Lizard With Fat Tail?

The African Fat-Tailed Gecko is a lizard thats common in the western parts of Africa. It is a nocturnal animal that lives underground in the desert areas of the continent. This should not be confused with the common leopard gecko because these lizards may look similar but have different color markings, tail size, and overall size.

Size 7 to 9 inches long from head to tail 40 to 90 grams of weight Habitat Dry and arid regions Country of Origin Only in West Africa from Senegal to Cameroon The African Fat-Tailed Gecko is
a lizard thats common in the western parts of Africa. It has charmed
lizard lovers because of its lovely appearance, docile nature, and their
ability to thrive very well in captivity.

The African Fat-Tailed Gecko is
sexually dimorphic, with male lizards larger and more stunning than their
female counterparts. Their skin has impressive color
combinations ranging from beige to tan with brown stripes with a slightly pink
to the off-white underbelly. There is a distinct thin white line from the head
to the tail of this gecko, and this is what makes it different from other pet
lizards.

Popular members of this family include
the leopard gecko from South Central Asia, Pakistan, and India. Also, this subfamily has
moveable eyelids, no sticky feet or adhesive lamellae, and has vertical pupils. Other pet owners gut load their insects with romaine
lettuce, dandelions, or leafy greens.

In case you have never heard of gut
loading, this is a method of using prey insects as a way to pass nutrients to
your pet. Change this
water daily and make sure to clean the dish regularly too to prevent bacterial
contamination of the enclosure. Water in a large shallow dish
for swimming is not needed by land-dwelling lizards like the African Fat-Tailed
Gecko.

As mentioned, the mating system is complicated since males
and females may have multiple partners in a breeding season in a year. Each baby gecko weighs around 4 grams but will soon double
their size and weight in a matter of a few weeks. This short cooling down period can stimulate breeding in geckos, especially
when you live in a warm or dry area.

Place the fat-tails on dry
bedding or substrate like paper towels or newspapers as your geckos stay in a
cooling period. Lowering tank temperatures
can slow down the metabolism of the lizards; therefore, these wont burn too
much weight at this period. And instead
of using newspapers or paper towels, increase the substrate to improve humidity
inside the tank.

A breeder claims he has a higher
success rate by leaving one male to two or three females in one tank. Calcium supplements are available in
which you can feed your lizards while vitamin D3 is provided by using UVB lamps
in your tank. MBD is the lack of calcium in
bones, and symptoms are deformities in the lizards skeletal system.

This
occurs over time but may also show acute symptoms like bowed legs, a rubbery
jaw that affects the way they eat their food and kinks in the spine, which can
be seen upon closer inspection. But if the gecko becomes stressed
or suffer from any immune system condition, the parasites can multiply, and
this can affect his health. Always check for signs of parasitic
infections like smelly or runny poop, weight loss, a bloated abdomen, anorexia,
and lethargy or lack of energy.

And any fights usually dont end well with geckos since these
lizards may bite each other and scratch their skin. It
may be due to many reasons like a new environment, a new cage mate,
overcrowding, poor husbandry, and breeding. Stressed geckos dont heat, may
have depressed immune systems, and may have problems shedding.

The best way to
treat stressed geckos is to remove the stressor, give it time to adjust to his
new environment, and just leave it alone. A
dirty, unkempt tank can lead to the growth of bacteria inside the enclosure and
can affect the health of your lizards. Never capture insects and worms in your
yard because these may contain toxins from pesticides, which can affect your
gecko.

Naturally, smaller, juvenile African Fat-Tailed Geckos will shed more
frequently than an adult or mature ones. This is why successful breeders place a
single male with two, three, or more females inside a breeding tank. One of the adaptations of the African
Fat-Tailed Gecko is its ability to shed off its tail when it feels attacked,
stressed, or threatened.

This is a gecko that will sleep
and rest in the day but will be active, eating, playing, and mating in the
evening. If
you can handle your pet well, soak it in warm water for at least a few minutes
to loosen dead skin. The tank must be placed in a quiet environment, preferably a
spare room, basement, or attic so that this gecko can sleep and recuperate
during the day.

The accessories you place inside should be safe, must have no
jagged or pointed edges that can hurt your pets. You may also DIY accessories
like a turned over clay pot, a shoebox with holes, or a plastic container. You can get an African
Fat-Tailed Gecko from a local pet store or reptile trade shop, but it can take
time before you take one home.

The price for a regular African Fat-Tailed Gecko is around
$1300, while those with more interesting designs and elaborate colors may cost
more around $1500 to $2000. Place
the tank in a quiet area and maintain peace during the mornings since this
gecko is a nocturnal animal.

What kind of lizard has a fat tail?

African Fat-Tailed Geckos have many unique features, one of them being their fat tail. Their tails are so thick because they store extra fat and have a defense mechanism called ‘caudal autotomy’.

Why is my lizards tail fat?

