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Temperature For Rhacodactylus auriculatus

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  • Temperature For Rhacodactylus auriculatus

    I am sure the topic of Temperature has come up more than once over the years, but I have a bit of a unique circumstance where I am so I would appreciate feedback if anyone can help me out.

    I was contemplating acquiring a gargoyle gecko but I am not sure if the temperatures are adequate. Humidity I can obviously handle, I have the knowledge of exotic pet keeping for many years since childhood to be able to set it up properly. But the real question I have involves temperature. During the winter, at the current place that I live, the temperature is on the cooler Side by my standards, it is around 66 to 69 F during the daytime, increases to about 70 to 71 F during prime time, then drops again to 66 to 69 F at night. Personally I like it much warmer but heating costs are astronomical so I need to be conservative as much as I can.

    That being said, do you think that this period of cooler temperatures in the winter would be harmful given that it lasts for about 5 months? The wiring here is terrible and I don't want to run heating pads, and a space heater would trip the breaker because I already tried that last year and it did not go well.

    I could lean a couple of hand warmers against the outer layer of the terrarium (i.e. so the baby would not be burned) if that would make any difference.

    During the summer, without the air conditioner, the temperature can be in the lower to mid 80s. I would have to run the AC much more often than I do now, but my girl can't stand the warmer temperatures so I have a feeling I will be running it more often then I want to anyway. I have a temperature gun that I can use to monitor actual temperatures, and I know they cannot be any warmer than the low 80s at the warmest without being at risk of issues.

    Some of my critters, such as my Brachypelma hamorii and Hadrurus arizonensis may be more active in winter if they were kept a few degrees warmer, but the cooler temperatures are not lethal or harmful. They simply slow down and are not as active (in fact, H. arizonensis benefits from a cooler winter as it triggers their diapause which occurs in the wild).

    I will not be living here forever, but I would hope I do not have to wait another couple of years to acquire a Garg.

    But obviously I will not do so if it would be harmful to the little one. I value animal life too much for that, even at the expense of my desire to own one.

    Thank you all in advance for any tips that you can provide.

  • #2
    I know it's been a while since this post but I wanted to respond because this was my biggest concern when I got my gargoyle. My local reptile store owner is a breeder and told me between 72-76 in the day and no lower than 68 at night. This is consistent with my usual inside temps right now, so a-ok. Before the new A/C it was getting up in the high 80s inside during the summer which is not good. Humidity is the hardest to maintain for many. Fortunately I live in FL so her terrarium stays right around 50% which is perfect. No lower than 40% and no higher than 60% or they may get an upper respiratory infection. I also made the mistake of buying UVB and heat bulbs, neither of which was needed as they are nocturnal and don't need artificial sunlight. If you are worried about cold, you can get a small reptile lamp with a red bulb that puts out a few extra degrees. They usually come with a clamp or sit right on top of the screened lid, just stay clear of plastic and don't place it directly over where they sleep. Mine climbs to the highest point when sleeping or in a small cork round on a magnetic shelf near to top, and the red won't disturb their sleep, but you don't want to bake it either. They are fairly hearty if temps aren't perfect at first, humidity is most important so they don't get sick. I also replaced the substrate with reptile terrarium carpet as she never burrowed and didn't like walking on it. She loves the carpet which surprised me as they avoid the ground, and it's easy to clean if you buy a large piece and cut two pieces to size out of it. Throw the dirty one in the washer and replace it with the other, just make sure you don't use detergent with fragrances or similar additives. Well, this is my experience anyway that works best for my little one, others may disagree, but I got my info first hand from a breeder whose store I frequent for all my needs, well, except the LED hood I now use because I don't need the lights or heat and LED barely consumes any electricity. If that turns out to work best for you too, look on Amazon instead for Nicrew, you will save around 60% just because the same one at the pet store has the name "Exo Terra" on it. I hope this helps, and it should apply to most if not all New Caledonian geckos. Good luck!