Flying geckos also known as the gliding or parachute geckos, are arboreal creatures found in southeast Asia. Flying geckos have the unique physical attribute of gliding through the air, making them quite popular among reptile enthusiasts. This article will provide you with a pet care guide on flying geckos. We will also discuss their dietary needs and how to set up their enclosure.
The flying geckos are gliding creatures found in southeast Asia, including countries such as Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia. These creatures have a distinctive appearance apart from the gliding feature. Flying geckos have large-sized bodies that are slender and equipped with large eyes. They have a loose fold on the side of their skin which helps them glide through the air. Their coloration varies between different species, but they usually come in brown, grey, and green morphs.
Flying geckos or parachute geckos have recently gained huge popularity due to their flying abilities. These lizards are arboreal creatures that belong to the genus Ptychozoon. Flying geckos have fascinating and unique features, including their large-sized body and webbed skin membranes called patagia. The patagia help these creatures to fly through the air by providing a gliding surface between their limbs and tail. The flying gecko uses this ability to leap through trees and travel vast distances. They also use their limbs and tail to maneuver the direction they are flying to.
Flying geckos have a unique morph of brown, gray, and green which helps them blend with their surroundings. Camouflaging with the surroundings is a huge plus point in the wild, as these creatures have to run or hide from potential threats and predators.
The flying geckos are active during the night and spend their days trying to hide from predators. Flying geckos are also oviparous, with females laying 1-2 eggs per clutch. The eggs are then attached to the underside of leaves until it is time for them to hatch.
Some species of flying geckos are considered endangered due to habitat loss and other human activities. Flying geckos also have a docile temperament and love to engage in different activities. If you are looking for an active and engaging pet, then a flying gecko is the perfect fit for you.
|Common Name||Flying geckos, gliding geckos, parachute geckos|
|Habitat||Tropical rainforests and wooded areas in Southeast Asia|
|Size||Around 6 to 8 inches|
|Lifespan||Approximately 5 to 8 years in captivity|
|Diet||Insectivorous; primarily feeds on small spiders and other invertebrates|
|Reproduction||Typically 1-2 eggs per clutch|
|Behavior||Can get territorial and are hard to handle|
|Housing||Vertical enclosure with ample climbing opportunities, foliage, and branches; high humidity|
|Temperature||75°F to 85°F during the day, slight temperature drop at night|
|Diet in Captivity||Crickets, mealworms, waxworms, and other small insects|
|Health Concerns||Respiratory infections, parasitic infections, and metabolic bone disease|
What Does a Flying Gecko Look Like?
Flying geckos have a unique and distinctive appearance, which makes them quite popular among reptile enthusiasts. Flying geckos generally have a large body type and can grow up to 6-8 inches in length. They have a slender body structure and a flattened appearance giving them easier movement in their natural habitat. They also have a large pair of eyes giving them a dominating and inquisitive expression.
Another noticeable feature of flying geckos is their webbed skin membranes called patagia. Patagia is a flappy skin that stretches from the limbs to the tail. These patagia allow them to glide through the air and fly from one tree to another. When these flaps are not in use they get folded into the skin and seamlessly disappear into the body shape.
Talking about their morph, flying geckos have different colorations depending on their species. Flying geckos have earthy tones including brown, gray, and green. This distinctive coloration allows the lizard to blend in with their natural habitat and escape predators easily. The combination of their morph, gliding abilities, and unique body shape makes them interesting creatures to look at and house as pets.
Size and Growth Rate of a Flying Gecko
Flying geckos are moderate in size compared to other species of geckos. These creatures can grow up to 6-8 inches in length. However, the size of a flying gecko depends on various factors, such as age, genetics, and diet.
Talking about their growth rate, the flying gecko has a relatively slower growth rate compared to other gecko species. Young hatchlings are a replica of adult flying geckos while they slowly drift to adulthood. The growth rate of a flying gecko depends on various factors such as diet, genes, and environmental conditions. Young geckos have a faster-growing rate as compared to adults. Baby flying geckos also have a frequent shedding process and a high metabolic rate compared to adults.
