Lechianus geckos are captivating creatures native to New Caledonia. These creatures are also the largest gecko species. With their mesmerizing hues and unique markings, they cast a spell on reptile enthusiasts. Leachianus geckos are known for their striking appearance and individual characteristics.
This article will provide a complete pet care guide on leachianus geckos. We will also dwell into their care requirements, including their dietary and enclosure needs.
The Leachianus Geckos are native to New Caledonia. It holds the title of being the largest gecko species. It is famous for its unique and captivating appearance making it a favorite among reptile breeders. Their calm and docile temperament makes them a perfect fit for beginners. Leachianus geckos can live up to 15-20 years in captivity and serve as long-term companions, thus making them a great consideration for a pet reptile.
|Common Name||Leachianus Gecko|
|Scientific Name||Rhacodactylus leachianus|
|Habitat||Arboreal; requires a spacious terrarium with climbing structures and hiding places|
|Size||Adults can reach 12-14 inches in length|
|Lifespan||15-20 years or more with proper care|
|Diet||Omnivorous; feeds on insects, fruits, and nectar|
|Reproduction||Females lay 2 eggs per clutch, incubation temperatures influence offspring sex.|
|Behavior||Mostly nocturnal, arboreal climbers, and territorial in nature.|
|Housing||Large, vertically-oriented terrarium with controlled temperature and humidity.|
|Temperature||Daytime temperature is around 78-82°F, with a slight drop at night.|
|Diet in Captivity||Insects, fruit purees, and prepared diets suitable for geckos.|
|Handling||Handle with care, minimizing stress and supporting their body properly.|
|Health Concerns||Intermediate care level, requiring attention to habitat and dietary needs.|
|Care Level||Intermediate care level, requiring attentionto habitat and dietary needs.|
The Leachianus Gecko, scientifically known as Rhacodactylus leachianus, are captivating reptiles native to the lush forests of New Caledonia, a group of islands in the South Pacific. They are also referred to as the New Caledonian Giant Geck and hold the distinction of being the largest gecko species in the world.
They have a magnificent appearance and vibrant patterns that are distinctive among sub-species. These creatures also have striking characteristics, such as crested heads and large expressive eyes. Leachianus geckos are also known for their huge size, with adults reaching an impressive length of 12-14 inches.
Leachianus Geckos are primarily arboreal creatures and spend most of their time climbing trees and exploring their surroundings. These reptiles are equipped with strong limbs and tails, which help them navigate the forest.
Leachianus geckos also have a docile temperament and do not mind occasional handling making them an ideal pet for beginners. These creatures are omnivores and consume a diet consisting of small insects, fruits, and nectar.
Providing a variety of food options ensures their nutritional needs are met. Proper temperature and humidity levels are also required for their safety and overall well-being.
The Leachianus Gecko’s reproduction cycle is quite fascinating, with females laying two eggs per clutch. The temperature during the incubation period plays a crucial role in determining the sex of the offspring. Proper care and attention are required to provide them with a comfortable environment and to prevent illnesses.
What Does a Leachianus Gecko Look Like?
Leachianus geckos also known as the New Caledonian Giant Gecko, is a visually striking reptile consisting of various morphs and unique physical attributes. These reptiles can grow up to 12-14 inches in length with proper care and nourishment. Thus, making them the largest gecko species in the world.
Leachinanus geckos have a robust muscular build with a stout body structure and a short yet thick tail. The tail helps these creatures with their arboreal lifestyle. They also possess large crested heads with big expressive eyes.
One of the other unique features of this gecko is the varied colors and patterns they possess. These intricate patterns and morphs can vary among different subspecies. Leachianus geckos might display hues of green, brown, red, orange, and even blue, depending on their age, genetics, and overall health.
These geckos also possess small granular scales, which gives them a textured appearance. Leachianus geckos also come equipped with specialized adhesive toe pads and microscopic hairs, which help them climb trees and branches easily.
These geckos also have a prehensile tail which provides them with balance and stability while navigating through their natural surroundings.
Size and Growth Rate of Leachianus Geckos
Leachianus geckos are very well known for their large-size appearance among the reptile community. These reptiles can grow to an impressive length of 12-14 inches in captivity with proper care and nourishment. Having such an exceptional size makes these reptiles the largest species of geckos in the world.
