The Tokay Gecko is a species of gecko that is native to Southeast Asia and other parts of the Indo-Pacific region. They are easily identifiable by their striking blue-gray or bluish-green colour with red or orange patches, as well as by their loud and distinctive “to-kay” vocalization that they employ for communication. Both of these characteristics contribute to their widespread distribution.
Tokay Geckos are arboreal, which means that they make their homes in trees and have a body structure that is ideally suited for ascending vertical surfaces. They are able to attach to vertical surfaces and ceilings because to the huge, strong feet that are equipped with sticky pads. They are active at night and consume other geckos, as well as various insects and small animals.
Tokay Geckos are quite popular in the pet trade, not only because of their stunning appearance and vocalizations, but also because of their resilience and the simplicity with which they may be cared for. To be successful as a captive animal, however, these reptiles demand specialized attention and are not recommended for people who are just starting out with pet ownership. Also, in certain regions, they are threatened by over-collection for the pet trade; hence, it is essential to only acquire specimens that have been produced in captivity from breeders that have a good reputation.
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Origin and History
The Tokay Gecko, also known as the Gekko gecko, is a species of gecko that is indigenous to Southeast Asia as well as other regions of the Indo-Pacific region, such as India, Bangladesh, Burma, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. They were accidentally brought to a few other areas, one of which being Florida in the United States, where they have now developed into an invasive species.
Tokay Geckos have been a part of human culture and medicine for hundreds of years in their natural habitat. In certain societies, people think that they have therapeutic benefits and make use of them as part of their traditional medical practices. In some regions, they are also utilized as a source of food and are regarded as a delicacy in those regions.
Because of their resilience and eye-catching beauty, Tokay Geckos have become more popular in the market for pets. They have been popular as pets for a number of decades, with the first known instance of captive breeding of Tokay Geckos taking place in the 1980s.
Nevertheless, due to their popularity in the pet trade, there has been an increase in the number of animals collected in some regions, which has put natural populations in danger. As a direct consequence of this, several nations have enacted restrictions and legislation in order to safeguard the species and restrict the amount of it that may be exported.
Tokay Geckos are a species of gecko that are classified as being of a medium size, with adults normally reaching a length of between 8 and 10 inches (20-25 cm) when measured from head to tail. Guys are often a little bit bigger than females, and their lengths can sometimes become as long as 30 cm (12 inches).
They have a strong body form that is rather thick, and their tail is broad at the base and tapers as it gets closer to the tip. They are better able to maintain their balance and climb because to the form of their tails, and they can also store more fat in preparation for times when food would be scarce.
Tokay Geckos are recognized for their loud vocalizations, which they employ for both territorial defense and communication with other geckos. Despite their relatively tiny size, Tokay Geckos are well known for their loud vocalizations. Its unique “to-kay” call may be heard from a considerable distance away and is a familiar sound in the jungles and woodlands where they make their home.
There is not a lot of information available on how long Tokay Geckos live in the wild, however it is generally known that in captivity, they may live for a considerable amount of time. Tokay Geckos may survive up to 15–20 years in captivity if they are given the right level of care and nourishment. But, if they are not given a proper environment to live in, an appropriate nutrition, and enough veterinary care, their longevity may be substantially shortened.
It is essential to be aware that Tokay Geckos are capable of being belligerent and possessive, particularly during the breeding season, and that they may want specialist care and handling. In addition to this, they have certain food needs and a range of temperatures and humidity levels that they require in order to flourish. If you are considering keeping a Tokay Gecko as a pet, it is important to conduct extensive research and speak with a knowledgeable veterinarian who specializes in the care of reptiles. This will ensure that you are able to provide the Tokay Geckos with the care they require to live a long and healthy life.
The attitude of Tokay Geckos is notorious for being particularly aggressive and possessive, particularly during the mating season. When they feel threatened or uncomfortable, they can become aggressive and may bite or make loud vocalizations. As a general rule, individuals who are not knowledgeable in the care and management of reptiles should avoid getting them as pets since they can be difficult to handle.
Tokay Geckos, on the other hand, have the potential to grow more tolerant of human interaction if they are properly socialized and handled from an early age. Some of the people may even become docile and submit to being handled without displaying any signs of violent behavior. It is essential to keep in mind, however, that not all Tokay Geckos will accept being handled, and that each individual possesses their very own distinct personality.
