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    Post NEW Tokay Gecko Caresheet


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    Just wrote a new care sheet on Tokay Geckos, tried to post it in the care sheet section but kept getting an error. So here it is. Let me know what you all think.

    TOKAY GECKO CARE SHEET

    Gekko gecko

    Tokay Geckos are among the largest gecko species in the world. They are beautiful, intelligent, and often misunderstood reptiles that are fairly easy to keep and exhibit many interesting behaviors. Wild Type Tokays have a background color of dark-to-light purple-to-bluish color combined with a pattern of orange/orange-red spots and blotches. Tokay geckos have been kept in captivity for decades and are available in many beautiful morphs. Often labeled as a "pet store fodder" species, they are rewarding and hardy captives that will breed readily if kept in the correct environment. They work well in large planted vivaria and will not dig up or destroy plant life. If you want a large gecko that will work well as a display lizard and don't mind not handling your animal, tokays are an excellent choice.

    Size/Selection:
    Tokay geckos are large, some adult males reach 14 inches in complete length. They are heavy bodied with large heads and strong jaws. Despite their size, Tokays are fast moving and agile animals. Healthy individuals will appear well filled-out with clear eyes and unblemished skin with raised, bump-like scales along the dorsal area. Healthy animals have clean bright red-to-orange mouths and nostrils free of running liquid or bubbles.

    Geography:
    Tokay Geckos are native to Bangladesh, India, Southern China and Southeast Asia. The have been introduced to Hawaii and Florida via the pet trade. These hardy lizards can survive anywhere temperatures and humidity are high enough and there is adequate prey. In their native areas Tokays frequent houses, where they are welcomed as signs of good luck and eaters of pest insects.

    Sexing:
    Sexing Tokay Geckos can be difficult. Males tend to be larger with a heavier head/jaws. Both sexes have pre-anal pores, but those of males are more prominent and often exude a waxy pheremone used to mark territory. Young tokays can be accurately sexed at 4-6 months of age by looking for these pores with a 10x magnifying glass. Males also sometimes have visible hemipenal bulges at the base of the tale. If you are in doubt of the sexes of your tokays, DO NOT house them together, males of this species are extremely territorial and they will fight, with potentially fatal results. Females are more tolerant, but there can still be some degree of intra-female aggression, especially if a male/eggs are present.

    Natural Habitat:
    Tokay Geckos prefer lush, hot, tropical forests. They spend their days hidden in hollow tree limbs or under loose large sections of bark, emerging at night to hunt for prey and find mates. Plants are highly recommended with this species, either plastic or live, to provide the sense of security that these animals need to thrive.

    Longevity:
    In the wild tokays live an average of 2-5 years. In captivity they can live 10-20 years with proper care.

    Heat/Humidity:
    Tokay geckos require hot, humid conditions with adequate air flow. An ambient temperature of 80-85F with a 85-95F basking spot is optimal during the day, night drops by 10 degrees are tolerated well. Humidity should be in the 70% range, with daily misting to allow fluctuations to mimic natural rain cycles. Although these geckos can tolerate humidity drops into the 40% range, it can cause problems with shedding, especially with juveniles and hatchlings. The best forms of heat for Tokays are incandescent bulbs during the day with a red or blue low wattage(25-60) bulb for night viewing/heat if required. Under the tank heating isn't as effective with this species, as it is highly arboreal and will not come in contact with ground heat sources regularly. The author has had success with Heat Cable wrapped around branches within the enclosure as well. These nocturnal animals do not require UV lighting. A 12 hour light cycle with a 14 on/10 off change during the summer can stimulate breeding. Heavy misting will also encourage animals to breed. A timer is the easiest way to regulate lighting.

