Madagascan Ground Gecko / Pictus Gecko Care

Write By: Christy Published In: Lizards Created Date: 2015-08-25 Hits: 2489 Comment: 0

The Madagascan Ground Gecko, or Pictus Gecko, is a small terrestrial gecko that makes an ideal pet for a natural enclosure. Take a look at their care requirements.

Paroedura pictus known as the Pictus Gecko, from the latin name, is a small, nocturnal ground-dwelling gecko which is native to the island of Madagascar. This leads to it's other common name being the Madgascan Ground Gecko, although it's sometimes called the Madagascan Big-Eyed Gecko due to it's large eyes, designed to maximise any source of light when hunting at night. They adapt well to captivity and have become popular pets. Large numbers are now being bred in captivity, which is great news for the species since importation is difficult from Madagascar, and many of the islands reptiles are threatened.

The Pictus Gecko is brown with black, grey or cream markings, a long thin tail, wide head and very large eyes. Many have a bold white stripe down the back. The patterning and coloration is variable, but designed to provide excellent camouflage in the leaf litter. A male Pictus Gecko will grow to 5-6 inches in length, whilst females are slightly smaller. Hatchlings can be only a few centimetres in length and can move very fast - so always be careful if handling. The size makes them difficult to handle, but adults do tame down.

As this is such a small gecko, a 24x18” enclosure would house a pair or trio. We provide a 24x18x18" Nocturnal Setup for only £100 - which would be suitable for a pair or trio for life! There are several suitable substrates, including newspaper, soil, cypress mulch, orchid bark, coco fibre or bark chips. This is an ideal species for a bioactive / natural enclosure, as they will enjoy foraging through the leaf litter. Live plants will do excellent in this enclosure. Provide plenty of hiding places and cover as this is a small, shy gecko that gains confidence when it feels secure.

As this species is nocturnal no specialist lighting is required, but a heat mat with a thermostat will be required to maintain adequate temperatures (these are included with our 24" nocturnal setup).There is ongoing debate about using UVB lighting with nocturnal species - the general consensus is that it will not hurt, and could provide some benefits. UVA lighting will be required in a live planted enclosure. We stock a wide range of liveplants from just £2.99! The temperature should be 85-90F on the warm side of the tank and 75-80F on the cool side.  A humidity of 50% can be provided by misting every other day and a water bowl should be provided.

We sell a wide range of livefood that would be suitable, including eat small crickets, locusts, mealworms, silkworms and cockroaches. Our livefood is £2 a box, 3 boxes for £5 or 5 boxes for £8. One box should easily do one to two weeks for a single gecko. Adults only need to be fed every second day, on up to half a dozen prey items, whilst growing animals should be fed every day. The livefood should be gut loaded with calcium rich vegetables before feeding, and a calcium supplement should be provided at every feeding for juveniles and every other feeding for adults. Providing a small bowl of calcium in the cage will allow for higher calcium if they feel it is required. Our recommended supplementation includes Nutrobal (Calcium + D3) & Calci-dust (Pure Calcium).

Overall this is a lovely unusual little gecko that can live in a very natural setup, yet still be tame and handleable as adults.