You should also know that the size of a leachianus gecko depends on various factors such as age, diet, environmental conditions, and genetics.
Young leachianus geckos experience a more rapid growth spree compared to their adult counterparts. This is due to their fast metabolism and rapidly growing bodies. You should provide a well-balanced and nutritional diet to promote their rapid growth and keep them healthy.
Environmental conditions such as temperature and humidity also play a major role in the overall growth and development of their bodies. A well-balanced diet consisting of small insects, fruits, and supplements should be fed to young geckos to reach their full potential.
As the leachianus gecko matures the growth rate begins to slow down, and they gain size much more gradually compared to their young counterparts. However, these reptiles will continue to grow for many years before they reach their maximum size.
On average, leachianus geckos take 4-5 years to reach their full size. You should monitor the growth rate of your pet geckos carefully to take any necessary action whenever required.
Temperament and General Behavior of A Leachianus Gecko
Leachianus geckos have a calm and docile temperament making them an ideal pet for beginners. These reptiles might come off shy and reserved at the start but can slowly get habituated to the new environment and their pet owners. Providing a calm and stress-free environment might help them relax and get accustomed to their new surroundings.
Leachianus geckos are nocturnal creatures, meaning they are mostly active during the night and spend most of their day hiding and resting. They are also keen explorers, and their arboreal skills do come in handy when it comes to exploring new environments by climbing trees and branches.
You should provide them with plenty of climbing and hiding spaces as it will mimic their natural surroundings. These geckos may also engage in vocalization, emitting soft chirping sounds, this phenomenon can be seen as a territorial display common during the breeding season.
You should also know that leachianus geckos are solidarity creatures and spend most of their life alone. If you are planning to house multiple geckos ensure there is plenty of room for both and they all have access to plenty of hiding spaces. This will provide them with a stress-free environment and prevent aggressive behavior and territorial disputes.
Ensure you hold your pet geckos gently and do not make any sudden movements, as it might also induce stress easily.
Enclosure Setup for Leachianus Geckos
Providing a safe and clean enclosure is crucial for the overall well-being of your leachianus geckos. These creatures have specific care requirements that you should keep in mind to set up an ideal enclosure.
You should pay close attention to the enclosure size, temperature, humidity, and cleaning requirements to provide a safe and comfortable enclosure for your leachianus gecko.
As leachianus geckos are known for their large size, they need a spacious enclosure to live in. The size of the tanks should be at least 36″ x 18″ x 36″ to house a single adult gecko. You can always go for a bigger enclosure to provide more space for your pet gecko.
If you are considering housing a small group of geckos a tank of 48″ x 24″ x 48″ is required to help them stay comfortably. Larger tanks will provide more hiding spaces and prevent any territorial disputes among leachianus geckos.
Editor’s Note- Leachianus geckos are arboreal creatures and require plenty of climbing spaces. Ensure the enclosure has sufficient vertical space for climbing and adequate horizontal space for movement.
Leachianus geckos are nocturnal creatures meaning they do not require access to intense UVB lighting. Instead, try providing a low-intensity UVB bulb to simulate natural day-night cycles and promote better overall health. A 5 percent UVB bulb placed at either corner of the enclosure will mimic a natural day and night rhythm for your pet gecko.
Ideal Temperature and Humidity Levels
Providing the correct temperature and humidity levels is crucial for the health and overall well-being of your leachianus gecko. The daytime temperature should range between 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit to provide an ideal temperature inside the enclosure. You can also accompany a slight drop in temperature at night to mimic their natural surroundings.
You can use a heat lamp or heating pads to accomplish this temperature. Equip the enclosure with a thermometer to monitor the tank temperature and make changes accordingly. This will keep your leachianus gecko healthy and provide a comfortable environment to live in.
Leachianus geckos require moderate to high-level humidity inside the enclosure at all times. The humidity levels inside the enclosure should be at 60 percent at all times to provide an ideal living environment. Misting the tank regularly will help mimic the dampness of their natural surroundings. A hygrometer can be placed inside the tank to monitor any humidity changes and take action accordingly.