Proper nutrition and a well-balanced diet are required to promote rapid growth in your pet gecko. You should also take care of the environment your flying gecko lives in. Ensure the temperature and humidity levels are at optimal levels, this will prevent your gecko from facing respiratory infections and other health problems that slow the growth of your flying gecko.
Editor’s Note- You should serve your flying gecko with a varied diet to provide proper nourishment and boost their growth. A diet consisting of small invertebrates and insects is required to provide your pet gecko with all the essential nutrients and vitamins.
Temperament of a Flying Gecko
Flying geckos or parachute geckos exhibit unique temperaments and behavior patterns. You should be aware of their general behavior and temperament to treat them accordingly. While each gecko has its unique character traits and personalities, there are some general behavior patterns associated with flying geckos.
Flying geckos are generally shy and secretive. These creatures prefer to run away if they see a potential threat or predator. Flying geckos are easily startled and prefer to run or hide rather than face danger.
These creatures are also hard to handle as they do not like being touched. When approached or handled they will try to hide or exhibit defensive behavior, such as vocalization by making chirping sounds. If you continue to hold or grab them, it might also lead to an accidental bite.
Give your flying gecko space and time to adjust to the new environment and not perceive you as a threat. Ensure you keep the handling to a minimum and do not cause too much stress to your flying gecko. You should respect your pet gecko’s boundaries and give it space in case it tries to hide from you. Proper care and nourishment can familiarize your pet with the handling and allow you to engage with your pet more freely.
Enclosure Setup for Flying Geckos
It is crucial to provide your flying gecko with the right environment to keep them happy and healthy. You should be aware of their specific care requirements and enclosure needs to provide them with a suitable environment to live in.
Providing the right temperature, humidity, and overall size of the enclosure, are a few factors you should have in mind while setting up an enclosure for your flying gecko.
As flying geckos are arboreal creatures, they require a vertically oriented enclosure. A vertical enclosure will mimic their natural surroundings and provide them with a comfortable environment to live in. The minimum size of the enclosure should be 18x18x24 inches for a single flying gecko.
Providing a tall enclosure will present your flying gecko with plenty of gliding opportunities. You can also decorate the tank with some branches, logs, and stones to provide them with a natural environment. These decorations will provide your pet with plenty of hiding and climbing spaces. Decorating the enclosure with natural elements will allow your pet gecko to utilize its gliding abilities and feel at home.
Flying geckos are nocturnal and thus do not require intensive UVB lighting like other reptiles. However, your pet gecko can benefit from a low-intensity UVB bulb. Using a low-intensity bulb will improve your pet’s health and prevent health issues such as metabolic bone disease. A 3-5 percent UVB bulb should be used for 10-12 hours per day. Ensure there is plenty of shade and hiding spots for your flying gecko to retreat to in case they need some time away from the light.
Temperature and Humidity Requirements
It is crucial to provide the right temperature and humidity levels inside the enclosure. Maintaining the right temperature and humidity levels will maintain your flying gecko’s overall health and prevent health concerns such as respiratory infections. The temperature inside the enclosure should be between 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit during the day, followed by a slight temperature drop at night. This will help your pet to distinguish night and day from inside the enclosure.
You can use a heating pad or a heating lamp to provide the right temperature levels inside the enclosure. Placing a thermometer will also help you see any temperature changes inside the tank and make changes accordingly. Flying geckos also require the appropriate humidity levels inside the enclosure. The humidity levels inside the enclosure should be between 60-80 percent at all times. This can be achieved by providing the right substrate and misting the tank regularly. You can also place a hygrometer to monitor the humidity levels inside the tank and make changes accordingly.