To assist minimize stress and aggressive behavior in Tokay Geckos, it is essential to provide them with suitable habitat, which should include lots of places for them to hide as well as opportunity to climb and investigate their environment. For those who have prior experience caring for reptiles, a Tokay Gecko that has been properly socialized and maintained as a pet may be both intriguing and satisfying.
In order to survive in captivity, Tokay Geckos require habitat that is suitable for their needs. The cage need to be big enough to for the animal to walk about and get some exercise, with lots of places to hide and opportunity to climb and investigate its surroundings. The following are some recommendations for the housing of Tokay Geckos:
a confinement space for an adult The minimum amount of space required for a Tokay Gecko is 20 gallons. But, larger cages are usually preferable since they offer the gecko greater area to roam around in and discover its surroundings.
The enclosure that you offer for the gecko should have a length that is at least twice as long as the gecko and a height that is at least the same as the gecko. This indicates that a 20-gallon cage that spans around 24 inches in length, 12 inches in width, and 16 inches in height would be suitable for an adult Tokay Gecko, which can grow to be anywhere between 8 and 10 inches in length.
Because Tokay Geckos are arboreal and spend much of their time in trees and other high regions, the enclosure has to be tall enough to provide them with possibilities for climbing. This is an important point to keep in mind when you design the enclosure. It is essential for their total health and well-being to provide a wealth of climbing options, such as branches, vines, and ledges, for them to utilize.
In the end, the size of the enclosure will be determined not only by the number of geckos that you intend to maintain but also by the specific requirements of each gecko. It is always recommended to offer the largest enclosure feasible and to speak with an expert reptile veterinarian or herpetologist for assistance on acceptable housing. Both of these professionals may provide guidance on appropriate housing.
Lighting is an essential part of caring for Tokay Geckos since the environment may have an impact on their health and well-being. The following are some tips to follow while lighting the enclosure for your Tokay Gecko:
Tokay Geckos can only stay healthy if they have access to UVB illumination, which enables them to metabolize calcium and preserve their overall health. The enclosure has to have a fluorescent UVB lamp installed, namely a 5.0 or 10.0 bulb, and this bulb needs to be updated every six to twelve months. The gecko should be kept at a distance of no more than 12 inches from the bulb, and the light should be left on for 10 to 12 hours every day.
Lighting for Basking: Within the cage, there should be a warm, well-lit location called a basking spot where the gecko can get to a comfortable temperature and maintain there. The temperature of the basking location, which should be between 88 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit (31 and 32 degrees Celsius), can be provided by a heat lamp or a ceramic heat emitter. Ten to twelve hours of heat should be provided by the basking location each day.
Tokay Geckos are nocturnal in nature, thus they do not require intense light during the day. Ambient lighting is sufficient for them. They do, however, require a day-to-night cycle in order to properly manage both their activity and their sleeping routines. During the day, ambient lighting may be achieved by using either a light bulb with a low wattage or the daylight that comes in via a window that is close.
It is essential to do routine checks on the temperature and illumination of the cage on a consistent basis in order to maintain the gecko’s comfort and good health. Always use a thermometer to assess the temperature within the enclosure, and make any necessary adjustments to the lighting in order to keep the temperatures and light cycles at the right levels.
Temperature and Humidity
It is essential for the health and well-being of the Tokay Geckos that the cage be kept at the appropriate temperature and humidity levels at all times. These are some standards for temperature and humidity levels:
Temperature: The temperature within the cage should be between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit (24 and 29 degrees Celsius) throughout the day, with a basking region that reaches 88 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit (31 to 32 degrees Celsius). The temperature can dip to roughly 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit (21-24 degrees Celsius) at night. It is essential to offer a temperature gradient within the cage, consisting of a warm side and a cold side, in order to give the gecko the ability to control their internal body temperature.
Humidity: The relative humidity in the enclosure should be between 60 and 70 percent at all times. The enclosure should be sprayed with water once or twice daily and a humidity hide, such as a wet hide box, should be made available for the gecko to escape to in order to maintain the appropriate level of humidity. Moreover, the use of a substrate that is capable of retaining moisture, such as coconut fiber or sphagnum moss, might be of assistance in the upkeep of humidity levels.
It is essential to do routine checks on the temperature and humidity levels inside the enclosure in order to ascertain that they remain within the acceptable parameters. The temperature and humidity levels should be measured with a thermometer and a hygrometer, and then the heating and misting should be adjusted appropriately. It is also possible to make use of a thermostat designed specifically for reptiles in order to assist in maintaining a constant temperature within the cage.