A suitable substrate should be placed inside the tank to help absorb moisture inside the enclosure. Providing a substrate will help retain moisture and provide an ideal habitat for your pet gecko. Coco coir, cypress mulch, or a mixture of organic topsoil and sphagnum moss are some of the substrate options that are safe for your leachianus gecko.
Avoid using substrates such as pebbles or sand, as they can cause various health problems to your pet gecko.
Editor’s Note- Substrate options such as sand and pebbles should be avoided, as they can be eaten or digested by your leachianus gecko and cause digestive issues such as impactions.
Providing a clean environment for your leachianus gecko is necessary for their overall well-being. You should have a feeding routine to help maintain hygiene inside the enclosure and offer a comfortable and safe environment to your pet gecko.
You should remove any uneaten food or feces from the tank after every feeding session. Regulate the substrate with fresh one to prevent bacteria or waste build-up.
Thoroughly clean the enclosure after every 3 to 4 months. Remove any decoration and substrate from the enclosure and clean the entire tank with a disinfectant. A reptile-safe disinfectant should be used to ensure the safety of your leachianus gecko. Rinse everything thoroughly and wait for it to dry before placing it back inside the enclosure. After the entire enclosure is set up place the gecko back into its tank.
You should also wash your hands thoroughly before and after every feeding session. You should also replace the water after every meal to prevent any bacteria build-up. Following these cleaning routines will provide a healthy and hygienic environment for your leachianus gecko and prevent diseases.
Diet Plan for A Leachianus Gecko
A well-balanced and nutritious diet plan is required to provide sustainable growth for your leachianus gecko. These geckos are omnivorous and feed on a diverse diet that includes both animal and plant-based foods. Providing a varied and nutritious diet is important for their health and overall well-being.
Leachianus geckos mostly feed on small insects such as crickets, roaches, and silkworms. Insects become a significant part of their diet as they offer an excellent source of protein. You can also offer a varied diet by feeding them mealworms, superworms, and waxworms from time to time to boost their growth.
In the wild, leachianus geckos also feed on fruits, nectar, and pollen. In captivity, you can serve them mashed fruits such as banana, peach, apricot, and papaya, which can be beneficial for their health. These fruits not only provide them with essential vitamins and minerals but also serve as an active source of hydration.
Leachianus geckos also require access to clean drinking water at all times. Provide them with a shallow dish container with clean water to maintain proper hydration. Misting the tank will also provide enough moisture to create water droplets inside the enclosure. This will mimic their natural surrounding and will provide your gecko access to water at all times.
It is essentially important to provide hydration during the breeding season. Monitor their water intake to ensure proper hydration. If you notice anything is off, contact a trained veterinarian immediately.
Establishing a regular feeding schedule is also essential for the health and safety of your leachianus gecko. Juvenile geckos require access to food daily due to their fast metabolism and rapidly increasing body. Adult geckos can be served food every other day depending on their age, size, appetite, and health. It is also important to make a note to serve appropriate-sized insects to your pet gecko or it can lead to impaction issues.
Editor’s Note- You can also serve your leachianus gecko with gut-loaded or dusted insects to provide them with essential nutrients and vitamins. Just dust or gut-load the insects with calcium and vitamin powder before feeding them to your pet gecko.
|Monday||4-5 small crickets (dusted with calcium supplement – no D3)|
|Tuesday||3-4 mealworms and 1 waxworm (mealworms dusted with calcium supplement – no D3)|
|Wednesday||A3-4 mealworms and 1 waxworm (mealworms dusted with calcium and other supplements)|
|Thursday||3-4 silkworms and 1 waxworm (silkworms dusted with calcium supplement – no D3)|
|Friday||4-5 small crickets (dusted with calcium supplement – no D3)|
|Saturday||3-4 mealworms and 1 waxworm (mealworms dusted with calcium supplement – no D3)|
|Sunday||Rest day (no feeding)|
Shedding Process of Leachianus Geckos
The shedding process is a naturally occurring phenomenon in leachianus geckos. Many reptiles go through a process of shedding for body growth and renewal.
As your pet gecko grows old their skin becomes too tight, and they need to make more room for their rapidly increasing bodies. This is where the shedding process comes in, which helps your pet to shed out its old and damaged skin to reveal a fresh layer underneath it.