Geckos and Nutrition. Geckos, like most other lizards, store fat in their tails. Species like leopard-tail geckos and fat-tail geckos are normally seen with a thick tail at the base. It is easy for them to store fat in their tail and use that fat for nutrition during cold months or when ill.

Are African fat tailed geckos poisonous?

Reptile – Non-Venomous. The African Fat-Tailed Geckos are nocturnal and spend most of their time on the ground. The colors and patterns of the gecko match the environment to provide camouflage. They are one of only a few species of gecko that have eyelids, which help to keep their eyes clean.

What do fat tail geckos eat?

Fat-tails are nocturnal, and thus (in their native habitats) hunt for various insects at night. Fat-tailed Geckos in captivity are usually fed insects that are mainly from two categories. They are fed crickets or various types of larval insects (mealworms, wax-worms, hornworms etc…).

The African fat-tailed gecko[3] or fattail gecko (Hemitheconyx caudicinctus) is a ground-dwelling species of gecko from West Africa and Cameroon.[1][4]

They are terrestrial , and have moveable eyelids, vertical pupils, and no adhesive lamellae . The African fat-tailed gecko is typically around 79 inches (1823 cm), with females being slightly smaller than males.

African fat-tailed geckos will spend most of their time in a dark, humid hiding place. The African fat-tailed gecko is equipped with the ability to lose its tail when threatened or attacked. African fat-tailed geckos are reportedly strictly nocturnal, taking shelter from their generally hot and dry environment during the day and emerging at night to forage.

[10] Through selective breeding the reptile trade has been able to produce numerous color variants of the African fat-tailed gecko including tangerine, albino, patternless, black out, and aberrant fat-tails. Geckos: Everything About Selection, Care, Nutrition, Diseases, Breeding, and Behavior . The eyelash geckos: Care, breeding and natural history .

The African Fat-Tailed Gecko is the ground-dwelling Gecko of West Africa. They can be located in savannahs, river edges and other dusty plains in West-African deserts.

Originating from the dry region of West Africa, they often spend their nights hiding in humid areas. Their tails are so thick because they store extra fat and have a defense mechanism called caudal autotomy.

Lizard Quick FactsCommon NamesFat-Tailed GeckoScientific NameHemitheconyx caudicinctusAdult Size7-9 inches, up-to 45 to 75 gramsLifespan10-25 yearsDietInsectsTank Size10 gallon +Humidity & Temperature75-95F and humidity should be kept between 50-70%Popular AlternativesLeopard Gecko Fat Tails require an environment that is moderately moist but high in temperature. Their captive habitats must therefore have regulated temperatures and lighting, and must have lots of hiding places for these shy lizards

Their terrarium should have at least one humid hide for each Gecko, which will need to be placed on the hot side of the tank. It also needs decorations such as cork rounds, logs, grape wood, and bamboo hollows. Lighting Either a T8 or a T5 lamp will work for these geckos, and should be mounted to the back of the ceiling, closest to the warmer end, generating a good UV gradient.

These cold-blooded reptiles require a heat gradient in their tank so they can easily moderate their body temperature based on their surroundings. Basking lights and under the tank heaters will achieve the high temperatures required. Tank TipsTank TypeWooden vivariumsLightingBasking lightBest SubstrateFine orchid bark

African Fat-Tailed Geckos are carnivorous , and are not known to consume any plant materials in their natural habitat. Their diet consists mainly of insects and other invertebrates they encounter during the night-time in the savannahs, including different types of worms, crickets and beetles. When kept in captivity, African Fat-Tailed Geckos should be fed crickets and other types of larval insects like mealworms.

Diet SummaryInsects100% of dietFruits0% of dietVegetables0% of dietSupplements RequiredVitamin D3 and calciumBlack African Fat Tailed Gecko In the beginning, your African Fat-Tailed Gecko will be shy, you should allow them to settle into their new home for a couple of weeks before you start handling them. Many owners find that handling an African Fat-Tailed Gecko is a great experience, as they are very docile and respond well to human contact (without jerking around or trying to escape). If it does have retained skin or is dirty, you are welcome to soak it in a shallow dish with warm water for a few minutes.

A small, shallow tub should be filled with 50-70F water, and their feet should be submerged for around 5 minutes. When cleaning the cage, you should use a reptile-friendly disinfectant spray which should be left for 30 seconds before being wiped away with a paper towel. During the cleaning process, everything should be removed from the enclosure, including the gecko, decorations and bedding.

Signs They Are HealthySickness SymptomsMovement and interaction with humans and decorations during the dayStrange-colored wasteDesire for food and waterCompletely inactive during the dayThey do not lose their tail and are friendly and docileComplete loss of appetite and Shedding problems e.g. the tail tip is shrivelling African Fat-Tailed Gecko Lifespan Under the right captive conditions, the Fat Tail Gecko may live for up to 25 years. Gloves are not necessary when handling these geckos, but it is important to wash your hands before and after handling.In the wild, and in captivity, African Fat-Tailed Geckos are extremely docile, gentle and calm lizards, who spend their time sleeping, basking and occasionally hunting for insects during the night. They are unlikely to scratch or bite other animals or humans over food or territory, unless strongly threatened.