The substrate, also known as bedding, in the enclosure is essential for giving Tokay Geckos with a habitat that is both pleasant and secure for them. Here are some alternatives for substrate:
Coconut fiber: A substrate made of coconut fiber, such as Eco Earth or CocoTek, is a well-liked option for Tokay Geckos. It is absorbent, which helps maintain humidity levels, and it is safe for the gecko to take even if they consume it by accident when they are munching on other foods.
Mulch made from cypress trees is another type of substrate that may be used for gecko enclosures since it not only helps keep humidity levels stable but can also be safely consumed by the gecko.
Towels/newspaper: Paper towels or newspaper may be used as a substrate for young or ill geckos since they are simple to clean and monitor for feces and other waste. This makes them an ideal choice for young geckos.
If the gecko were to consume sand, gravel, or any other loose material, it might potentially induce impaction in its digestive tract.
It is essential to spot-clean the substrate daily and change it totally every three to four months, or earlier if it gets filthy or moist. In addition, the substrate should be cleaned well before each use. In addition, it is essential to avoid utilizing substrates that have been treated with pesticides or any other compounds that the gecko might find hazardous.
Decorations in the enclosure not only provide a visually appealing environment for Tokay Geckos but also offer hiding places and climbing opportunities. Here are some ideas for decorations:
- Branches and vines: Natural branches and vines provide climbing opportunities and hiding places for Tokay Geckos. Ensure that the branches and vines are sturdy and secure, and that there are no sharp edges or rough spots that could injure the gecko.
- Rocks and caves: Smooth rocks and caves can provide hiding places for the gecko, and also help maintain a temperature gradient in the enclosure. Make sure the rocks are not too heavy and cannot topple over, and that the caves are large enough for the gecko to move around comfortably.
- Artificial plants: Artificial plants provide a visually appealing environment and also offer hiding places for the gecko. Be sure to choose plants that are safe for reptiles and don’t have any sharp edges or toxic materials.
- Hides: Provide at least one hide for the gecko to retreat to. This can be a commercially available hide, a hollow log, or a small plastic container with a hole cut in the side.
Regular cleaning of the enclosure is important to maintain a healthy and hygienic environment for Tokay Geckos. Here are some guidelines for cleaning:
- Spot cleaning: Spot clean the enclosure daily by removing any feces, uneaten food, shed skin, and other debris. This helps prevent the growth of bacteria and other harmful microorganisms.
- Deep cleaning: Deep clean the enclosure every 3-4 months, or more often if it becomes soiled or wet. To do this, remove all the decorations, substrate, and other items from the enclosure, and sanitize them using a reptile-safe disinfectant. Clean the enclosure with a mixture of hot water and a reptile-safe disinfectant, and rinse thoroughly with water to remove any residue. Allow everything to dry completely before putting it back in the enclosure.
- Water dish: Clean and refill the water dish daily, and sanitize it weekly. Use hot water and a reptile-safe disinfectant, and rinse thoroughly with water.
- Wash hands: Always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before and after handling Tokay Geckos or cleaning their enclosure.
Food and water
Tokay Geckos are insectivores, which means that the only thing that makes up their food is different kinds of insects. These are some tips for feeding Tokay Geckos:
Insects: Provide your gecko with a wide range of insects, including crickets, mealworms, waxworms, and dubia roaches, all of which are the perfect size to eat. It is recommended that the size of the bug be no bigger than the distance between the gecko’s eyes.
Frequency of feeding: Mature geckos should be fed once every two to three days, whereas young geckos should be fed every day. It is essential that the gecko not be given an excessive amount of food, as obesity can result in a variety of health issues.
Calcium and vitamin supplementation: Dust the insects with a calcium and vitamin supplement powder at least once a week in order to guarantee that the gecko is getting the proper amount of nourishment.
Water: Always have some clean, fresh water available in a small dish for them to drink. Every day, you should replace the water in the dish, and sterilize it once a week.
It is essential to provide the gecko with a food that is rich in variety in order to guarantee that it is getting all of the essential nutrients. Insects that have been collected in the wild should also be avoided as a source of food for the gecko because of the possibility that they have been contaminated with toxic chemicals or other substances.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding the nutrition or feeding habits of your gecko, you should go to a veterinarian who specializes in treating reptiles.
