The African Fat Tailed Gecko (Hemitheconyx caudicinctus)

African Fat Tailed Gecko

The African Fat Tailed Gecko (Hemitheconyx caudicinctus) is a nocturnal, ground-dwelling lizard and which have movable eyelids, vertical pupils, and no sticky lamellae. They are coming to be an increasingly popular pet, in part because of their ability to flourish in captivity but also due to their openness for being handled and docile dispositions. This big and pretty gecko is 2nd only to the closely allied leopard gecko in popularity.

The African Fat Tailed Gecko is from the subfamily Eublepharinae. Members of this subfamily consist of the leopard gecko of south Central Asia, Pakistan, and India. This subfamily has clearly various characteristics from other geckos.

The African Fat Tailed Gecko normal coloring includes brown and light tan background that is accented by beige and brown bold stripes, with a possible white thin stripe along the length of the back. The underbelly is off-white or light pink. Color and pattern morphs have become a lot more widely available over the past 5 years and currently, you can choose from many different beautiful colors.  

The African Fat Tailed Gecko have a similar to Leopard Gecko in both shapes and size but commonly have a bigger head and sturdier feet. Hatchlings will usually be about 2 inches and adult will grow up to 7 to 9 inches (18 to 23 cm), with females being a little smaller than males. When taken care of properly they have been known to live for 15 to 20 years in captivity.

The African Fat Tailed Gecko is native to West Africa, from Senegal to Cameroon, where they inhabit savannas and shrublands. Throughout the day, these nocturnal lizards take refuge in under rotting trees, underground burrows or under rocks. They come out at night to hunt for small insects such as beetles, spiders, and locusts.

The African Fat Tailed Gecko can be lost their tail as a defense mechanism called caudal autotomy. If the tail is shed, it will grow a regenerated tail but have a more rounded shape, just like the head. It might not match the body coloration and pattern. The tail is also where they store their fat, an essential energy reserve. With its tail, they can go days on end without food. It is important to always take care when handling a gecko and never constrain or hold a gecko by its tail.

A carelessly restrained African Fat Tailed Gecko will often bite. Adult males can pinch painfully hard and claws are harmless. A gecko adverse reaction to being restrained is understandable when you realize that in the wild restraint is typically by a predator and followed by death or injury.

The African Fat Tailed Gecko has several established color variants such as Albino specimen is gold and white with light eyes and the Leucistic specimen is almost pure white with dark eyes. Some breeders of African Fat Tailed Gecko has enhanced or lightened up the band color, ground color, or both as well as refer to their geckos as orange, khaki, or hypomelanistic. An interesting new variant is almost entirely black in coloration. When the genes from this phase are integrated into other breeding programs, exit and new colors may show up. Albinos, leucistic, and other colors may cost from a few hundred to $1,000 or more.


How To Take Care Of African Fat Tailed Gecko?

How To Take Care Of African Fat Tailed Gecko

Do you know how to take care of African Fat Tailed Gecko? however, the only failure to having an African Fat Tailed Gecko is that they take care of have a bit more maintenance and requirements than having a Crested Gecko or House Gecko, but they’re still very easy to take care of. If you do maintain their living quarters daily and offer them with all the tools they need to survive, after that, they’ll be happy and you’ll have a healthy pet.

One or 2 babies African Fat Tailed Gecko can be housed directly in the larger cage, but if you intend on putting them in a bigger cage later, it is suggested to start in a 10 gallon. As a general rule, allow at least about 12” x 12” of surface area for adult gecko. Because of their relatively small adult size, a pair of adults can be housed in an average 20 gallon.

African Fat Tailed Gecko is solitary gecko and it is best to house these geckos individually, or in small groups of no more than 3 geckoes, for example, one male and two females. Never have 2 males in the same cage as they will fight and probably hurt or even kill each other. They are best housed in larger cage and beautiful display cage can be built in the larger glass tank, just like the Exo Terra cage or in specially designed reptile cage, such as Penn Plax Cage or Vision Cage.

The African Fat Tailed Gecko is nocturnal, which means they do not require the special UVB lighting which most of the other pet gecko may require, so it is suggested to provide a minimum of a 5.0 UVB light that crosses the length of the cage. Unlike a lot of other lizards that bask in the sun to keep warm and to absorb Vitamin D from natural sunlight. Remember that additional overhead lighting will increase the ambient temperature in the enclosure. Never expose your African Fat Tailed Gecko to direct sunlight because their eyes are very sensitive and eyesight is poor in bright light.

