African Fat-tailed Gecko (Hemitheconyx caudicinctus)
African Fat-tailed Geckos are small lizards with red and black bands and a white stripe down their backs. They will grow up to 8-10 inches long from the tip of their snout to the end of their tail. Males have “V”-shaped pre-anal pores and hemipenal bulges that are absent in females. These lizards can live up to 15 years if taken care of properly. They are a good lizard for beginner reptile owners since they are hardy and fairly easy to care for.
Habitat and Tank Requirements:
This species is native to West Africa.
Adult geckos do well with most substrates, while juveniles should have newspaper, paper towel, or reptile carpet as a substrate. Be sure to put enough plants, rocks, and wood in the tank for your lizard to hide in and climb on.
One adult African Fat-tailed only needs a 10-15 gallon tank. They can be kept in groups of 2 or 3 in a 30-40 gallon tank. Keep only one male per tank, as they will fight. A screen cover is recommended for your tank, as it allows better airflow and heating.
A comfortable temperature for these lizards is around 75-80º F during the day with a slight drop at night. LEDs or other low-wattage light bulbs work best for maintaining these temperatures. A small heat pad is recommended for basking.
Your tank should have a small, shallow bowl of water that is cleaned daily. This is for your lizard to drink from as well as wade in. Some lizards won’t drink from a bowl. In this case some sort of dropper is recommended. Spray the tank with a mister every 2-3 days.
African Fat-tailed will feed on small crickets, fruit flies, mealworms, wax worms, and any other insect small enough for them to ingest. It is recommended that food be dusted with calcium to prevent bone softening.
Allow your lizard time to become accustomed to its new home before handling them extensively. Handling them little by little over a period of time lets the animal get used to you and reduces stress.