Male African Fat-Tailed Geckos vocalize using quiet squeaks and clicks during disputes over territory, to warn off other males, or to attract females, and both sexes will squeak to ward off unwanted company . When they are hunting, they may raise their tails and wave them in the air, an action that is used to distract the prey before the attack. In captivity, they will only be active at night and will most likely want to spend their time in hiding holes or basking.

Their tank should cool down to about 68-77F in preparation for spring and males especially should undergo brumation if they are going to breed. Leopard African Fat-Tailed GeckoMale and females display sexual dimorphism (i.e. differentiating physical features between the sexes. The African Fat-Tailed Gecko is one of only a few species to have eyelids which prevent dust from entering their eyes.

Every African Fat-Tailed Gecko has a natural base color of light brown or beige. Banding stretches down the length of the body, head and tail, and is a dark brown color. As this species is increasing in popularity, more and more African Fat-Tailed Gecko morphs are becoming available to excited owners.

African Fat Tailed Gecko HatchlingMales attract females by making a clicking sound. If the temperature of the incubation tank is lower, a longer period of gestation will ensue. They should be kept in a small enclosure with plenty of hiding spots to make them feel at home.

Prices can be as low as $75 or as high as $500 USD based largely on its appearance and breeder! African Fat-Tailed Geckos are becoming increasingly popular and are a very modern reptile so they wont be at local pet stores. ProsConsAttractive and unique patterns make them fascinating to watchThey struggle in cold temperatures, so the heat of their tank must be closely regulatedDocile and open to being handled so make good beginner reptilesThey can be picky with the insects they eatAre widely available to be purchased from breedersThey can be shy when young, making it harder for owners to interact with them African Fat-Tails are commonly compared to the more popular Leopard Gecko.

The most important things to consider is that they have a healthy diet of live insects and that their cage is cleaned regularly to avoid illness. Due to their calm and docile nature, these Geckos are recommended for all reptile lovers, especially beginners.

African fat-tailed geckos are not yet as widely available as the more common leopard geckos, but are now widely available online through breeders who specialize in their captive breeding

A simple thermostat that can be used for single housed geckos is the Zilla Terrarium Heat & Habitat Lighting Controller for reptiles. Because reptiles are cold-blooded and rely on their environment to control body temperature it is important that the heat source remains at approximately 90F and is situated at one end.

This will give the gecko(s) the ability to thermoregulate by moving from the heat source to a cooler area of the enclosure ranging in the high 70s to low 80s. African fat-tailed geckos are nocturnal so reptile shelters within their enclosure will provide them with a peaceful retreat to sleep or hide in. In terms of lizard habitat products, these can be as elaborate as you like or can be as simple as a plastic container turned upside down with a door cut into it to allow the geckos passage.

They may also readily accept silkworms, waxworms or pinkie mice, but these food items should only be given as a supplement as they are high in fat content.

Physical Description

The African Fat-Tailed Gecko is a lizard that’s common in the western parts of Africa. It is a nocturnal animal that lives underground in the desert areas of the continent. This should not be confused with the common leopard gecko because these lizards may look similar but have different color markings, tail size, and overall size.This gecko may not be readily available in most pet shops locally, but it is popular online. It has charmed lizard lovers because of its lovely appearance, docile nature, and their ability to thrive very well in captivity.The African Fat-Tailed Gecko is sexually dimorphic, with male lizards larger and more stunning than their female counterparts. This lizard is a medium-sized gecko with an average weight. The female is larger in this species and may look very delicate.Their skin has impressive color combinations ranging from beige to tan with brown stripes with a slightly pink to the off-white underbelly. There is a distinct thin white line from the head to the tail of this gecko, and this is what makes it different from other pet lizards.The African Fat-Tailed Gecko has small cute black eyes that can be round, triangular, or almond-shaped. Many pet owners say that this is the most charming feature of this little gecko. Finally, it has a distinct wide and thick tail, which is why it has earned its name “fat-tailed” gecko. The tail has vertical segments that gradually becomes thinner up to the tip of the tail.

Types

The African Fat-Tailed Gecko belongs to the sub-family Eublepharinae. Popular members of this family include the leopard gecko from South Central Asia, Pakistan, and India. Compared to other subfamilies, the Eublepharinae have different features than other geckos. These lizards are terrestrial and are nocturnal. Also, this subfamily has moveable eyelids, no sticky feet or adhesive lamellae, and has vertical pupils. And just like most gecko species, the African Fat-Tailed Gecko may lose its tail when it feels threatened or in stress. If it loses its tail, a new one can grow in its place. More on this unique characteristic of this gecko later.

