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Chinese Cave Gecko – SUPER care sheet

The Chinese Cave Gecko (Goniurosaurus luii) is a small, nocturnal lizard native to China, specifically in the provinces of Fujian and Guangdong. It is also known as the “Pearl Cave Gecko” due to its pearly white spots and stripes that adorn its dark brown to black body.

Chinese Cave Geckos are relatively small, reaching an average length of 8-10 centimeters. They have a flattened body, a short tail, and large eyes with vertical pupils, which aid them in hunting at night. These geckos are primarily insectivores, feeding on a variety of insects and other small invertebrates.

One of the distinctive features of Chinese Cave Geckos is their ability to shed their tail as a defense mechanism against predators. The detached tail continues to wriggle, distracting the predator while the gecko makes a quick escape. The tail will eventually regenerate, although it may not be as long or vibrant in color as the original.

Chinese Cave Geckos are becoming increasingly popular as pets due to their small size and unique appearance, but it’s important to ensure that any pet Chinese Cave Gecko has been legally and ethically sourced. As with all pets, they require appropriate care and attention to ensure they thrive in captivity.

Origin

The Goniurosaurus luii, more commonly known as the Chinese Cave Gecko, is endemic to China, more especially the provinces of Fujian and Guangdong. It has a pretty limited distribution, and the only places in these regions where it can be found are in a few isolated pockets here and there. In its native environment, the gecko lives in rocky places, where it may seek refuge in the cracks and caverns that naturally occur in the rock. The climate in these regions is generally subtropical, and the terrain is often wooded.

It is thought that the Chinese Cave Gecko has been around for millions of years and has evolved into its current shape as a result of adapting to its rocky and wooded surroundings. This species of gecko is a member of the Goniurosaurus genus, which also contains a number of other gecko species that are indigenous to China.

It is important to ensure that any pet gecko was sourced legally and ethically to avoid contributing to the illegal wildlife trade. This is because the Chinese Cave Gecko has a distinctive appearance and a relatively small range. As a result, the Chinese Cave Gecko has become an increasingly popular choice as a pet.

Appearance and Behavior

The Chinese Cave Gecko is a unique-looking nocturnal lizard that is rather tiny. It lives in caves. Its body is often a dark brown to black hue, and it has spots and stripes that are white or cream in color. These colors give it the illusion of being pearly, which is why it is also known as the “Pearl Cave Gecko.” It has huge eyes with vertical pupils, which are ideal for night vision because to the animal’s massive size.

The average length of one of these geckos is between 8 and 10 centimeters, making it one of the most diminutive species. They are able to climb on hard surfaces thanks to the flattening of their bodies, the shortness of their tails, and the sticky toe pads on their feet. They consume a wide range of insects as well as other kinds of tiny invertebrates as their primary source of nutrition.

Because of their calm demeanor and low maintenance requirements, Chinese Cave Geckos are in high demand as pets. Nonetheless, similar to the majority of geckos, they are quite shy and will run away fast if they perceive that they are in danger. They can develop acclimated to human interaction and may even tolerate handling if they are treated with care and gentleness when being handled by humans.

The capability of the Chinese Cave Gecko to cast off its tail as a kind of self-defense is among the most fascinating characteristics of this reptile’s behavior. If the gecko is seized or assaulted by a predator, it may swiftly detach its tail and leave it twitching on the ground. This can divert the attention of the predator while the gecko makes a hasty getaway. The tail will ultimately sprout, although it is possible that it may not be as long or as bright in color as the one that was originally present.

In the wild, Chinese Cave Geckos are mostly active at night. During the day, they spend their time hiding in cracks and crevices in the rock or within their burrows. They do this using a variety of vocalizations, including as chirps and squeaks, as well as by body language, such as wagging their tails and bobbing their heads.

Size and Lifespan

The average length of a Chinese Cave Gecko is between 8 and 10 centimeters, making it one of the most diminutive species of lizard. However, the size may vary quite a bit based on the specific people as well as the area in which they live.

If they are given the appropriate level of care, Chinese Cave Geckos can survive for up to ten years or even longer in captivity. It’s possible that in the wild, their lifespan will be cut short by things like being eaten by other animals, contracting diseases, and being exposed to harmful environmental elements.

