Tokay Gecko Care

The Tokay gecko is one of the largest and most impressive species of gecko available.  They are the proud owner of one of the most easily identifiable scientific names; Gekko Gecko. Endemic to parts of India, The Philippines, Southeast Asia, Indonesia, and New Guinea, this species exhibits a multitude of colorful patterns. They Display colors ranging from vibrant to dark blue or green with spotted patterns of red to orange. However, if none of these patterns fit your choosing, there are selectively bred and genetic morphs available. Tokay Geckos are not for everyone, they are tenacious, fearless, and can inflict a fairly good bite if they get a hold of you. To those of us that love this species, their aggressiveness and attitude is part of what we find charming. Give them the time and effort needed and they can be tamed.

Captive Bred VS. Wild Caught

Unfortunately, this species is still imported in large numbers. The main issue with importing these animals is the stress and discomfort the species is put through. During importation is when problems such as dehydration, stress, and illness can occur. Imports are also usually heavily infected with parasites. The low cost of imports is appealing to some, however, once you factor in vet bills and medications, these imported animals are considerably more expensive than a quality captive bred Tokay Gecko. Find a good breeder and invest in a captive bred animal, there is no reason to buy imports.

Housing

Tokay Geckos do best in large tall enclosures. Don't skimp on the tank, go as big as you can go for these guys. The minimum size for an adult pair or single adult is a 18x18x24 terrarium. Juveniles can be raised in smaller habitats and then graduated to the larger housing as they mature and grow. 

Substrate

You can use a variety of different substrates in your Tokay set up, ideally, it should hold some moisture, be easy to clean, and readily available. We use bark chips here, but many people use coco fiber bedding, peat moss, or similar substrates. ABG substrate works nicely if you are going to have live plants in the vivarium.

Furnishings and Decor

Tokays love to climb and will need numerous structures in their enclosure to give them the opportunity. They also like to hide during the day inside structures such as bark tubes or areas that make them feel safe and secure. Cork bark works best as it provides both climbing and hiding areas. Artificial vines and plants will provide additional areas for hiding and climbing while maintaining an aesthetically pleasing look. If you decide to do a natural vivarium habitat, you can select sturdy live plants which will also help maintain humidity.

Heating and Lighting

Tokay Geckos are a tropical species that require a temperature gradient ranging from 88 degrees Fahrenheit on the hot side, to 76 degrees Fahrenheit on the cooler end during the day. A good daylight basking bulb can achieve these temperatures while providing light and an appropriate photoperiod. Ideally, the photoperiod is orientated to 12 hours on and 12 hours off.  The temperature can drop to about 76-80 degrees at night. If necessary a night time bulb can be used to achieve those temperatures. Tokays do not require UVB as they spend most of the day hiding. Another option is to provide them with low output UVB lamps as they may occasionally want to venture out and soak up some of the potentially beneficial rays. If you have live plants in your terrarium you will also have to provide some type of supplemental light such as LED or T5.

Feeding

Tokay Geckos will readily eat just about any type of insect and they will attack them with gusto. We recommend you feed your Tokays every other day. Generally speaking, you want the size of the insect to be about the size of the distance between the gecko's eyes. Crickets are the most readily available food item and make a good staple feeder item. Another good staple insect is the Dubia Roach which can be raised at home with minimal effort. Mealworms, waxworms, soldier fly larvae, hornworms, and other feeder insects can also be offered occasionally and make for a good varied diet. Adult Tokays will readily eat pinky mice and these can be offered once or twice a month. Some Tokays will eat the Pangea Gecko Diets which are fruit-based foods. The fruit diets can be offered to geckos that will eat it, once a week.

Insects should be gut loaded and dusted before offering them to your gecko. Feed your insects a high-quality insect food for at least 24 hours before feeding them to your geckos.  We recommend dusting insects with a calcium powder like Miner-All indoor every other feeding and dusting with a multi-vitamin like Herptivite once a week.

Water and Humidity

Since this is a tropical species you will need to pay some attention to humidity. Look to have periods of high humidity that fall to moderate humidity over a period of hours. To achieve this you can mist the enclosure heavily in the evening which will raise the humidity and allow your gecko to drink the droplets of water that collect on the sides of the tank and on the furnishings. Over the course of 10-12 hours, the humidity should drop to around 60%. If the humidity is regularly dropping to 50% or below you may need to mist more often. You can also invest in an automated misting system if you want to simplify your life a bit.