Gargoyle Geckos 101 – Care, Size, Lifespan, Diet & MORE

Gargoyle geckos are fascinating creatures with unique appearance and characteristics. These creatures are local inhabitants of  New Caledonia and have a docile temperament.

This article will provide an in-depth pet care guide on gargoyle geckos. We will also uncover the key aspects of caring for these delightful reptiles, making your journey into gargoyle gecko ownership a rewarding one.

Gargoyle geckos are native to the lush forests of New Caledonia. These creatures have unique features such as bumpy skin, prehensile tails, and expressive eyes. As these reptiles dwell in rainforests, their arboreal skills are put to use while climbing trees and branches.  Gargoyle gecko’s remarkable ability to change color and pattern helps them blend seamlessly with their surroundings. These reptiles also have a docile temperament making them a perfect fit for beginners.

Key AspectsInformation
Common NameGargoyle Gecko
Scientific NameRhacodactylus auriculatus
HabitatArboreal; tropical terrarium, branches, hides
SizeSmall to medium; 6-8 inches
Lifespan15-20 years in captivity
DietOmnivorous; insects, fruit, nectar
ReproductionFemales lay 1-2 eggs per clutch
BehaviorNocturnal, arboreal, docile
HousingVertical terrarium; controlled temp, humidity
Temperature72-80°F daytime, slight drop at night
Diet in CaptivityInsects, fruit, prepared gecko diets
HandlingHandle with care and gentleness
Health ConcernsMetabolic bone disease, respiratory issues
Care LevelIntermediate; suitable for experienced keepers


Gargoyle geckos are captivating creatures originating from the lush forests of New Caledonia. These reptiles are known for their unique traits and are manageable pets, making them gain quite popularity among the reptile community. Gargoyle geckos exhibit a docile and calm temperament and have minimum care requirements.

Gargoyle geckos are relatively moderate in size compared to other subspecies. These reptiles can grow up to 6-8 inches in length and showcase an array of fascinating features. Their unique characteristics, such as bumpy skin, intricate color patterns, and expressive eyes, add to their lure.

Gargoyle geckos are nocturnal creatures, meaning they are generally active during the night. These reptiles spend their day hiding in the shadows of the forest canopy, and at night they take part in activities such as hunting and exploring. 

Creating a suitable habitat for your gargoyle gecko is important for their growth and overall development. While choosing an enclosure for your pet, consider buying a vertical terrarium with plenty of climbing and hiding opportunities. You should also ensure the enclosure has the right temperature and humidity levels.

Gargoyle geckos are omnivorous and eat a varied diet consisting of small insects, fruits, and nectar. You should plan a diet that mimics their natural one and offers them all the essential vitamins and nutrients.

Gargoyle geckos also have a fascinating breeding cycle and generally reproduce 1-2 eggs per clutch. These creatures can also live up to 15-20 years making them long-term companions. Their unique characteristics, minimum requirements, and manageable care level make them an excellent choice for those seeking an engaging and captivating reptilian pet.

What Does a Gargoyle Gecko Look Like?

Gargoyle Geckos

The gargoyle gecko has a unique and fascinating appearance, setting it apart from other species of the gecko family. These creatures are moderate in size and can grow up to 6-8 inches in length.

Gargoyle gecko’s skin is characterized by a textured, bumpy surface, creating an intriguing tactile effect. One of the most enchanting features of gargoyle geckos is their vibrant and diverse coloration. 

Gargoyle gecko’s hues can range from earthy tones of brown, gray, and green to vivid hues of orange, red, and even blue. These intricate and mesmerizing patterns make these creatures a heartthrob among many reptile enthusiasts.

The morph of a gargoyle gecko depends on various factors such as age, health, and genetics. These creatures also have large expressive eyes, that shine bright against the textured skin.

Another unique feature of gargoyle geckos includes horn-like structures that protrude from above their eyes, resembling tiny crowns. This characteristic is renounced seen among adult male gargoyle geckos, adding to their regal and distinct appearance.

These creatures are also great at blending in with their environment, and their arboreal skills help them blend in with their natural environment.

