Pictus Gecko

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Post by david.cravens on May 3rd 2010, 5:28 pm

Pictus Gecko (Paroedura pictus)
Written by David Cravens

Housing

0-3 months of age- I prefer to keep in Md-Lg Kritter keepers with paper towels as substrate. Spray with dechlorinated water 2-3 Times a day. I never keep a water dish in these enclosures. When misting do not mist to the point where the paper towel is soaked. I spray down the sides of the keeper and moisten the paper towels. I also include a small round Tupperware container with a hole cut in the side. Inside this container I add a small amount of vermiculite to cover the bottom. Fake plants can be used to cover the bottom I usually use some fake broad leaves as a cover. I also house individuals separately, Iíve had 3 day olds start fighting.

3-6 months of age- My preference is using Lg Kritter Keepers or 5 Gallon aquariums. I replace paper towels as substrate and opt for Eco-Earth. Same methods of misting ensure substrate is moist but not water logged and mist the sides I usually include water bowls at this pt. Same style of Tupperware container can be used or you can chose to use any other methods of hides. I still leave individuals alone at this age even though individuals are sexable. In this age bracket males can attempt to breed with females (Iíve seen attempts) therefore I believe the risk of a young female attempting to be breed too early will be too taxing and loss of the individual is a possibility.

6-12 months- Move up to 5.5 gallon aquariums, use a full screen top, do not have any openings over the top. Despite the fact they donít have toe pads doesnít keep them from climbing out. Oddly enough its always been males that Iíve found climbing the glass. ( If by chance they do get out check in closets both of my escapeeís were found in closets in two different houses). Eco Earth as a substrate and any decorations you would like. I prefer fake plants that can be used as ground cover. Males can be housed with females at this age. If you choose to keep males with females, make sure you keep 1:2, males will breed a female to death if kept 1:1 also increase the size of the Tupperware container. I prefer to use larger rectangular containers with a entrance hole cut in the top. The container should be half filled with vermiculite.

12 months and older- Iíve had success keeping a trio in a 10 gallon aquarium using the same care as I did for 6-12month old individuals, Normally I would recommend keeping a trio in a 15g (normal) or 20 long aquarium. Follow same misting regimen as with any age group.


Food and Supplements

0-1 Month- Pinhead Crickets dusted with calcium powder 4x a week. Other 3 days either pinheads or fresh hatched mealworms. Each feeding the normal amount consumed has been 3-4 at a time.
1-6 Months- Appropriately sized food items dusted with calcium 3x a week. Usually feed at least 5x a week usually 3-4 items at a time.
6-12 Months- Usually 2-3 week old crickets and .5Ē long meal worms. Dust the crickets with calcium 2x a week, and feed about 4 days a week.
12+ months- 3 week old crickets and max 1Ē mealworms for Males I dust crickets 2x a week females when not breeding 3x a week, after mating 4-5x a week.

Prey Items can also include Phoenix worms, wax worms and roaches. Iíve only started using these as food sources so Iím omitting them until I have a little more experience with them.

Temps and Lighting

These guys are nocturnal so UVB lighting is not needed.
Ambient air temps can safely range from 65 at night up to 80 degrees during the day. Iíve achieved this without adding any supplemental heat to the enclosure but Iím also running heat and lights in the room. Usually during the summer my average day temp is 80 and nightime temp is around 72. During the winter day temps can be around 76-78 and a drop of around 65-68 degrees at night (these are all ambient air temps). Because I do not usually use a heat source and rely on air temps I provide plenty of hides of varying thickness to allow the geckos a chance to thermoregulate. A thicker surfaced hide will stay cooler than a thin surfaced hide. I usually keep three hides in the tank, a piece of cork bark, tupperware container and a wood/plastic cave. I've been doing utilizing this method for two years and have not had any problems.

That being said if your ambient temps in the tank do not fall in this range an under tank heaters or heat tapes can be used to achieve proper temps. Make sure to heat only one side up to approx 80 degrees and allow the other side to be your cool side. Temps on the cool side should be 70-75. As always have hides on the cool side and warm sides. I also usually have one in the middle of the tank as well.

Sexing
2 months of age males will start to show a bulge at the base of their tail, I prefer to wait until they are about 6 months of age. Iíve noticed that some females at 2 months of age will show a slight bulge at the base of their tail. Females are also a little larger than males at 1 year of age.

Breeding
I donít recommend trying to breed a female under 1 year of age. Never leave a lone female with a male, he will constantly breed with her and can ultimately kill her. I prefer to keep ratios of 1 male to 2 females. There is no need to alter temperatures or trying to stimulate specific seasons these guys will breed anytime of the year constantly. Always add a male to the females tank this will keep a male from being to aggressive. Usually mating occurs during the night, but I have had a male lock with a female 30 secs of being introduced into the tank.
I personally remove the male a few days after mating a lone female can retain sperm for quite some time. I had a female not with a male still producing eggs 8 months after her initial mating. Usually produces 2 eggs every 14 days, therefore with a breeding female increase calcium dustings for prey items. If she does not get enough calcium the egg shells will become thinner and will not make it to full term. Iíve lost several eggs because the female did not have enough calcium.
I use Ziploc containers that Iíve cut a entrance hole via the top. Inside the containers I fill it halfway with moistened vermiculite. Eggs are laid after two weeks and can hatch anywhere between 45-63 days at incubation temps of 85 degrees. I keep the eggs on moistened vermiculite inside deli cups. Hatchlings have usually shed their skin 3 hours after hatching.

Various Pics
Shedding after Hatching


Out of Egg their colors look nothing like an adult




Reason for Substrate.. They like to dig


an Acceptable hide



Adult Female
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david.cravens

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