    Feeding:
    Tokay geckos are big eaters. They will consume almost anything that attracts their attention and that they can over power. Crickets and roaches make the best staple diets, with silkworms or large moths or locusts for variety. Be sure any wild collected insects are pesticide free. Some animals will take pinkie mice(1 day to 1 week old) and this is a good way to fatten up thin animals. Avoid meal worms/super worms, these larval insects are low in nutritional value and often refused due to their inactive nature. Adult Tokay Geckos will consume 10-20 prey per feeding, with feeding every other day being optimal. Insects should be no longer than the animals head. Hatchlings and growing juveniles are best fed daily for optimum growth. Hatchlings usually consume 5-10 appropriate sized prey per sitting. Prey insects should be gut loaded high quality food at least 24 hours before being offered. A high quality Calcium supplement should be dusted on insects every other feeding for growing animals and two-three times a week for adults. Breeding females should have 24 hour access to calcium supplement in a shallow dish. Many Tokays are fond of fruit and will consume fruit based baby foods, ripe bananas, peaches, or melon, or Crested Gecko Diet if it is available. These foods are to be used as occasional variety and should not replace an insect diet. Fruit foods should be removed after 36 hours to prevent mold/pests.

    Housing:
    Tokays are large, active geckos. A minimum of 18"X12"X18" is needed for a single adult, with more space highly advised. These territorial animals need more space if kept in pairs or groups, with a area of 24"X18"X24" optimal for a pair. This is not to say you can't make the cage bigger, bigger is better and the animals will use the space. Don't house male tokay geckos together and be careful mixing females, some will fight. Provide at least two hide areas, one in the cooler area and one nearer the basking spot. This allows these secretive animals to thermoregulate and still remain hidden. Large branches, pieces of cork bark or drift wood should be provided as perches. Plants, either life, fake, or both are required for these animals to feel at home. There are many safe plant species, choose some with large leaves and that do well in low-light conditions. Snake Plants, Pothos, Crotons, Bromeliads and Philedendrons are some popular choices. Open space is not as important as these lizards prefer to remain out of sight usually. PVC pipe or bamboo(2" diameter for adults) make excellent shelters and often are used as egg sites. Provide a water dish with clean water. Misting is important as most tokay geckos will not drink standing water. Mist twice a day or more often to maintain humidity. Substrate can be paper towels or newspaper for an easier setup, or a more natural substance like cypress mulch, perlite-free potting soil, peat moss, sphagnum moss, or coconut fiber. If using a natural substrate, use a drainage layer of gravel or expanded clay pellets to prevent saturation of the substrate. Bioactive substrates can remain in place for years is properly maintained.

    Breeding:
    Tokay geckos are good breeders in captivity. If all conditions are right, they will often produce eggs without any cycling. Adults should be kept in pairs, trios can work but females may eat each others' eggs and/or fight. Misting more heavily and providing longer light periods in the spring can often trigger reluctant breeders. Be careful when pairing animals, some tokays just don't like each other. Once a pair has mated they are bonded and replacing either animal or adding others can be difficult, if not impossible. Once bonded tokays will often breed regularly year round, with clutches of two eggs produced as often as every 2 months.

    Incubation:
    Male tokays guard the eggs and often hatchlings so be careful when working around a male on duty. Gestation is around 30 days, with usually a pair of eggs glued in a spot chosen by the female. If glued in place in your vivarium don't try to move the eggs, they are fragile. Simply cover them with some gauze or a small plastic deli cup with a few holes punched for ventilation and leave them, they will usually incubate fine in the vivarium. Eggs glued to removable cage furniture or, rarely, laid loose can be carefully removed and incubated at 78-87F and will hatch in 30-200 days depending on temperature. Temperature based sex determination has not been proven in Tokay geckos, but is possible. More research is required.

    Hatchlings:
    Young tokay geckos are miniature versions of the adults. Set up babies individually or in clutch mate pairs in small(5 gal) vivaria. Provide the same environment as the adults. Feed hatchlings daily, with careful watching of grouped babies to avoid competition between siblings. Separate any incompatible animals. Young tokays grow fast with adequate food and heat, some will reach sexual maturity within 9 months. Females should be at least a year in age before being bred. Captive bred animals are generally calmer and easier to work with, and although many babies will bite, it is less painful than the bite of an adult.