Choosing the right substrate is the key to providing a clean and suitable environment for your flying gecko. Some substrate options for flying geckos include coconut fiber, sphagnum moss, or a mixture of organic topsoil and peat moss. You should avoid using small pebbles and loose sand as substrate, as these can cause digestive problems such as impactions. The suggested substrate options also help maintain the humidity levels inside the enclosure.
It is not a big shocker that proper cleaning and husbandry are required to provide a hygienic environment for your flying gecko. Spot-clean the enclosure daily and remove any leftover food or feces from inside the tank. This will prevent bacteria growth and bad odor from the enclosure. You should also replace the substrate consecutively to provide a clean environment for your pet gecko.
You should also replace the water after every feeding session and clean the container regularly. Provide your flying gecko with two shallow dish bowls this will keep the drinking bowl clean and allow your pet to soak in fresh water.
You should also perform a thorough cleanse at the end of each month. Rinse the tank with reptile-safe disinfectant and wipe all the ornaments inside the tank. You should also wipe the tank dry using a paper towel before placing your flying gecko back into its enclosure. Toxic disinfectants should not be used, as they can deteriorate the health of your pet and cause various health problems.
Diet Plan For Flying Geckos
Providing a proper diet plan is crucial for the overall health and well-being of your flying gecko. Feed your flying gecko with a well-balanced diet consisting of all the essential vitamins and nutrients to promote rapid growth. Flying geckos are insectivorous and require a diet consisting of varied insects to prevent them from facing any health issues.
Feed your pet geckos with a primary diet consisting of live insects, such as crickets, worms, and roaches. You should also ensure the insects are of appropriate size and are not bigger than the space between their eyes. This will prevent digestive problems in your flying geckos, such as impactions.
To provide a well-balanced diet, you should present your flying gecko with a variety of insect species. This will prevent any dietary deficiencies and deliver all the essential nutrients to your pet gecko’s body. Switch up the diet consecutively to ensure proper nourishment and increase your flying gecko’s interest.
It is also essential to gutt-load these insects with supplements such as vitamin D3 and calcium powder. Feed your insects with supplements 24 hours before feeding your flying gecko. This will provide your pet gecko with all the essential nutrients and prevent health issues such as metabolic bone disease.
Flying geckos should be fed every other day or 4-5 times per week. Young flying geckos might require much frequent feeding due to their rapidly growing bodies and fast metabolism. As your gecko grows up their metabolic rate drops and thus does not require frequent feedings. Offer your pet gecko 5-8 insects depending on their age and size.
Flying geckos also require access to clean drinking water at all times. Present them with a shallow dish bowl to drink and soak in and clean it after every feeding session.
|Monday||4-6 small crickets|
|Tuesday||3-5 small mealworms|
|Wednesday||4-6 small crickets, gut-loaded|
|Thursday||3-5 small mealworms|
|Friday||4-6 small crickets, gut-loaded|
|Saturday||3-5 small mealworms|
|Sunday||Rest day(no feeding)|
Shedding Process in Flying Geckos
Shedding is a naturally occurring painless process that many reptiles go through. The shedding process allows your flying gecko to shed out its old skin and replace it with a fresh layer. During the shedding season, your pet gecko will shed out its old skin with dead cells to make room for the rapidly growing body.
Some signs of shedding include a dull appearance, loss of appetite, and lethargy. If you notice any of these occurring, your flying gecko is going through its shedding process. As the old skin is shed off it is replaced with a new layer of vibrant skin underneath it. You might also see your pet gecko rubbing itself again a branch or log to get rid of the old skin.
Editor’s Note- You should never try to remove any patches of skin during the shedding process. This might hurt your flying gecko and even cause them to have a skin infection.
Provide your flying gecko with a humid environment to help them through the shedding process. You can achieve the right humidity levels by misting the tank with dechlorinated water consecutively and providing the right substrate. This will help ensure that your pet gecko can shed out its skin rapidly and does not cause them a lot of stress.
How to Identify the Sex of Flying Geckos?