Before the shedding process, your pet gecko might appear dull, and their big eyes might appear cloudy. Leachianus geckos might also experience a loss in appetite and lethargy during the shedding process.
Your pet gecko might try to rub itself against a rough surface to remove all the dead and wrinkled skin from its body. You should never try to physically remove any loose patches of skin from your gecko’s body, as it can injure them easily. Providing adequate humidity levels will help your pet gecko to shed its skin easily and to prevent an uneven shed.
How to Identify the Sex of A Leachianus Gecko?
It is quite a tedious task to identify the sex of a leachianus gecko. You need to look for physical attributes to distinguish the gender of your pet gecko. Generally, male leachianus geckos tend to be smaller than female geckos.
One of the largest indicators is the presence of pre-anal pores, which are small dots or bumps located above the vent. Males have more pronounced pre-anal pores than females. Additionally, adult geckos have hemipenal bulges at the base of their tales which are missing in female geckos.
However, these characteristics might not be visible till your pet geckos reach the age of maturity. Consulting experienced breeders or herpetologists can provide further guidance on sexing Leachianus Geckos accurately.
How to Handle a Leachianus Gecko?
You should always take a gentle and calm approach when it comes to handling a leachianus gecko. Leachianus geckos are shy and often take a bit of time to get used to their new environment and owner.
The first thing that you should do is wash your hand before and after each holding session. This helps remove bacteria, scent, and oils from your fingers, which can later lead to an accidental bite.
You should also never make any sudden movements or apply excessive pressure onto your leachianus gecko. Doing so can stress or agitate your pet, which can lead to a bite. You should also avoid making loud noises as it might stress your pet gecko and force them to go into hiding. Keep handling sessions short initially and gradually increase the time as the gecko becomes more comfortable.
Common Health Issues in Leachianus Geckos
Leachianus geckos are hardy reptiles but they can also fall ill like any other pets. You should know about the common health issues in leachianus geckos to avoid or treat them effectively. Some common health issues in leachianus geckos include shedding issues, MBD, respiratory infection, and parasitic infestation.
Inadequate humidity levels or improper environmental conditions can lead to retained sheds or difficulties during the shedding process. This can, later on, build to skin contraction or skin infection and should be avoided.
A diet lacking calcium and essential nutrients can surface to metabolic bone disease. If your leachianus gecko develops this condition, their bones will become brittle, and deformed, and might fracture easily.
Improper temperature or humidity levels might develop into a respiratory infection. Some signs of respiratory infection include wheezing, open-mouth breathing, and excessive mucus.
Parasites such as mites and worms can infest your pet gecko. Keep the enclosure clean and healthy to avoid such health issues. If you see signs of any such illnesses contact a trained vet immediately. They will be able to deduce the illness quickly and provide an effective treatment.
How Much Does an Average Leachianus Gecko Cost?
The cost of a leachianus gecko can depend on various factors, such as age, size, genes, and appearance. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $300 to $1000 or more for a leachianus gecko.
Geckos with rare morphs and unique colors might sell higher than an average leachianus gecko. You should buy a gecko from a reputable breeder or pet store to ensure they are in healthy condition.
You should also consider ongoing costs such as their diet, equipment, and substrate requirements before making the final decision. Leachianous geckos live up to 15-20 years, and these costs can slowly add up. You should consider the one-time and ongoing costs before making the final decision.
Are Leachianus geckos dangerous?
No, leachianus geckos are not dangerous. These reptiles are known for their shy and docile temperament. They will not show signs of aggression unless they are stressed or provoked.
Why are leachianus geckos so costly?
Leachianus geckos are extremely rare to find and have a small clutch cycle. They are also the largest geckos in their species, thus making them a collectible item for many reptile enthusiasts.
Leachianous geckos are docile and shy creatures with minimum care requirements. They serve as the best house pets and long-term companions as they live up to 15-20 years. Leachianous geckos are arboreal creatures and skilled climbers, making them fun to observe and look at.
Leachianus geckos are also omnivorous and have simple dietary requirements making them an ideal pet for beginners. You should provide them with a healthy and comfortable enclosure. With dedicated attention and affection, your leachianus gecko is certain to flourish and become a happy member of your family.