While working with Tokay Geckos, it is essential to approach them in a cautious and respectful manner at all times. These are some guidelines for handling:
Slowly approach: To prevent the gecko from becoming startled, you should approach it in a manner that is deliberate and slow.
Be careful: the gecko should be handled carefully, and you should avoid squeezing it or grasping it too firmly.
Body support: Provide the body of the gecko with support by placing one hand under the chest and the other hand under the hindquarters using both of your hands.
Steer clear of the tail: If you try to grasp the gecko by its tail, it may rip it off as a kind of self-defense.
Brief periods of handling: In order to reduce the gecko’s exposure to stress, handling periods should be kept brief. Because Tokay Geckos are prone to being anxious, you should restrict your handling sessions to no more than a few minutes at a time.
Hands should always be washed: Before and after touching the gecko, make sure that your hands are completely cleaned using soap and water.
It is essential to keep in mind that not all geckos will accept being handled, and that when picked up, some of them may get anxious or even violent. If your gecko does not enjoy being handled or exhibits indications of stress, such as hissing or biting, it is in your best interest to avoid handling it and respect the boundaries it has set for itself.
To further ensure the gecko’s general health and well-being, as well as to reduce the negative effects of stress on the animal, it is essential to provide it with a safe and pleasant habitat.
Common health issues
Tokay Geckos are susceptible to a wide range of health problems, just like any other kind of living creature. The following is a list of some of the more prevalent health issues that might afflict Tokay Geckos:
This ailment is known as metabolic bone disease (MBD), and it manifests itself in geckos when their bodies are unable to absorb calcium from their food in the correct manner. This leads to brittle bones, muscular tremors, and other symptoms.
Tokay Geckos are prone to contracting respiratory infections, which can result in wheezing, coughing, and trouble breathing. Respiratory infections can also cause chest pain.
Geckos are susceptible to contracting a variety of internal and external parasites, including mites, ticks, and worms, which can lead to an infection.
This bacterial illness might manifest itself as mouth rot if the gecko’s mouth is wounded in any way or if it is housed in an unhygienic environment.
Impaction is a condition that manifests as in geckos when they consume an indigestible substance or foreign item, which leads to a blockage un their digestive track.
Problems with shedding: Tokay Geckos may have trouble shedding their skin, which can cause to skin irritation and infections in some cases.
If you see any indications of disease or aberrant behavior in your gecko, such as lethargy, loss of appetite, or changes in color or behavior, it is imperative that you get your gecko to a veterinarian as soon as possible. In addition, having your reptile examined on a routine basis by a veterinarian who specializes in caring for reptiles can help detect and head off any health issues before they become severe.
The price of a Tokay Gecko can vary depending on factors such as its age, size, coloration, and overall health. Additionally, the price may also vary depending on the breeder or supplier.
In general, a baby or juvenile Tokay Gecko can cost anywhere from $20 to $50. However, adult geckos with unique coloration or rare morphs can be significantly more expensive, with prices ranging from a few hundred dollars to over a thousand dollars.
It’s important to keep in mind that the initial cost of purchasing a Tokay Gecko is just the beginning. There are ongoing expenses associated with providing proper housing, food, and veterinary care, so be sure to consider these costs when making a decision to bring a gecko into your home.
Good for kids?
Tokay Geckos make intriguing and one-of-a-kind pets, but young children might not be the greatest candidates for keeping them as pets. The following are some factors to take into consideration:
Tokay Geckos have a reputation for being belligerent and territorial. If they feel threatened, they may bite their owners or lunge at them, and their bites are known to be both unpleasant and potentially harmful to the victim. This may be especially worrisome for parents of younger children who may not be able to manage the gecko without putting themselves in danger.
Tokay Geckos have very particular needs that must be met in order to guarantee their continued health and happiness. Youngsters may not be able to offer the necessary degree of care and attention for these creatures, which may result in the gecko experiencing health problems or even passing away.
Due to the fact that Tokay Geckos are nocturnal and maybe more active at night, they may not be as appealing to youngsters who are searching for a pet that is active during the day.
Tokay Geckos are not the type of pet that require a lot of human interaction. They might not love being touched, and if they are handled too frequently or too harshly, it could cause them to get anxious.
Tokay Geckos can be fascinating and one-of-a-kind pets; nevertheless, small children might not be the greatest candidates for keeping them as pets. It is vital to do research on the unique needs and requirements of the animal you plan to bring into your house before you bring any pet into your home. This will allow you to ensure that you will be able to create a safe and acceptable environment for the animal.