Life Span

The African Fat-Tailed Gecko can live for 10 to 25 years in captivity with an average of 15 years. There is no information as to how long this gecko can live in the wild. According to the IUCN Red List, this gecko species is of Least Concern. This is because it is widespread and common in its natural habitat. This lizard may only be affected by localized threats.The African Fat-Tailed Gecko has three life stages similar to most lizard species:

Hatchlings

After a quick gestation period, baby hatchlings will come out of their eggs. Each hatchling weighs only 4 grams and is already able to walk and look for food.

Juvenile

During the juvenile stage, both male and female African Fat-Tailed Geckos will grow equally. The male and female will have the same weight and size. But the males may have a more colorful appearance.

Adult

Adult African Fat-Tailed Geckos reach maturity between 8 to 11 months. The males start to grow larger and heavier than females. Mating between male and female geckos is polyandrous, which means the male and the female may have partners in a breeding season.

Eating Habits

The fat-tailed gecko eats a lot of insects in the wild. In captivity, these lizards will eat live food like mealworms and crickets. You may also feed this gecko waxworms, silkworms, and pinkie mice. However, these must only be given as a supplement because these have high-fat content.Babies or geckos that are younger than 4 months should be given live crickets daily. Juvenile and adult geckos should be fed at least nine crickets or mealworms a week.Pick the cricket; you will feed your lizard. It must be the correct size so your pet can eat it right away. Expert lizard recommends ½ sized crickets that are hatchlings six weeks old and 2/3 sized crickets for a juvenile to adult. You can place crickets inside the cage or enclosure, allowed to move around the area. But if the lizard does not eat the cricket after a few hours, remove it. You can leave mealworms in a shallow dish inside the enclosure.You must gut load the insects you feed with commercial gut load mix, or you may use baby cereal, dog, or cat food or fish flakes. Other pet owners gut load their insects with romaine lettuce, dandelions, or leafy greens. In case you have never heard of gut loading, this is a method of using prey insects as a way to pass nutrients to your pet. Use calcium powder to dust food before giving it to your pet.And since this gecko is nocturnal, feed it in the evenings when it is most active. Don’t leave its prey roaming inside the tank in the morning. Just load it in when the gecko is awake.

Water

African Fat-Tailed Geckos need fresh water. Place a dish of clean water inside its enclosure. Change this water daily and make sure to clean the dish regularly too to prevent bacterial contamination of the enclosure.Water in a large shallow dish for swimming is not needed by land-dwelling lizards like the African Fat-Tailed Gecko. It would prefer to remain under the lamp to bask rather than to swim in the water.

Development and Reproduction

In fat-tailed geckos, the competition during reproduction exists only in males and is not a pressure among female geckos. As mentioned, the mating system is complicated since males and females may have multiple partners in a breeding season in a year.The breeding season lasts for only five months a year, and at this time, both adult males are very busy mating and looking for mates.Female African Fat-Tailed Geckos may lay up to five clutches in a year, but some females may lay fewer eggs. The gestation period is short, and when it’s over, baby geckos will tear the eggs apart and come out. Each baby gecko weighs around 4 grams but will soon double their size and weight in a matter of a few weeks.

How to Breed

When it comes to breeding African Fat-Tailed Geckos, you need a healthy, adult, or sexually-mature geckos. According to expert gecko breeders, they start when the males are 7 months old and should weigh around 40 grams. Some breeders select a breeding male, but this is not always the oldest and the heaviest but most likely the healthiest. Meanwhile, females should be at least 8 months of age and must weigh 45 grams. Captive breeding of African Fat-Tailed Geckos has led to different colors, designs, and traits of fat-tailed geckos.Breeding time for captive geckos happens from November to March. As much as possible, follow the natural breeding cycle of these animals in the wild. What breeders have experienced, breeding in late fall, in winter and in springtime has the best success.

Start by cooling the enclosure

Breeders recommend stimulating the natural timing of breeding, which is during the coolest time of the year. This short cooling down period can stimulate breeding in geckos, especially when you live in a warm or dry area. However, this may not be necessary if you are located in an area where there are four distinct seasons.To provide a cool environment, start the middle of the year through fall. Normal temperatures are 88 to 92 degrees Fahrenheit in a hotspot while the cooler side of your enclosure should be around 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.Reduce the enclosure temperature by two degrees daily until geckos have 82 degrees in the hotspot. At the cooler part of the cage should be at around 70 degrees. You may turn off the heat inside the cage at night to lower temperatures in the mid-1970s.Place the fat-tails on dry bedding or substrate like paper towels or newspapers as your geckos stay in a cooling period. Always maintain a clean bowl of water inside the tank at all times. Once you cool down the tank, don’t feed them. Lowering tank temperatures can slow down the metabolism of the lizards; therefore, these won’t burn too much weight at this period. Cool the tank down for about 4 to 6 weeks. This will be enough to stimulate breeding in both males and females.And after this long cooling phase, you can start increasing the temperature inside the tank daily until you are back to the normal tank temperature. During the warm period, resume feeding, but during the first few days, reduce the number of live feedings. And instead of using newspapers or paper towels, increase the substrate to improve humidity inside the tank.