The longevity of a Chinese Cave Gecko can be affected by a variety of variables, such as its nutrition, its environment, and its general state of health. If you give your pet gecko the right food, provide it with an environment that has the right temperature and humidity, and take it to the doctor for examinations on a regular basis, you may increase the likelihood that it will have a long and healthy life.

Temperament

As a result of their placid demeanor and low maintenance requirements, Chinese Cave Geckos are becoming increasingly popular as pets. Nonetheless, similar to the majority of geckos, they have a reputation for being highly shy and may display flight or hiding behavior when approached or touched. They may develop acclimated to human interaction if handled with patience and gentleness, and some even become tame enough to be handled by humans.

It is essential to keep in mind that geckos are not sociable creatures and do not like to be held or stroked excessively. This is because geckos do not find it enjoyable. They may get anxious or agitated if handled excessively or too forcefully, and they may bite or scratch if they feel threatened. If they are handled too much, they may become stressed or agitated. It is essential to handle them with extreme caution and only when it is absolutely necessary to do so, such as when doing wellness checks or while cleaning their cage.

Chinese Cave Geckos that are kept in the same enclosure together may exhibit territorial behavior toward one another; during the mating season, males may become hostile toward other males in the enclosure. It is best practice to keep them in different quarters if you want to avoid any disputes.

In general, Chinese Cave Geckos are interesting pets for people who want to observe and care for a unique reptile that requires a modest amount of upkeep. They may be trained and made into pleasurable pets if they are handled and cared for properly.

Enclosure size

The number of Chinese Cave Geckos kept in an enclosure, as well as their size and the amount of activity they engage in, will determine the minimum and maximum dimensions of the enclosure. A single adult Chinese Cave Gecko should be kept in a habitat that is at least 30 centimeters in length, 30 centimeters in width, and 30 centimeters in height, as a general rule. If you plan to house numerous geckos in the same habitat, you will need a larger enclosure to satisfy all of their space requirements.

It is essential that you give your gecko lots of places to hide and opportunities to climb, as well as a substrate that is secure and appropriate for digging. A temperature gradient should also be given inside the cage, with a warmer region for the gecko to sunbathe in and sections where it may escape to when it gets too hot.

In addition, it is essential to ensure that the enclosure has an adequate amount of humidity at all times, as Chinese Cave Geckos demand a greater degree of humidity than the majority of other species of gecko. Your gecko can be assisted in appropriate shedding and in maintaining proper hydration by having a humid hide supplied for it within its habitat.

It is essential to your Chinese Cave Gecko’s health and well-being that you provide it with a proper enclosure that is tailored to fit its specific requirements. Before constructing their enclosure, it is essential to conduct study and have an understanding of their special requirements to guarantee that they will be able to thrive in their new surroundings.

Lighting

Chinese Cave Geckos are primarily nocturnal animals and do not require UVB lighting like some diurnal reptile species do. However, they do benefit from a day/night cycle to help regulate their internal clocks and maintain a healthy circadian rhythm.

To provide a day/night cycle for your Chinese Cave Gecko, you can use a low-wattage incandescent bulb or a low-output LED bulb that emits a soft, dim light. This can be set on a timer to provide 10-12 hours of light during the day, followed by 12-14 hours of darkness at night. The light should be placed at one end of the enclosure to create a temperature gradient, with the basking spot located directly under the light source.

It’s important to avoid using bright or intense lighting in the gecko’s enclosure, as this can disrupt their sleep patterns and cause stress. Chinese Cave Geckos also do not require a heat lamp, as they prefer cooler temperatures ranging from 22-26°C during the day and slightly cooler temperatures at night.

In summary, Chinese Cave Geckos do not require UVB lighting, but they do benefit from a day/night cycle provided by a low-wattage incandescent or LED bulb. It’s important to avoid bright or intense lighting, as well as heat lamps, to ensure that your gecko stays healthy and stress-free.