Size and Growth Rate of Gargoyle Geckos

Gargoyle geckos are moderate in size similar to flying geckos and exhibit distinct growth patterns that vary throughout their life. These arboreal creatures can grow up to 6-8 inches in length including their tails. This makes them compact and manageable pets for beginner reptile enthusiasts. Young gargoyle geckos experience a rapid growth rate compared to adult geckos. 

Hatchlings measure around 2-3 inches in length and experience a rapid growth spree due to their fast metabolism. As these creatures mature, their growth and metabolism slow down, and they gradually develop into young adults. Providing a safe and comfortable habitat that caters to all of their needs plays a crucial role in their growth and overall well-being.

Nutrition and the temperature and humidity levels inside the enclosure also affect their growth rate tremendously. You should provide your pet gecko with a diet rich in proteins and nutrients for them to thrive.

Ensure that you provide your gargoyle gecko with a vertical terrarium providing them enough climbing and hiding spaces. The size of the tank also plays a crucial role in the overall development of your pet. You should provide ample space for your pet gecko to roam around and never overcrowd the enclosure.

Temperament and General Behavior of A Gargoyle Gecko

Gargoyle geckos are known for their docile and calm temperament, making them ideal pets if you are new to reptile keeping. These creatures also exhibit intriguing behaviors including their arboreal skills. Gargoyle geckos love to climb on vertical spaces such as trees and branches. They love to explore their surroundings and need plenty of vertical space and climbing opportunities in their enclosure.

Gargoyle geckos are nocturnal and are mostly active during the night. These creatures rest and hide from predators throughout the day and take part in activities such as hunting and gathering throughout the night. This behavior contributes to their adaptability to natural environments and is easy to interact with as they are less prone to stress from frequent human interaction.

These reptiles are social creatures and love to interact with their owners. You can handle your pet gargoyle gecko calmly and gently. After a few interactions, they will get used to handling, although you should keep the handling sessions to a minimum to avoid stress.

Some intriguing behaviors include their defense mechanism. Gargoyle geckos can drop their tails when they are in danger or while running away from predators. The process of a reptile losing its tail is called autotomy.

Enclosure Setup for Gargoyle Geckos

Providing a safe and comfortable habitat that caterers to all your pet geckos’ needs is crucial for their well-being and overall health. Gargoyle geckos are arboreal creatures and need a suitable environment that mimics their natural environment.

You should know about their specific care needs before setting up an enclosure for your gargoyle gecko. Ensure that you provide them with the right enclosure size, lighting, temperature, and humidity requirements before making any final purchases.

Enclosure Size

The size of the enclosure directly impacts the health and overall well-being of your gargoyle gecko. Providing a vertical terrarium is ideal for your pet due to its arboreal tendencies.

A 20-gallon tank is the minimum tank size for a single male gecko. You can even opt for a bigger tank to provide your pet gecko with more space to roam around and explore. Ensure that you should never house two male geckos inside the same tank, as it might lead to territorial disputes and aggression.

Editor’s Note- You can also equip the tank with decorations such as branches, rocks, etc. These will provide your gargoyle gecko with plenty of climbing opportunities and hiding spaces to live comfortably.

Lighting Needs

Gargoyle geckos are nocturnal species and thus do not require access to intense UVB lighting like other reptiles. You can equip the tank with a low-voltage UVB bulb to promote their overall health.

Ensure to switch off the bulb to provide a natural day and night cycle. This will ensure that your pet gecko metabolizes calcium properly and promotes their rapid growth.

Ideal Temperature and Humidity Levels

It is essential to maintain the ideal temperature and humidity levels inside the enclosure. Improper temperature or humidity levels can lead to several health concerns, such as respiratory infections.

Provide a temperature gradient of 72-80 degrees Fahrenheit at all times. You can achieve this by placing a heating lamp or under tank heating pads inside the enclosure. Equipping the tank with a thermometer will also help you detect any sudden rise or drop in temperature.

Gargoyle geckos live in a humid environment naturally. You should provide them with an enclosure that consists of 60-70% humidity levels at all times. You can achieve this by misting the tank daily and by placing live plants inside the terrarium to absorb all the excessive moisture from the air. Use a hygrometer to monitor the humidity levels inside the enclosure and take any actions if necessary.