Introducing males to females

Once the tank is back to its regular temperature and you are giving your lizards their usual amount of food, you may now introduce males and females. You can use multiple tanks to group the geckos for breeding success.A breeder claims he has a higher success rate by leaving one male to two or three females in one tank. Usually, breeding happens shortly after the introduction, and females will quickly ovulate with eggs developing shortly afterward.After the introduction, place an egg box inside the tank but not directly under the lamp or in the hotspot to prevent drying of the eggs. An egg box with a hole that’s s1.5-inches on top is right for females. This way, she can move in and out of the egg box as she pleases. Fill the area surrounding the egg box with damp soil. Place a small amount of damp soil inside the egg box, as well.Always keep a close eye on the females because sometimes these will lay their eggs outside the egg box. Usually, females lay eggs two at a time while some may lay only one egg.During egg-laying season, females must be fed heavily. You should offer her food, as much as she can take. Gut feed the insects you give your female and add supplements as well. This will ensure that the female remains healthy and her eggs healthy as well.

Care for eggs that have hatched

As soon as you see eggs deposited inside the egg box, remove these and place these inside an egg incubation cup. Use an 8-ounce cup to incubate the eggs. Fill these with the same soil mix inside the tank. Wet the soil until this is damp. This is the best environment to incubate African Fat-Tailed Gecko eggs.Take note that incubation temperatures will affect the gender of the hatchlings. An all-female or predominant female clutch is incubated 83 to 85 degrees. For more males or predominant male hatchlings, an incubation temperature of 88 to 89 degrees is best. However, a higher enclosure temperature can make the breeding geckos more aggressive. A thing called “fatal incubation” happens when temperatures are lower than 82 and higher than 93.Incubation time is from 55 to 70 days for eggs incubated at 83 to 85 degrees. Eggs that are incubated at 88 to 89 degrees will hatch from 43 to 48 days. As soon as hatchlings come out of the eggs, place these in a tank lined with paper towels. The temperature requirements for the tank is similar to the tanks with adult African Fat-Tailed Geckos. Give food to newly-hatched geckos after a few days. And as soon as these weigh around 15 grams, you may now place these in juvenile tanks or housing.

Common Health Problems

Here are the five common problems that African Fat-Tailed Geckos experience:

Poor shedding

The ability to shed completely and easily is one way to gauge good health in geckos. Healthy lizards that live in an enclosure with a good environment will shed regularly. This is to the point that the pet owner may not even notice that shedding has happened!Take note of signs of shedding difficulties like skin shedding in pieces instead of one piece, skin clinging on the tail or the eyes, and signs of restlessness.Any stuck skin should be removed right away because this can cling on the extremity and can cause constriction and damage. If you can handle your gecko, soak it in warm water for a few minutes. You may also use a gecko sauna box using a plastic container and warm water. Just place the lizard in and let the water soften the dead skin.But for any severe shedding condition, consult a vet at once. A vet can help remove shedding and will also treat wounds or cuts due to incomplete shedding.

Metabolic Bone Disease

Geckos need calcium for strong bones and vitamin D3 to metabolize calcium. Calcium supplements are available in which you can feed your lizards while vitamin D3 is provided by using UVB lamps in your tank.MBD is the lack of calcium in bones, and symptoms are deformities in the lizard’s skeletal system. This occurs over time but may also show acute symptoms like bowed legs, a rubbery jaw that affects the way they eat their food and kinks in the spine, which can be seen upon closer inspection.Some hatchlings are born with the inability to manufacture calcium, leading to MBD. Also, females that hatch their eggs require more calcium. MBD is reversible by increasing vitamin D3 and calcium intake. You can directly apply calcium supplement by just dipping your finger in the calcium powder and applying this on your gecko’s mouth. You must also invest in a reliable UVB lamp for daily vitamin D3 intake.

Parasites

Geckos come with a low level of parasites, which don’t affect their health. But if the gecko becomes stressed or suffer from any immune system condition, the parasites can multiply, and this can affect his health. Also, these microorganisms can multiply and affect other animals and even humans.To avoid the spread of parasites and infections, quarantine a new lizard. Always check for signs of parasitic infections like smelly or runny poop, weight loss, a bloated abdomen, anorexia, and lethargy or lack of energy.If you notice any of these symptoms, take your pet to the vet. Clean and disinfect your gecko’s enclosure to prevent reinfection.

Wounds

Sometimes geckos like the African Fat-Tailed Gecko can have confrontations with other geckos found in the same tank. And any fights usually don’t end well with geckos since these lizards may bite each other and scratch their skin.Any kind of wound must be treated right away. Small cuts and wounds should be washed with clean water and disinfected with Betadine or any disinfectant. For deeper and worse cuts, take your gecko to the vet for proper treatment.