    Conclusion:
    If you are interested in a tame Tokay gecko then start young. A Captive bred baby is the best way to go. Wild caught tokays are usually aggressive ad have high parasite loads and are best left to more experienced hobbyists. Handle young tokays for short(15 min) periods daily to build trust and gain the animal's confidence. Don't grab it, allow the gecko to climb onto your hand. Aggressive or flighty animals should be moved with a light bird or fish net. Tokays can be tamed, I have done so several times, but these animals prefer not to be handled and true enthusiasts will respect their wishes and instead appreciate them as outstanding display animals.
    There are several morphs of tokay in development and many as of yet unproven. The more common are Albino, CoDominant Green, Powder Blue Patternless, Olive Patternless, Calico, Leucistic and Melanistic. Most morphs of these usually cheap geckos can be expensive as tokays are not firmly established in the captive bred animal trade. Careful breeding and time and dedication should produce some outstanding animals.
    Last edited by T-ReXx; 08-20-2009 at 07:24 PM.
    Gekko, Uroplatus, Blaesodactylus, Phelsuma, Morelia
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  2. #2
    tokeh's Avatar
    tokeh is offline Newbie
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    nice care sheet,
    if you don't mind i might use some of your info on my site, i want to make my site as complete as possible and i also use a lot of personal tips from people because no tokah is the same. my site is still in dutch but i'm working on a english version.
    Gekko Gecko
    jeffrey
    1.1 gekko gecko

    www.tokay-gecko.com
    bringing tokay minded people together
    if you have nice pics for my site plaese mail them to me

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    1.2.0 Pogona Vitticeps (bearded dreagon)
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  3. #3
    lammergeier is offline Newbie
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    Default pairing

    hi sir can i pair a much larger female to my male tokay?

  4. #4
    Riverside Reptiles's Avatar
    Riverside Reptiles is offline Geckos Unlimited Admin
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    Quote Originally Posted by lammergeier View Post
    hi sir can i pair a much larger female to my male tokay?
    Lammerdeier, it's best if you start your own threads when asking questions. You'll tend to get a better response. In any case, it's usually advised that when housing tokay together that they be of similar size. Females can be aggressive just like males and one that is much larger than its cage mate certainly could do some damage to the other.
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    To ALL GU members, please take the time to look through old threads and/or use the search feature BEFORE asking questions. GU is a huge archive of information and most of the info that you're looking for is already there just waiting for you to find it.
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  5. #5
    PurpleHeyze is offline Newbie
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    Quote Originally Posted by T-ReXx View Post
    Housing:
    Tokays are large, active geckos. A minimum of 18"X12"X18" is needed for a single adult, with more space highly advised. These territorial animals need more space if kept in pairs or groups, with a area of 24"X18"X24" optimal for a pair. This is not to say you can't make the cage bigger, bigger is better and the animals will use the space. Don't house male tokay geckos together and be careful mixing females, some will fight. Provide at least two hide areas, one in the cooler area and one nearer the basking spot. This allows these secretive animals to thermoregulate and still remain hidden. Large branches, pieces of cork bark or drift wood should be provided as perches. Plants, either life, fake, or both are required for these animals to feel at home. There are many safe plant species, choose some with large leaves and that do well in low-light conditions. Snake Plants, Pothos, Crotons, Bromeliads and Philedendrons are some popular choices. Open space is not as important as these lizards prefer to remain out of sight usually. PVC pipe or bamboo(2" diameter for adults) make excellent shelters and often are used as egg sites. Provide a water dish with clean water. Misting is important as most tokay geckos will not drink standing water. Mist twice a day or more often to maintain humidity. Substrate can be paper towels or newspaper for an easier setup, or a more natural substance like cypress mulch, perlite-free potting soil, peat moss, sphagnum moss, or coconut fiber. If using a natural substrate, use a drainage layer of gravel or expanded clay pellets to prevent saturation of the substrate. Bioactive substrates can remain in place for years is properly maintained.
    Surely the minimum tank size you've recommended for an adult is far to small as that's like the minimum size for a crested gecko as far as I've read. Just wondering I mean I haven't ever owned a Tokay but plan to in the future but I plan to get a tank that's a minimum of 18"x18"x(24" - 36") alos just wondering because otherwise if they can grow up to 14" like you said then when it lays down on one side it wouldn't fit

  6. #6
    billewicz's Avatar
    billewicz is offline Senior Member
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    Hello,

    A couple of things to consider for your care sheet.

    1) Incubation time is 90 to 200 days, not 30. A typo I suspect.