African Fat Tailed Gecko does require supplemental heat, put hides on both the cool and warm end of the terrarium with an under tank heating pad, however, allows the other end to cool to room temperature. Should be maintained with a warm side around 86 to 88 degrees in the basking spot, and a cool side that is around 70 to 74 degrees or cooler. Do not drop below 74 degrees. Using belly heat is suggested rather than overhead heat sources because in their natural habitat they use the heat absorbed from the sunlight in the rocks to help in their digestion.

Offer cage furnishing such as cork bark hides and substrate of non-aromatic mulch has proven ideal. Moisten the mulch on one end of the tank very a little. The best substrate to use is the newspaper, paper, paper towel, slate, tile or packed eco earth. I recommend not using sand at all as the African Fat Tailed Gecko may be impacted and their environment has to be more humid that sand consistently does not provide.

Quarantining new animals is very important and need to be practiced by everyone. This is placing new animals separate from established colonies to make sure they are healthy animals. They should be in a different room using their own items that are not shared with the established animals. This period should last anywhere from 1 to 3 months. Take care of the quarantined animals last and clean your hands thoroughly after that. If there occurs to be a problem with your quarantined animals it’s simpler to treat them than it is your whole collection.

Fresh drinking water must be available at all times and can be given by using a shallow dish and it is important to make sure water is always clean.


What Does An African Fat Tailed Gecko Eat?

What Does An African Fat Tailed Gecko Eat

The African Fat Tailed Gecko is insectivores and requires a diet including healthy insects and gut-loaded. Gut loading means is simply feeding your feeder insects with nutritious foods so that the beneficial nutrients to pass on to your gecko. All Insects must be gut-loaded with nutritious food such as pieces of whole grain cereal, oatmeal, kale, squash, collard greens, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, and sliced red potato for at least 48 hours before being fed to your African Fat Tailed Gecko.  

The African Fat Tailed Gecko primarily eat live crickets, mealworms, waxworms, cockroach nymphs, and silkworms and will also eat small pinky mice occasionally. Waxworms are high in cholesterol and fat and are not fed on a regular basis because they can become spoiled and refuse other food items if they are fed them too often.

Sometimes dust the food insects with calcium powder at every feeding and a high-quality vitamin-mineral supplement need to be dusted with about once a week. The ZooMed ReptiVite with D3 is very good, simple to use the supplement, even though there are options for the more advanced keeper too. Wherever your supplement provides vitamin D3, multivitamins, and calcium, it should benefit keeping your African Fat Tailed Gecko healthy and happy. Ovulating females and fast-growing babies are going to require these supplements more often than other geckos.

Babies African Fat Tailed Gecko must be fed 5 to 7 small crickets or roach nymphs daily until they reach around 4 inches in length, then larger prey every other day until they become adults in around 10 -12 months. Adults can be fed 6 to 7 large crickets or roaches 2 or 3 times a week. Beware not to feed them anything bigger than about 3/4 the size of their head to avoid choking. Suitably sized mealworms can be put in a small bowl with calcium powder at all times.

Many African Fat Tailed Gecko will eat an occasional pinkie mice since pinkies are high in fat content. Their frequency must be maintained no more than one pinkie mice weekly but can be increased to 2 once weekly during the breeding season. The average owner doesn’t need to use pinkies as part of their diet. Pinkies are most typically used by breeders as a way to help increase the fat intake in gravid or recently gravid females.

The health of your African Fat Tailed Gecko is dependent on the proper supplementation of vitamins and calcium or else, serious diseases can result. Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD) in reptiles is a condition that results from a lack of Vitamin D or improper calcium metabolism, and can permanently disfigure or in the end kill your gecko.


The Breeding Of African Fat Tailed Gecko

The Breeding Of African Fat Tailed Gecko

The African Fat Tailed Gecko can only be sexed as they grow older and this can be done by taking a look at the beneath of the gecko. Males gecko will have femoral pores which will be in a ‘V-shape’ and 2 hemipenes bulges at the base of the tail which is formed by the hemipenes. Females lack both the femoral pores and hemipenes bulges and are smaller than males.

