Geckos belong to the lizard family and are technically reptiles. Not many people are fond of lizards because they seem to appear scary. Yet, quite a few, and that probably includes you, want to keep them as pets.
The Tokay Gecko, in particular, is a favorite among lizard-loving pet owners primarily because of its attractive appearance. Tokays are also easy to care for as pets because they are not fussy with feeding, and are therefore economical. These harmless geckos usually thrive in Southeast Asia and are quite a colorful sight to behold. The Tokay’s skin turns pale gray dotted with blue spots when the gecko hasn’t been exposed to light but turns dark gray spotted with blotches of reddish orange when exposed to light.
If you want to keep a Tokay gecko as a pet, you’ll have to keep in mind a few tips so that you and your gecko can get along easily. Read on for some of the most important tips to remember.
The Tokay has a snappy bite. Especially if it is pestered, irritated, or agitated, it can snap at the hand nearby. It’s a lizard thing. Their snappy bite is a natural characteristic useful for catching their prey easily. Because of their biting ability, Tokays may not be a good choice of a pet for your little kids. Also, since newly acquired Tokays bite more frequently than housebroken ones, you might want to protect yourself with hand gloves when handling them. You can lessen the bites by keeping the gecko calm and at ease.
Tokays, just like most other lizards, are nocturnal critters and love to hide from the light. Therefore, you must house your gecko in a container with hiding spots. The ideal housing container for your Tokay is a glass tank. Although a ten-gallon tank will serve the barest minimum, you might want to give your Tokay a bigger area to play around in by getting a 20-liter tank. Make sure you “decorate” it with something that your lizard can climb on (a tree branch or bark, for instance), a hot rock (for keeping ideal temperature in the tank; an alternative heat source under the tank will also do), and carpet flooring. Another important component for your gecko’s habitat is the hiding place. Geckos love to hide. Set up a rock cave for this purpose. Lastly, make sure you cover the tank with a lid (preferably with small holes) or a framed wire mesh.
Tokay geckos are originally from the tropical region of Southeast Asia. Hence, they have been accustomed to high humidity. If you live in an area with low humidity, or during low humidity seasons (such as winter), you may need to keep your glass tank’s humidity levels at ideal conditions for your gecko. To do that, you can sprinkle some water or spray-mist the glass tank interior with water. You can also place a bubbling airstone (attached to an air pump) in the drinking water container to help hasten evaporation and, therefore, increase humidity. Maintaining stable humidity levels is also crucial during the Tokay’s mating season.
Tokays are insectivores. This means they feed mainly on insects. Most gecko owners feed Tokays crickets daily. Or, if you want your Tokay to help in ridding your household of pests, feed it cockroaches. Katydids, grasshoppers, mealworm, small mice, and goldfish are food alternatives for your Tokay, too.
It may take some time before your Tokay will get accustomed to your voice and touch. But, once it does, it will be less frequent with its snappy bites. Just take good care of your pet and you will soon get along well with your new reptilian friend.