    2) Eggs are laid every 3 to 4 weeks, typically about 26 days apart, not two months. A typical reason for a delay in between eggs is if you disturb the egg laying site or remove the original egg laying site all together. Both of which is a bad idea in most cases in my opinion.

    3) I really must disagree with the notion of heating only from above or a 'hot spot', or zone. Tokay do not bask. Their entire environment needs to be within their normal requirements, not just a small area.

    In contrast I have found that the addition of under heat has two benefits. The enclosure is heated more evenly, and the saturated substrate is dried out some between the heavy mistings required to keep the humidity up.

    Since most of the living Tokay available for some time now have come from Indonesia, why not look to their weather for guidance. First, they are a tropical set of Pacific islands that have two seasons.

    The climate changes every six months. The dry season (June to September) is influenced by the Australian continental air masses; the lowest humidity is 73%. During the rainy season (December to March), which is the result of the Asian and Pacific Ocean air masses, the air contains vapor which precipitates and produces rain almost daily. The humidity during the rainy season is well into the high 80 percentile. Well above the 70% you have posted.

    4) As other have noted, specifying enclosures at 18" tall will be fine for juvenile Tokay, but young adults will need 24" in vertical area in their first year. After that, Long term adults will need 30"+ to navigate comfortably.

    I think it's only fair to tell would-be first time Tokay owners up front what they will need for housing so they can decide whether they will purchase or build in steps over time, or save on the total investment and buy/build one enclosure.

    5) As to UVB lighting. Tokay will hunt well into the morning and start early into the evening giving them some exposure to natural sunlight. My experience has shown that providing 2.0 UVB lighting has produced healthy, brighter colored Tokay than if they do not have any exposure. (You know humans can live a very long time without direct sunlight but for the most part they do not tend to be very healthy or happy. Just a thought.)

    ____________

    I do appreciate you taking the time to share your care sheet. All the best and enjoy your Tokay.

    Michael's Tokay Hoard

  7. #7
    Noobske's Avatar
    Noobske is offline Newbie
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    I have had contact with a biologist in the past and concerning enclosure size, this is what he told me:

    the internet is dominated by the US philosophy of herp husbandry, one tendency of which is to be very cheap with providing space and which I can not subscribe to.
    In the end, tokays are agile one footers which have to spend decades in their respective enclosures. They can be pretty active at night and run as well as jump a lot if given the opportunitiy. .As the minimum size for an adult pair I thus recommend 100 x 50 x 120 cm {40"x20"x48"}, which is in line with what most senior German herpetoculturists recommend. Still, such a comparably small setup needs a thorough structuration and is far more a minimum setup than a generous one.
    I had a pair of tokays in an enclosure of that size and gave them away, because of the difference in behaviour to their conspecifics living in larger (100x80x175cm {40"x32"x70"}and 260x80x220cm{102"x32"x86"}) tanks. They did just not show their full potential of agility and increased intraspecific aggression in the smaller tank..
    On the other hand I do keep G. smithii in the same neclosure now, because to my experience, they are much more sit and wait lizards than the more actively roaming tokays.
    This is my opinion on the topic, which is shared by most of the german enthusiast.
    Clearly tokays survive decades and are quite prolific in way smaller tanks. But they never show their full behaviour.
    You can adhere to different philosophies, but after being a biologist and a herper since more than 40 years, this is mine.
    Last edited by Noobske; 11-17-2012 at 07:12 PM. Reason: added sizes in inches
    1.0.0 Pogona Vitticeps (Jack)
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  8. #8
    billewicz's Avatar
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    Yes, six foot tall enclosures would be far better for Tokay. I have pairs that are loose in each of the reptile rooms, (for cricket cleanup), and they are active, vibrant and healthy.

    But they do not seem any better off as to health, weight, color or breeding production than any pair that I have in 36" tall enclosures. They tend to nest in the exact same place and make a B-line for the area where the crickets tend to hangout. I find their droppings in the exact same place and can find them at night usually in the same place they have picked to observe their territory.

    When most of us answer the common enclosure 'size' question, we almost always start out by saying, "Bigger is better!" And then we will give bare minimums as they relate to commercially available enclosures.

    Yes, they do cruise about but I've noticed they stay to their beaten path.

    __________________________

    Thanks for your friends perspective.

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