Coleonyx (banded gecko) Genus Care Sheet . . . . . . acpart (Aliza) -- 2016

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Elizabeth Freer

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C. brevis is essentially cared for like a miniature leopard gecko. Below is what I copied from a care sheet I wrote in 2016. Although I don't have any now, I have kept C. variegatus and also C. elegans which needs more humidity than variegatus or brevis.

Coleonyx (banded gecko) Genus
Species, Locale, & Description
The most commonly kept specimens of the Coleonyx genus are C. variegatus ( “Southwest banded gecko” or “Tucson banded gecko”), C. brevis (“Texas banded gecko”), C. mitratus (“Central American banded gecko”) and C. elegans (“Yucatan banded gecko"). They are small (up to 4”-6”) eublepharid, nocturnal geckos native to southwest United States and Central America. Although all species live in rocky, relatively dry habitats, in general C. mitratus and C. elegans prefer a somewhat more humid environment.

1.2 or 1.3 Coleonyx can easily be kept in a 10 gallon equivalent enclosure (20” x 10" x 12” tall).

All Coleonyx enjoy digging and burrowing. They have been successfully kept on Eco Earth's coco fiber substrate, and have also been kept on non-particulate substrates such as paper towels or ceramic tiles. In the latter instance, include a shallow container on the warm end filled with moist coco fiber. That shallow container should approximately equal 1/4-1/3 the enclosure's total floor area. A hide can be placed on top of the coco fiber. Some keepers choose sand as a substrate, but sand is not recommended due to dangers of impaction.

Lighting & Heating
As a nocturnal species, Coleonyx does not require any lighting beyond ambient room lighting. Provide belly heat by using an under tank heater (UTH) that covers approximately 1/3 the enclosure's floor. Maintain a floor temperature of approximately 90*F on the warm end by using a thermostat. Place the UTH on one end of the enclosure to create a heat gradient.

C. variegatus and C. brevis are desert species that benefit from a humid microclimate within the enclosure. To achieve this microclimate use moist coco fiber as described above. If a particulate substrate is planned for the entire enclosure, approximately 1/3 the enclosure should be misted regularly and should include a hide. Regular misting is more important for C. mitratus and C. elegans.

Hide Boxes
Multiple hide boxes are ideal! Place hide boxes in the humid area, the dry area, and on both the warm and cool ends.

Coleonyx should have consistent access to a water bowl.

Coleonyx usually choose a single location for elimination. If desired, place a small piece of paper towel or a small tile in that area to facilitate waste clean up. A bioactive setup can be provided and seeded with isopods in the moist area and dermastid beetles in the drier area as the CUC (Clean Up Crew). The entire enclosure can be regularly cleaned. However as long as waste is removed or eaten by your CUC, it is unnecessary to take apart the enclosure for cleaning. Coco fiber should be monitored for smell and quality. Replace coco fiber as necessary.

Feeding & Supplements
Coleonyx are avid hunters and enjoy live prey including small mealworms, silkworms, hornworms, locusts, crickets, and roaches. Make sure that the prey is not too large for them to consume safely. Feed most insects and worms a decent dry diet 24/7 as well as high calcium/low phosphorus leafy greens on the side. Regularly supplement Coleonyx with plain calcium, vitamin D3, and other appropriate vitamins and minerals.

Coleonyx shed rapidly and regularly and eat their shed skin. They rarely have difficulty removing all the old skin during a shed.

Individual Coleonyx vary greatly in their tolerance for handling. Some will run and hide at any attempt to touch them while others permit limited handling. Due to their small size and speed, only handle them infrequently.

Potential Health Problems
Coleonyx can develop Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD) if not supplemented regularly with calcium and vitamin D3. They may also develop conditions common to many geckos including but not limited to impaction (from ingesting particulate substrate), loss of digits (from incomplete shedding), upper respiratory infections, and eye or mouth infections.

Aliza Artz

[Edited by Elizabeth Freer]

These links share information on Coleonyx from Aliza and other breeders.
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