Gargoyle geckos (Rhacodactylus auriculatus) are native to southern New Caledonia, an island chain east of Australia. They are named for the bumps on their head which can appear to look like horns or ears.
Hardy and easy to care for, Gargoyle Geckos have become very successful in captivity and are widely available today.
Gargoyle geckos come in a variety of colors and patterns. They come in shades of gray, brown, white, yellow, orange, and red. Patterns vary from individual to individual, but may include stripes, bands, and mottling.
A single gargoyle gecko adult can be housed in a 10 gallon tank, but a pair will require at least a 20 gallon tank. I've kept and bred a pair in an 18x18x24 glass terrarium in the past.
As a territorial species, housing young, unsexed gargoyle geckos together is not recommended. Even as adults, males will be aggressive towards other males, and females can be aggressive towards other females. For this reason, we strongly recommend only housing single male-female pairs together, and this should only be done when the female has a healthy breeding weight and is old enough.
As substrate, coco fiber can be used solely or mixed with peat moss. We recommend Josh’s Frog’s Tropical BioBedding, which is well suited for live plants and a cleaning crew of springtails or isopods.
Hailing from a subtropical region, gargoyle geckos should be kept at temperatures between 74-78°F. While they can tolerate higher temperatures for small periods of time, they should never be kept above 85°F. Unless ambient temperatures are consistently below this range, gargoyle geckos do not require any special lighting or heating, although a low level UV bulb and low wattage basking spot may be appreciated in a large enough enclosure.
Humidity plays an important role in making sure these geckos remain well hydrated and are able to shed their skin easily. Providing a reptile water bowl with clean water will ensure your gecko remains hydrated, and misting frequently with a quality hand mister will help keep their humidity at the ideal range of 60-70%. You can monitor these levels, as well as temperatures, with a digital thermometer/hygrometer.
Gargoyle geckos can reach up to 7-9 inches as adults, tail included. In the wild, gargoyle geckos can lose their tail when feeling threatened, such as when being pursued by a predator. They can also lose them in captivity, but the tail will grow back over time.
Josh’s Frogs sells juveniles measuring about 4.5-5 inches. Provided proper care, these geckos can live up to 15-20 years in captivity!
Gargoyle geckos feed primarily on both fruit and insects in the wild. Pangea and Repashy fruit mixes offer a tailored and excellent staple for these geckos. Conveniently stored as a powder, it can be mixed with water and offered in a small plastic feeding cup.
In our experience, gargoyle geckos do not readily accept insects or other prey items like crested geckos. However, appropriately sized feeder insects, such as crickets, roaches, waxworms, black soldier fly larvae, and butterworms may be offered. All feeder insects should be dusted with a vitamin/mineral supplement and provided using an escape-proof bowl. Do not worry if your gecko does not accept any live feeders as long as it is feeding well on fruit mixes.
Sexing gargoyle geckos is a bit more difficult than sexing crested geckos, as both males and females can display bulges at the base of the tail. Male bulges will be larger, and males will also have femoral pores on scales between their hind legs.
Juveniles sold by Josh’s Frogs are not sexed.
Gargoyle geckos will breed from the beginning of December to August, during which females will lay 2 eggs every 30-45 days. Eggs will be buried in substrate, either on the bottom of the enclosure or in a lay box. It is recommended to remove males from the tank to allow females to recover after the breeding season.
Our gargoyle geckos are fed fruit mix three times a week, so they’re growing well and are ready for their new homes! All gargoyle geckos were bred in-house, and are captive-bred from captive-bred parents. They’re all genetically diverse and descend from colorful bloodlines. They are produced by experienced herpetoculturists with over 10 years of combined experience with the genus and come with our best in the industry live arrival and health guarantee. If this gecko is for you, we are too!