Substrate Requirements

Choosing the right substrate is crucial for the health and safety of your pet gecko. Some safe substrate options for your gargoyle gecko include coconut coir, cypress mulch, and organic topsoil. These substrates are great at absorbing excessive moisture and creating a natural environment for your pet.

You should never use substrate options such as small pebbles or sand as they can be ingested by your pet and cause ingestion issues.

You can even create a bioactive environment with some live plants, clean-up crew insects, and a natural substrate. This setup promotes a more self-sustaining and enriching environment while also helping in waste breakdown. Thus, creating an ideal habitat for your pet to live in.

Cleaning Requirements

Providing a clean and hygienic environment is crucial for your gargoyle geckos’ health and overall safety. You need to have a proper cleaning routine for your pet geckos tank to provide them with a hygienic enclosure. Remove feces or any uneaten food after each feeding session. You should also provide them with a shallow dish for water and clean it regularly. This will prevent any growth of harmful bacteria and bad odor coming from the enclosure.

Perform a deep cleaning by the end of each month to provide a clean enclosure for your pet gecko. During these cleaning sessions remove all the items from the enclosure and rinse them with reptile-safe disinfectants.

You should never use any chemical-based disinfectants as they can be harmful and dangerous for your gargoyle gecko. Wipe all the tank walls and decorations with a paper towel before placing them back into the tank.

You should also do partial substrate changes by the end of each month, where all the old substrates will be replaced by fresh ones in 5-6 months. This will prevent any bacteria growth and prevent your pet from various health issues.

If you have placed any live plants inside the enclosure ensure that they do not have any pets. Lastly, if your gargoyle gecko shows any signs of illness or stress take them to an experienced vet immediately.

Diet Plan for A Gargoyle Gecko

Gargoyle geckos need a well-balanced and nutritious diet to maintain their health and boost their immunity to various illnesses. These creatures are omnivorous and feed on a varied diet consisting of small insects, fruits, and nectar. You should provide them with a diet that mimics their natural one to promote rapid growth. 

Insects make a hefty portion of your pet geckos’ diet as they provide them with all the essential vitamins, proteins, and nutrients. You can feed them small feeder insects such as crickets, worms, and roaches. Ensure they are proportionate to the size of your pet, as feeding large insects can lead to digestion issues such as impactions.

You can also feed your gargoyle geckos with occasional fruits such as bananas, papaya, mango, and berries to create a nutritious diet. Fruits will provide your pet gecko with all the essential vitamins and nutrients to your pet. Fruits will not only bring diversity to your diet but will also help your pet gecko maintain their body weight. As fruits are high in sugar content and hence should only be given as occasional treats.

You can also gut-load or dust the insects with calcium powder and vitamins to promote their rapid growth. Doing so will also prevent them from health issues such as metabolic bone disease.

The feeding schedule should also be kept in mind while making a diet plan for your pet gecko. Juvenile or young geckos can be given food daily due to their rapidly growing bodies and fast metabolism. Adult geckos on the other hand can be fed after every other day or three days as they have a slower metabolism. 

Ensure your gargoyle gecko has access to fresh drinking water at all times. You should also make sure there is enough moisture inside the enclosure. Gargoyle geckos rely on external hydration for thermal regulation. Improper humidity levels can lead to an uneven shed in gargoyle geckos. Mist the tank daily to maintain the humidity levels inside the enclosure.

MondaySmall crickets (5-6), Banana mash
TuesdayDubia roaches (4-5)
WednesdayA3-4 mealworms and 1 waxworm (mealworms dusted with calcium and other supplements)
ThursdayRest day
FridayDubia roaches (4-5), Mango chunks
SaturdaySmall crickets (5-6), 
SundayMealworms or superworms (2-3)

Shedding Process of Gargoyle Geckos

The shedding process in gargoyle geckos is a naturally occurring process that is essential for their growth and development. As these reptiles mature they shed out their old and withered skin to make room for their rapidly growing bodies.