African Fat Tailed Gecko sexing

African Fat Tailed Gecko is seasonal breeders. Captives tend to cycle about the same time as wild fat-tailed geckos breed from November to March. Most fat-tailed geckos breed from October to May and most groups begin to breed from December or January. We attempt to follow the natural breeding season as close as possible, but wandering off from it is not a problem. Breeding the geckos in late autumn, winter and spring have generated the best success.

That being said you are breeders need to prepare. Make sure the African Fat Tailed Gecko are full grown adults and at a healthy weight. I suggest males at least 8 months old and 45 grams and females being at least 1-year-old and 50 grams. However, those are the minimums but I prefer my females to be no below 60 grams as it will be easier on them. If your female gecko can be around 2 years of ages that would be even better for her.

The African Fat Tailed Gecko isn’t as easy to breed as leopard geckos. Unlike leopard geckos, fat-tailed gecko must have a cooldown or hibernation before stimulate breeding. Begin to cool down gecko in October or November for 1 to 2 months or where the temperatures are dropped to about 68°F to 72°F (20 ̊C to 22 ̊C) during the night and the daytime temperature reaches about 25 ̊C (77°F). Stop feeding a week before a cool down. Provide water available but do not mist the enclosure.

Hereafter period the temperatures are gone back to normal and feeding and humidity are also increased. When African Fat Tailed Gecko is warmed up provide the pair as much food so they can gain back the weight they lost throughout the cool down. All these factors will lead to stimulating they into breeding season mode. Feeding females heavily during the breeding season is important therefore provide vitamin and calcium coated food to females every day or every other day during breeding season. Pinkie mice are also great food for them.

After a couple of weeks put the male African Fat Tailed Gecko with the female together. Once you place the pair with each other the male will be aggressive toward the female. The male will begin biting the female as well as if the female is not ready to mate she will bite back. It might appear as if they are fighting, however, this is normal behavior. The male will also shake the tip of his tail very quickly and typically will bite the female’s neck to keep her in position, as sexual relation happens.

The African Fat Tailed Gecko may mate right now or it might take some time. Leave the male with the female for a few days and after that take him out. You may have to do this a few times until they have a successful breeding. The male is left in the enclosure with the females until the breeding season is over.

Females African Fat Tailed Gecko will typically lay clutches of 2 eggs at once at 2 weeks intervals. They can easily lay 8 clutches a year with each clutch being lay in 2 to 4 weeks intervals. It is important to make sure that you have a hide box with sphagnum moss moisture where the female can lay her eggs. When the eggs are laid they will have to be removed from the egg laying box and put in a separate container including moist vermiculite where the eggs can be incubated.

The African Fat Tailed Gecko eggs are incubated similarly as leopard gecko eggs. If you want females, incubate at 80°F to 82°F (27 ̊C to 28 ̊C) and if incubated at 88°F to 90°F (31 ̊Cto 32 ̊C), mostly males will be produced, at 92°F (33 ̊C), practically all will be males or if you want a mix of male and female, incubate at 85°F (29 ̊C). After the 4th week, if you are attempting to incubate for all females, you can increase your temperature level to the high 80s to speed up the hatching time.

Females African Fat Tailed Gecko hatched from these eggs are typically more aggressive compared to other females, and are typically considered unsuitable for breeding. Eggs will hatch out anywhere between 40 to 65 days depending on the temperature level. Males typically hatch faster as a result of the higher temperatures. Females take longer due to the cooler temperatures. On average incubation for males around 43 to 48 days and females lasts around 55 to 60 days. Fat Tailed GeckoLizardAfrican Fat Tailed Gecko,How To Take Care Of African Fat Tailed Gecko?,The Breeding Of African Fat Tailed Gecko,What Does An African Fat Tailed Gecko Eat?The African Fat Tailed Gecko (Hemitheconyx caudicinctus) The African Fat Tailed Gecko (Hemitheconyx caudicinctus) is a nocturnal, ground-dwelling lizard and which have movable eyelids, vertical pupils, and no sticky lamellae. They are coming to be an increasingly popular pet, in part because of their ability to flourish in captivity but...It's all about things you do not know about monkey, eagles, guinea pig, puppies and many more.