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Tokay Gecko FAQ

Cute Tokay Gecko

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Tokay Geckos make good pets?

Tokay geckos are not for everyone. They are not easily handled, can be aggressive, require large terrariums, heat lamps, and other care equipment. They make excellent pets for those that understand their care requirements and their tenacious nature. Tokays are one of the largest, most colorful, and impressive looking geckos available. There are captive bred animals available in a range of colors and morphs. It is indeed an exciting gecko to own for any experienced hobbyist.

 

Can Tokay Geckos be tamed?

It is possible to tame some Tokay Geckos. Captive bred juveniles are much more easily worked with than adults. Wild caught animals should be avoided for many reasons, and are unlikely to ever be tamed.

Here are the basic steps to taming your Tokay gecko. Keep in mind, there is always the possibility of getting bitten during this process. It is also a good idea to have a helper nearby in case your gecko makes a run for it. Your gecko should be well acclimated and healthy before attempting to tame him/her.

  • Begin slowly by getting your gecko used to your movements, offer food by hand or tongs so that the gecko begins to see you as a source of food rather than a threat. This requires patience and it can take several days to weeks before the gecko starts accepting food offered this way.
  • After the gecko is accepting food this way, make the gecko come out of it's spot a bit to get the food from your hand or tongs.
  • Next, place on hand in the tank and then offer the food in such a way that the gecko has to move on to your free hand to get the treat.
  • After a few feedings this way, you can move the hand with the gecko on it around so that it gets used to your movements. You can start trying to touch the gecko by moving very slowly and trying not to startle it. Eventually the gecko will care more about the food than your motions and light touches. 
  • Now you have the framework for working towards taming your tokay gecko. Move forward with patience until you develop complete trust from the gecko.

 

Are Tokay Geckos Mean?

Tokay Geckos can be aggressive and defensive. Mean is not the best word to describe them. They come from a place that has many predators and have developed their intimidating posture, strong bite, and ability to move fast as a very successful survival mechanism.

The attitude of this species is part of what makes it unique, interesting, challenging and fun to work with. 

 

Do Tokay Geckos bite?

Tokay geckos can and will bite. Adults have the most powerful and potentially painful bites of any gecko species. If you own a tokay gecko, the chances are that at some point, you will be on the receiving end of their strong jawed, sharp toothed bite. They can draw blood and cause some pain, however tokay geckos are not dangerous to work with.

The bite from a hatchling or young juvenile tokay is much more tolerable.  If you are going to attempt to tame your gecko, get a captive bred juvenile.

If your goal is to have a pet that is naturally calm and friendly, this is not the species for you. 

 

How much do Tokay Geckos cost?

A healthy captive bred normal type Tokay Gecko from a reputable breeder will cost about $75.00 to $100.00. There are a multitude of morphs with new ones being produced regularly. High end Tokay morphs start at around $250.00 and have been sold for $3000.00 or more.

A wild caught tokay gecko may be as cheap as $15.00, however, wild caught geckos have a slim chance of surviving and will require expenditures on medications and veterinary care. Stay away from cheap wild caught geckos. It will save you money in the long run and will not perpetuate the demand for animals removed from their natural habitat.

 

Can Tokay Geckos lose their tail?

Yes, Tokay Geckos have developed the ability to drop their tails as a way to distract and escape from predators. The process of losing the tail is called autotomy and is highly developed in this species. Once dropped, the tail will wriggle about, tricking the would be gecko eater into attacking the now disconnected tail. The gecko makes its escape and lives to see another day. Tokay geckos will regenerate a new tail, slightly smoother and only moderately different looking than the original. The process of regrowing a new tail takes a few weeks to a couple of months.

 

How big to Tokay Geckos get?

Full size adult Tokay Geckos average about 12-13 inches in total length. Some individuals can get over 15 inches from the tip of the snout to end of the tail.

 

What do Tokay Geckos eat?

Tokay Geckos will eat any type of feeder insect. Feed them a variety of different prey insects to help keep their diet varied and nutritious. Adults will also eat pinky mice. Tokays require calcium with vitamin D3 dusted on their insects at least every other feeding. A multi-vitamin mixed in with their calcium should be offered once every week or two. Pinky mice do not need to be dusted with any supplements.

Some Tokay geckos will eat fruit, or fruit based gecko foods like Pangea once every week or two. If feeding mashed or blended fruit you will need to add calcium and vitamins. If offering complete fruit based gecko diets, you do not need to add anything.

 

How often should I feed my Tokay Gecko?

Hatchling and juvenile Tokays should be offered appropriately sized dusted and gut-loaded insects every other day. Adults should be fed the same thing at least twice a week as well as a pinky mouse once a month or once every two weeks. Breeding adults should be fed insects more frequently. If your gecko will eat fruit based complete gecko diets, you can feed it to any tokay gecko once a week.

 

More Information

Tokay Gecko Care and Breeding Article

Tokay Geckos For Sale