Some signs of shedding include pale complexion, lack of appetite, and lethargy. You can also see your gargoyle gecko trying to rub against a branch or rock to remove any loose patches of old skin. Once the old shed skin is removed, it is replaced by a fresh and vibrant one underneath it.

You should never physically remove your pet gecko’s shed skin, as it can lead to injuries and infection. Providing a humid environment can help your pet geckos achieve an even shed. Proper monitoring and care during shedding ensure a seamless transition and a healthy, vibrant appearance.

How to Identify the Sex of A Gargoyle Gecko?

Identifying the sex of your gargoyle gecko can be a tedious task. You need to look out for various physical characteristics and behaviors to identify the sex of your pet gecko.

Male gargoyle geckos have a pair of visible hemipenal bulges at the base of their tail which are missing in female geckos and rather have a smooth tail base.

As gargoyle geckos mature they develop scent glands, these glands are visible in mature male geckos. Identifying the sex of a young gecko can be very difficult and requires the help of a trained vet. Veterinarians will be able to physically examine your pet and confirm the gender of your gargoyle gecko.

How to Handle a Gargoyle Gecko?

Handling your gargoyle gecko requires a calm and gentle approach. You should avoid making any sudden moves or noises during the handling session. This can startle your pet and cause them to run away or hide in stress.

Gently hold your pet gecko while supporting all of its limbs, and never apply any excessive pressure. Another thing that you should remember is to never hold a gargoyle gecko by its tail, as it can lead to an accidental bite.

Always remember to wash your hands before and after each handling session. This will prevent any transmission of diseases or bacteria during the handling session. If your gargoyle gecko tries to run away or hide, then you should avoid handling them. You should respect their boundaries and let them get used to their new surroundings. Lastly, keep the handling sessions to a minimum to avoid stress or discomfort.

Common Health Issues in Gargoyle Geckos

Gargoyle geckos can catch various health concerns like other pets. Your pet gecko can face various health concerns due to inadequate care or environmental conditions.

You should know about the common health issues to detect them quickly and provide an effective treatment. Some of the common health issues in gargoyle geckos include MBD, respiratory infections, and shedding issues.

Gargoyle geckos can develop metabolic bone disease due to inadequate calcium absorption in their body. Feed your pet gecko with a well-balanced diet consisting of all the essential vitamins and nutrients.

Respiratory infections can be caused due to improper temperature and humidity levels inside the tank. Some signs of respiratory infections include oozing nose, open-mouth breathing, and fatigue.

It is essential to provide your gargoyle gecko with a safe and clean environment to live comfortably. If you provide your gargoyle gecko with an unhealthy environment, it might also lead to parasitic infestation. Improper humidity levels can lead to an uneven shed leading to a skin infection.

Breeding in Gargoyle Geckos

Breeding in gargoyle geckos involves creating an ideal environment for your pet geckos to mate in. Bring a male and female gargoyle gecko with proper temperature and humidity levels. Females will then lay 2-3 eggs per clutch during each breeding season.

The incubation period for these eggs is 50-60 days. The temperature during the incubation process decides the gender of these off-springs. After the incubation period is complete young geckos will hatch from their eggs and require delicate care and attention.


How much does an average gargoyle gecko cost?

The cost of an average male gecko ranges between $100-$200 depending on their age, size, genetics, health, and morph. You should also consider the ongoing cost of owning a gargoyle gecko, such as diet, enclosure setup, substrate, and occasional veterinary visits.

Are gargoyle geckos dangerous?

Gargoyle geckos are not dangerous. These reptiles have a docile and calm temperament. Gargoyle geckos will not attack unless they are under stress or provoked. Avoid mishandling your pet or pulling on their tails to avoid accidental bites.

Final Thoughts

Gargoyle geckos are fun pets to have around. These creatures have a docile and calm temperament making them ideal for beginner reptile enthusiasts. Gargoyle geckos are also curious, making them fun to watch while they climb branches and explore their environment. 

You should also ensure that you meet all of their specific care needs, including their diet and enclosure setup to provide them with a safe and comfortable environment. With attentive care and a diverse diet, gargoyle geckos can become long-term companions and serve as excellent pets.

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