Identifying the sex of a flying gecko or any other gecko can prove to be challenging, especially if they are young. However, there are a few characteristics traits, and physical distinctions which can help you deduce the sex of your flying gecko.
The first thing you can do is to examine the presence of femoral pores on the underside of your geckos’ thighs. These femoral pores are small bumps and more noticeable and prominent in male geckos than in females. Male geckos also exhibit larger pre-anal and post-anal pores than females.
Another method is to notice their behavior during the breeding season. Male geckos tend to be more territorial and aggressive during the mating season. Male flying geckos will use vocalization and territorial aggression to scare away any potential mates during the breeding season.
These factors will help you deduce the sex of your pet gecko but are not always accurate. For accurate results, you should meet an experienced vet. They will be able to physically examine your pet gecko and tell you their sex accurately.
How to Handle a Flying Gecko?
Handling your flying gecko requires a proper handling technique to ensure its safety and overall well-being. You should know by now that flying geckos are shy creatures and do not allow themselves to be handled easily.
The first thing you should do is let your pet gecko get used to their new enclosure. Now you should wash your hands before handling your flying gecko. Washing your hands will prevent any exchange of bacteria from taking place and prevent your pet from catching any illnesses.
While handling your pet you should approach them with caution and avoid making any sudden moves. Making sudden movements might startle your pet gecko and perceive you as a potential pet. In case your flying gecko tries to run away or hide from you, then you should respect their boundaries and try another day. Forcefully handling your pet might lead to an accidental bite and cause your pet gecko a lot of stress.
Ensure that you never squeeze your pet or apply a lot of pressure while handling them. Hold them gently in a scooping motion and support their bodies with another hand. Avoid excessive squeezing and grabbing to provide comfort to your pet and make them feel safe. Lastly, after the handling session is over, gently place them back into their enclosure and present them with their favorite treat.
Common Health Issues in Flying Geckos
Like any other reptile, even flying geckos fall sick from time to time. You should know about their common health issues to deal with the situation quickly and take proper measures. Some of the common health issues in flying geckos include respiratory infections, metabolic bone disease, and parasitic infections.
Flying geckos can develop respiratory infections due to improper temperature and humidity levels inside the tank. Some symptoms include wheezing, open-mouth breathing, and nasal discharge. If you see any of these occurring, consult a vet immediately.
Parasites such as mites and worms can also make a home in your flying gecko’s bodies. These parasites can cause skin irritation, scratching, and anemia in your pet and should be dealt with immediately. Some signs of parasitic infections include loss of appetite, lethargic behavior, and weight loss. Provide your flying gecko with a clean and safe environment to prevent this health issue from taking place.
Lastly, MBD, or metabolic disease is another common health issue in flying geckos. MBD occurs when there is a calcium deficiency in your pet gecko’s body. Provide your flying gecko with a well-balanced diet consisting of all the essential vitamins and nutrients. You can also gut-load the feeder insects before presenting them to your flying gecko. MBD can result in weak bones, difficulty in movement, and even fractures. In case you detect any of these issues or feel something is wrong with your pet gecko, seek the advice of a trained vet immediately.
How much does an average flying gecko cost?
The cost of a flying gecko can vary depending on its age, size, and health. An average flying gecko costs around $50-$100. You should also calculate the one-time and ongoing costs, such as their enclosure, diet, etc.
Are flying geckos dangerous?
No, flying geckos are not considered dangerous and have a shy nature. These creatures will not attack you unless they are being provoked or under stress. Avoid handling your flying gecko if it is stressed or agitated, as it can lead to an accidental bite.
Flying geckos are marvelous creatures to have as pets. They have a unique appearance followed by distinctive features such as flying. Flying geckos also come in different morphs depending on their species. These lizards are also shy and love to explore their surroundings.
Due to their special gliding abilities, flying geckos have become quite popular among the reptile community. Flying geckos also do not like to be handled and require a lot of care to establish a mutual bond. Provide your flying gecko with a clean and safe environment to keep them happy and healthy.