Stress

Geckos are prone to stress. It may be due to many reasons like a new environment, a new cage mate, overcrowding, poor husbandry, and breeding. Stressed geckos don’t heat, may have depressed immune systems, and may have problems shedding. The best way to treat stressed geckos is to remove the stressor, give it time to adjust to his new environment, and just leave it alone. Sometimes, too much handling can also stress a gecko.

Preventing Illness

To prevent illness and other health conditions, keep the tank temperature and humidity at the best levels. This is the most common reason why pet geckos like the African Fat-Tailed Gecko experience some illnesses. Allow a bowl of water to remain inside the tank because this will not just serve as your pet’s s water dish but also a way to improve humidity inside the tank.Also, keep the tank clean. A dirty, unkempt tank can lead to the growth of bacteria inside the enclosure and can affect the health of your lizards. You must clean the tank with a good cleaning product and never products that can leave residue and toxins inside the tank.Provide the best food for your gecko and always feed it organic food. Never capture insects and worms in your yard because these may contain toxins from pesticides, which can affect your gecko. Take advantage of live insects to feed your gecko supplements and nutrients.Quarantine new lizards. These new pets may introduce pests, mites, and illnesses to your old pets, so you must clear its health condition before you introduce it to the main tank. Allow a week quarantine period to rule out disease or pests.

How long do African Fat-Tailed Geckos live?

African Fat-Tailed Geckos can live up to 20 years, but the average is only 15 years in captivity. There is no record as to how long this gecko can live in the wild.

Can you hold African Fat-Tailed Geckos?

Yes, you can hold this species of gecko even without proper training because it is one of the most docile lizards. And because of its docile nature, it makes a good first-time lizard pet for novice owners.

Do geckos like being handled?

Geckos are known to be easy to handle and may even like human contact for as long as it is held gently. Geckos like the African Fat-Tailed Gecko feel more comfortable with their owners as long as it is handled early.

Do geckos love to be petted?

As long as you regularly handle your pet gecko, it will be comfortable in your hands and will let you pet it. And as long as you hold the gecko in your hands, anyone can put it. The best part of the body to a pet is the lizard’s body but not too much on the head.

Do African Fat-Tailed Geckos recognize their owners?

Some gecko owners say that their pets are able to recognize them. They also say that geckos like the African Fat-Tailed Gecko are smart to recognize where its tank is and when feeding time is.

Do geckos become lonely?

The African Fat-Tailed Gecko, as well as other reptiles, are solitary animals, and therefore, there won’t feel lonely.

Description[edit]

The African fat-tailed gecko is from the subfamily Eublepharinae. This subfamily has clearly different characteristics from other geckos. They are terrestrial, and have moveable eyelids, vertical pupils, and no adhesive lamellae.The African fat-tailed gecko is typically around 7–9 inches (18–23 cm), with females being slightly smaller than males. Normal coloring is brown and tan/beige stripes, with a possible thin white stripe along the length of the back. The underbelly is pale pink or off-white.

Distribution and Habitat[edit]

The African fat-tailed gecko is found in West Africa, from Senegal to Nigeria, extending marginally to Central Africa (northern Cameroon).

Behavior[edit]

The African fat-tailed gecko is equipped with the ability to lose its tail when threatened or attacked. If the tail is lost, the new tail will have a more rounded shape, similar to the head. It may not match the body coloration and pattern of the gecko. The tail is also where they store their fat, an important energy reserve. With its tail, an African fat tailed gecko can go days on end without food.African fat-tailed geckos are reportedly strictly nocturnal, taking shelter from their generally hot and dry environment during the day and emerging at night to forage.

African fat-tailed geckos as pets[edit]

In the pet trade the African fat-tailed gecko has gained some popularity though is still not as popular as the closely related leopard gecko.

What Is An African Fat-Tailed Gecko?

African Fat-Tailed Geckos are a popular breed of Gecko known for their calm temperament and unique patterns.Originating from the dry region of West Africa, they often spend their nights hiding in humid areas.
African Fat-Tailed Geckos have many unique features, one of them being their fat tail. Their tails are so thick because they store extra fat and have a defense mechanism called ‘caudal autotomy’. An ability to lose their tails when threatened or vulnerable.In captivity, Fat-Tails are known for their docile temperament. They are steadily becoming more popular in the industry and are recommended for novice owners.Females and males have distinguishing features such as head shape and size, with males being typically larger than females, often reaching between 8-9 inches.

African Fat-Tailed Gecko Care Guide

In West Africa, they are found in dry and arid regions. Because of this, African FatTail Geckos often live in very humid hiding holes and are entirely terrestrial.Fat Tails require an environment that is moderately moist but high in temperature. Their enclosure must have hiding spots and an established heat gradient with a basking spot.Their captive habitats must therefore have regulated temperatures and lighting, and must have lots of hiding places for these shy lizards

Lighting

Their enclosure should have glass sliding doors and large air vents to maintain a flow of air. Since this reptile won’t grow as much as others, they can live in one enclosure their whole lives. The recommended tank size for hatchlings and adults is 10 gallons.Their terrarium should have at least one humid hide for each Gecko, which will need to be placed on the hot side of the tank. It also needs decorations such as cork rounds, logs, grape wood, and bamboo hollows.

