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Tokay keepers: Licking the glass, sign of affection or lure to murder?

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  • Tokay keepers: Licking the glass, sign of affection or lure to murder?

    My bigger Tokay is either trying to be cute (it is) or is trying to lure me to reach into his tank to kill me (equally possible).

    He's usually hanging out on the front glass of the tank when I get home, and is quite attentive. If I put my finger on the glass, he regards it for a second, then starts licking at it.

    I know that with leopards, this is usually a sign of affection. Have you seen this with Tokays too, or is he just trying to get a taste?

    Edit: I haven't tried to handle him, but I've had my hand in his enclosure many times to do spot cleans, rearrange things, and put in food. He hasn't shown any signs of aggression beyond when he was first captured.

  • #2
    Tokays, like other geckos, lick to explore their environment and keepers and to learn their scent. Yours is likely just trying to pick up your scent so he can figure you out. When I have my little one out, he is constantly licking me, but it has never led to anything aggressive.

    If I put my finger up to any of my other gecko tanks, be it cresteds, leopards, AFT, etc...they all try licking it as well.

    Who knows...if you want to try working with him, you may just find you have a handleable Tokay after all.


    • #3
      As Cassi said, they are just interested in the environment and checking it out. It's not a sign of affection (with leos it's not either, they just lick to sense what is around them basically), but it's a sign they are curious. So even though it's not affection like a dog licking you, it's a positive sign that they aren't running away from you and are interested! :]


      • #4
        Agreed. Tokays will learn those who handle them most and, when out of their enclosures, will lick to check that their safe person is still there. My oldest female used to travel with me a lot before she became a mother and she would let groups of people hold her. By the third or fourth new person she would be breathing a bit heavy until I touched her chin for her to lick me and then she was perfectly calm again. She did the same thing on a store trip when I took my mom's truck. She was used to riding in my car which was full of my sent, but when she jumped off my sister onto the back seat of the truck as we got in, she froze and bowed up realizing the truck did not have my smell. I put her on my shoulder so she knew where I was and she started wandering around like normal, but stayed where she could directly lick/smell me. Tokay Geckos: Normals, Granites, Patternless, Calico/Pieds, Hets, & Unproven Aberrants Other Gekko species *** 1.1 Leachianus *** 5.10.7 Geckolepis maculata & typica Fish Scaled Geckos *** 1.0 CB Knight Anole
        1.2 Pachydactylus tigrinus *** 1.0 Pyxie Frog *** 10 Tarantulas & 1 Jumping Spider *** Spotted Scales FB


        • #5
          Thanks for all the advice; while I still haven't tried to hold my big boy (I still get the heavy breathing when approaching him), he seems to be getting used to my scent, at least a little.


          Now, if I can just get the smaller one to stop running away whenever anyone comes in the room...