Substrate and Decoration

Choosing the right substrate and decorations for a Chinese Cave Gecko’s enclosure is important for their health, comfort, and overall well-being. Here are some options to consider:

Substrate:

  • Coconut coir or coconut fiber: This substrate holds moisture well and allows for burrowing, which is a natural behavior for geckos.
  • Cypress mulch: This is another good option that holds moisture well and can help regulate humidity levels in the enclosure.
  • Paper towel or newspaper: These substrates are easy to clean and can be used temporarily while monitoring the gecko’s health or during quarantine.

Avoid using substrates that are dusty or can cause impaction, such as sand or gravel.

Decorations:

  • Hides: Provide your gecko with multiple hides throughout their enclosure, including at least one on the cool side and one on the warm side. You can use commercially available hides or create your own using natural materials such as cork bark, clay pots, or PVC pipes.
  • Climbing structures: Geckos are arboreal and enjoy climbing, so providing branches or other climbing structures can help to enrich their environment.
  • Plants: Live or artificial plants can provide visual interest and hiding spots for your gecko. Live plants can also help to maintain humidity levels in the enclosure.

When choosing decorations, it’s important to avoid items that can be harmful if ingested, such as rocks, sticks, or artificial plants with small parts that can break off.

Overall, providing a comfortable and enriching environment for your Chinese Cave Gecko can help to promote their health and well-being. It’s important to research and understand their specific needs before setting up their enclosure to ensure that they thrive in their new home.

Cleaning

Regular cleaning and maintenance of your Chinese Cave Gecko’s enclosure is crucial to ensure their health and well-being. Here are some tips for keeping their enclosure clean:

  1. Remove feces and uneaten food daily: This will help to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria and maintain good hygiene in the enclosure.
  2. Spot-clean the substrate weekly: Use a scooper or tongs to remove any soiled substrate and replace it with fresh substrate. This will help to maintain good air quality in the enclosure and prevent odor buildup.
  3. Deep-clean the enclosure monthly: Remove all decorations and substrate from the enclosure and disinfect them with a reptile-safe disinfectant. Clean the enclosure itself with warm water and mild soap, rinse thoroughly, and allow it to dry completely before adding new substrate and decorations.
  4. Replace the water dish daily: Provide your gecko with fresh water daily and clean the water dish regularly to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.
  5. Clean and disinfect any items used for feeding: Clean feeding dishes, tongs, or any other utensils used for feeding your gecko after each use to prevent the spread of bacteria.

It’s important to avoid using harsh chemicals or cleaning agents that can be harmful to your gecko. Always use reptile-safe disinfectants and rinse thoroughly after cleaning to remove any residue.

By following these cleaning tips, you can help to maintain a clean and healthy environment for your Chinese Cave Gecko.

Chinese Cave Gecko Care and love

Everything you need to know here

Food and Water

Chinese Cave Geckos are insectivores, which means their diet should consist primarily of insects. Here are some tips for feeding your Chinese Cave Gecko:

  1. Feed a variety of insects: Offer your gecko a variety of insects to provide a balanced diet. Some good options include crickets, mealworms, waxworms, and roaches.
  2. Gut-load insects before feeding: Gut-loading means feeding the insects a nutritious diet before offering them to your gecko. This helps to ensure that your gecko is getting a balanced and nutritious diet.
  3. Dust insects with calcium and vitamin supplements: Chinese Cave Geckos require calcium and vitamin supplements to maintain their health. Dusting their insects with supplements before feeding can help to ensure they are getting the necessary nutrients.
  4. Feed appropriate portion sizes: Offer your gecko a portion of insects that is approximately the size of their head. Overfeeding can lead to obesity and other health problems.

In addition to feeding your gecko, it’s important to provide them with fresh water at all times. Use a shallow water dish that is easy for your gecko to access. Change the water daily and clean the dish regularly to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.

Overall, providing a varied and nutritious diet is important for the health and well-being of your Chinese Cave Gecko. Be sure to research their specific dietary needs and consult with a veterinarian if you have any questions or concerns.