Heating and Temperature

The temperature of their enclosure should be monitored closely, and should haveBasking lights and under the tank heaters will achieve the high temperatures required.These lizards need humidity levels to be between 50-70%. Having the right type of substrate, a water bowl and misting the tank daily will ensure you keep their tank humid. Some owners also keep plants in the enclosure to add moisture.Humid hiding places can be made by placing sphagnum moss underneath a bamboo hollows to ensure it remains damp.

Substrate

A paper substrate works well within an African Fat-Tailed Gecko’s enclosure, such as paper towels or newspaper.Some owners use a fine orchid bark or a sandy soil mix. Although it is important that sand on its own is not used as a substrate as it can lead to digestion problems and damage their digestive tract.Using paper will make spot cleaning each day easy, but will need to be changed every 2-3 days. Orchid bark or compressed coconut bedding will only need to be changed weekly.

How To Bathe

Their diet consists mainly of insects and other invertebrates they encounter during the night-time in the savannahs, including different types of worms, crickets and beetles. In captivity, they may only want to eat live prey, but other than that their diet is simple to fulfill.When kept in captivity, African Fat-Tailed Geckos should be fed crickets and other types of larval insects like mealworms. They will also require additional supplements such as vitamin D3 to help them adapt to a new environment.Owners can provide these nutrients by either ‘dusting’ the insects with calcium or other vitamin power, or by ‘gut loading’ their feeder insects.African Fat-Tailed Geckos prefer crickets and mealworms. Occasionally they may be offered waxworms, silkworms, hornworms and pinky mice:Uneaten prey should be removed within a few hours if your Gecko doesn’t eat them.There should always be a shallow water dish with clean water in their tank, they may not directly drink from it, however it will help retain moisture.

Tank Cleaning

Their tank should be spot-cleaned every day and deep-cleaned once a month. When cleaning the cage, you should use a reptile-friendly disinfectant spray which should be left for 30 seconds before being wiped away with a paper towel.During the cleaning process, everything should be removed from the enclosure, including the gecko, decorations and bedding.You must mist the tank daily, using either a spray or tank humidifier.Healthy poop will be brown and well-formed. Runny waste may not always indicate illness but a fecal test should take place if it persists.

African Fat-Tailed Gecko Lifespan

Under the right captive conditions,Relatively healthy lizards, they are at an increased risk for contracting Cryptosporidiosis. If left untreated, this disease can be deadly. Signs will include abnormally runny waste and a very thin tail. Contact a veterinarian if you think your pet is ill.

Appearance

In the wild, and in captivity, African Fat-Tailed Geckos are extremely docile, gentle and calm lizards, who spend their time sleeping, basking and occasionally hunting for insects during the night.
Male African Fat-Tailed Geckos vocalize using quiet squeaks and clicks during disputes over territory, to warn off other males, or to attract females, and both sexes will squeak to ward off unwanted company.When they are hunting, they may raise their tails and wave them in the air, an action that is used to distract the prey before the attack.In captivity, they will only be active at night and will most likely want to spend their time in hiding holes or basking.Male Fat Tail Geckos can be housed alone, with a female pair or with multiple females. Females aren’t as defensive which allows them to live in groups. Each Gecko should also have their own hiding hole for privacy and to prevent distress.During the wintertime, you should allow your Gecko to brumate.

Fat Tailed Gecko Size

Hatchlings will be about 2.5-3 inches long and will weigh roughly 4 grams.These Geckos have a fast growth rate. As fully grown adults they will measure seven to nine inches and will weigh between 45-75 grams. They are similar in size to leopard geckos.

Colors

These unique reptiles are born either one of two forms: banded or striped. Every African Fat-Tailed Gecko has a natural base color of light brown or beige.Banding stretches down the length of the body, head and tail, and is a dark brown color. They all generally have a white underbelly and some have a white line down their dorsal.As this species is increasing in popularity, more and more African Fat-Tailed Gecko morphs are becoming available to excited owners. Some of these include a popsicle orange or light gray.

How To Sex Fat-Tailed Geckos

Males attract females by making a clicking sound. When conquering a female, Fat-Tailed Geckos will be vocal. They will make squeaking noises in attempts of attracting a partner.The mating process begins in November and usually lasts until March.During mating, the male grabs the female’s neck and holds tightly. The gestation period is usually somewhere between 40 and 70 days and you should be able to notice eggs in the female’s belly.If the temperature of the incubation tank is lower, a longer period of gestation will ensue. The recommended incubation temperature is somewhere between 75-90°F; temperatures outside this range will likely be fatal.