Handling

Handling your Chinese Cave Gecko can be a great way to bond with your pet and observe their unique behaviors. However, it’s important to handle them gently and with care to avoid causing stress or injury. Here are some tips for handling your Chinese Cave Gecko:

  1. Start slow: If your gecko is new to you or not used to being handled, start with short handling sessions of 5-10 minutes and gradually increase the time as they become more comfortable.
  2. Approach them from below: When picking up your gecko, approach them from below rather than from above. This will help to avoid scaring them and potentially causing them to jump or run away.
  3. Support their body: Use gentle and firm support to hold your gecko’s body. Avoid squeezing them too tightly, as this can cause injury.
  4. Be aware of their behavior: Watch for signs of stress, such as hissing, tail whipping, or trying to escape. If your gecko appears stressed or uncomfortable, put them back in their enclosure and try again later.
  5. Wash your hands before and after handling: This will help to prevent the spread of bacteria and potential illness.

It’s important to remember that not all geckos enjoy being handled, and some may never become fully comfortable with it. Always respect your gecko’s boundaries and preferences, and never force them to do something they’re not comfortable with.

By following these tips, you can safely and gently handle your Chinese Cave Gecko and enjoy spending time with your new pet.

Common Health Issues

Chinese Cave Geckos are generally hardy and easy to care for, but like all pets, they can still experience health issues. Here are some common health issues that Chinese Cave Geckos may experience:

  1. Respiratory infections: Chinese Cave Geckos can develop respiratory infections if their enclosure is too humid or if their temperature is not regulated properly. Signs of a respiratory infection include wheezing, open-mouthed breathing, and nasal discharge.
  2. Parasites: Chinese Cave Geckos can be infected with parasites such as mites and ticks. Signs of a parasitic infection include scratching, lethargy, and loss of appetite.
  3. Metabolic bone disease: This is a condition that can develop if a gecko does not get enough calcium or vitamin D3. Signs of metabolic bone disease include weakness, tremors, and difficulty walking.
  4. Mouth rot: This is a bacterial infection that can occur if a gecko has dental problems or if their enclosure is not kept clean. Signs of mouth rot include swelling, redness, and discharge around the mouth.
  5. Egg binding: Female Chinese Cave Geckos can experience egg binding if they are unable to lay their eggs. Signs of egg binding include lethargy, loss of appetite, and straining to lay eggs.

If you notice any of these signs in your Chinese Cave Gecko, it’s important to seek veterinary care right away. With proper care and treatment, most health issues in Chinese Cave Geckos can be resolved.

Breeding

Breeding Chinese Cave Geckos can be a rewarding experience for experienced reptile keepers. Here are some tips for successfully breeding Chinese Cave Geckos:

  1. Determine the sex of your geckos: You will need both a male and female gecko to breed. Males will have enlarged pores on their undersides and may display territorial behavior, while females may have a smaller body size and lack enlarged pores.
  2. Provide a suitable breeding enclosure: A separate enclosure that is larger than their regular enclosure, with a suitable temperature and humidity gradient should be provided. A humid hide box is also recommended for the female to lay her eggs.
  3. Introduce the geckos: Introduce the male to the female’s enclosure, and observe their behavior to ensure they are compatible. Males may display territorial behavior, so it’s important to monitor them closely to ensure the female is not being harmed.
  4. Observe breeding behavior: Chinese Cave Geckos breed during the evening hours, and the breeding behavior can last for several hours. Males may nip at the female’s neck or tail, and the female may display receptive behavior such as moving her tail to the side.
  5. Remove the male: Once breeding has occurred, it’s important to remove the male from the enclosure to prevent him from harming the female.
  6. Incubate the eggs: After laying her eggs, the female should be removed from the breeding enclosure, and the eggs should be carefully removed and placed in an incubator with suitable conditions.
  7. Hatchlings: Once the eggs have hatched, the hatchlings should be removed from the incubator and placed in a separate enclosure.

price

There are a number of factors that might affect the price of a Chinese Cave Gecko, including the animal’s age, gender, color, and the location of the breeder or vendor. When purchasing a Chinese Cave Gecko, you may anticipate paying anywhere from $50 to $200 for it on average. In general, juvenile geckos cost far less than their adult counterparts, however geckos with unusual coloration or patterning may sell for a higher price. When looking to buy a gecko, it is essential to do so from a breeder or vendor with a good reputation who is able to offer details on the gecko’s health and previous owners. When buying a gecko, it is essential to calculate how much money will be needed to provide for its habitat, food, and other requirements for its care.