Baby African Fat-Tailed Geckos

Babies are identical to adult Geckos in everything except size. Hatchlings will be about 2.5 inches long, weighing just 4 grams.They reach maturity around 8-11 months after hatching. They should be kept in a small enclosure with plenty of hiding spots to make them feel at home. They should only be fed small insects that they are able to digest.

How Much Do African Fat-Tailed Geckos Cost?

African Fat-Tailed Geckos are becoming increasingly popular and are a very modern reptile so they won’t be at local pet stores. These Geckos can be found through my online breeders instead. Because there are many beautiful and unique morphs available, the prices will vary.

Read More

Keeping Fat-Tailed GeckosWhich Gecko Species Is Right For You?Breeding Fat-Tailed GeckosTheir normal coloring consists of a pale tan or brown background that is accented by bold brown and tan stripes, with some also displaying a thin white stripe along their back. They are one of only a few species of geckos that have eyelids, which help keep their eyes clean in their dusty natural environment.

Availability

African fat-tailed geckos are not yet as widely available as the more common leopard geckos, but are now widely available online through breeders who specialize in their captive breeding. You may also be able to find them at your local reptile expos. Wild caught geckos may be available but we strongly recommend purchasing captive bred animals. Color and pattern morphs have become more widely available over the past five years and now you can select from many different beautiful colors.

Size

Fat-tailed geckos have a similar body shape to a leopard gecko but typically have a larger head and sturdier feet. Hatchlings will typically be about 2 inches and will grow to around 9 inches. Males will be slightly larger and have wider heads.

Life Span

When cared for properly, fat-tailed geckos have been known to live for 15-20 years in captivity.

Caging

Regardless of whether you are a hobbyist/breeder or a pet owner our advice is the same and that is to keep it simple. For pet owners your best option for caging is a reptile terrarium, while the hobbyist/breeder who will be keeping several geckos should look to a rack system. A 10 gallon aquarium can a pair of geckos. Multiple female geckos can be housed together or can be housed with a single male. It is very important to never house two male fat-tailed geckos together as males will defend their territory through aggressive fighting that can cause serious injury.

Reptile Heating and Lighting/Humidity

African fat-tailed geckos should be exposed to light for 10-12 hours per day but because they are nocturnal they do not require a UVB light. We believe it is best for the heat to be provided from below. In the case of a glass enclosure one can use an under tank heat pad, while the breeder’s best option for a rack system is heat cable or heat tape controlled by a thermostat. A simple thermostat that can be used for single housed geckos is the Zilla Terrarium Heat & Habitat Lighting Controller for reptiles. Because reptiles are cold-blooded and rely on their environment to control body temperature it is important that the heat source remains at approximately 90F and is situated at one end. You can use a reptile thermometer to monitor temps. This will give the gecko(s) the ability to thermoregulate by moving from the heat source to a cooler area of the enclosure ranging in the high 70s to low 80s. In other words do not heat the entire enclosure.African fat-tailed geckos are nocturnal so reptile shelters within their enclosure will provide them with a peaceful retreat to sleep or hide in. In terms of lizard habitat products, these can be as elaborate as you like or can be as simple as a plastic container turned upside down with a door cut into it to allow the gecko’s passage. At least one of these hide areas should be kept moist, to assist the shedding process, using damp paper towel or moss. We recommend putting the dry shelter close to the heat source while the moist hide is placed at the cool end. African fat-tailed geckos require a slightly more humid enclosure then leopard geckos, so we also suggest misting the enclosure a few times a week with an Exo Terra Reptile Mister. You may use a reptile hygrometer to monitor humidity conditions in the habitat.

Lizard Substrate

For ease of cleaning and health purposes we recommend using a paper substrate such as newspaper, butcher/packing paper or paper towel. Conversely, for a more naturalistic look, you can use DO NOT use sand as this can cause the gecko to be impacted within their digestive track should they ever ingest it.

Food

The African fat-tailed gecko diet typically consists of live reptile food like crickets and/or mealworms. They may also readily accept silkworms, waxworms or pinkie mice, but these food items should only be given as a supplement as they are high in fat content. Geckos that are under four months should be fed about five crickets every day and juveniles and adults should be fed about nine crickets or mealworms three times a week. Crickets should be appropriately sized for the gecko and as a general guideline we feed ½ sized crickets for hatchlings that are less than six weeks old, and then feed 2/3 sized crickets right up to and including adulthood. Crickets can be put in the enclosure to roam but should be removed if your gecko does not eat them within a few hours. Mealworms can be left in a shallow dish.Insects should be gut loaded with either a commercial gut load product or a mix of either baby cereal, fish flakes or high grade dry dog/cat food as well as leafy greens such as endive, dandelions or romaine lettuce. Gut loading ultimately means that the prey insect is acting as a vehicle to pass on beneficial nutrients to your gecko. Food items should be dusted with calcium powder at every feeding and a supplementary vitamin should be dusted with around once a week

Water

Fresh water must be available at all times and can be provided by utilizing a shallow reptile water dish.