Posts Tagged ‘gecko’

Tokay Geckos – A Different Kind of Pet

Posted on: June 18th, 2013 by JE

Tokay geckos are lizards, found in tropical countries mostly in Southeast Asia. They got their name from the strange call they make. It is similar to a booming “tok – kay” or “tok – ko”. You’ll often hear this sound from male Tokay geckos during breeding season (usually during the wet season).   Tokay geckos have toe pads covered with tiny hair-like structure called setae which allows them to climb smooth surfaces easily. They can run across ceilings and even walk on vertical glass surfaces.

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A Tokay Gecko

Posted on: January 11th, 2013 by JE

Maybe for those who have just bought the Tokay Gecko companion they have from pet stores or from captive breeders, a Tokay Gecko’s bark is just a bark or it is just an ardent call to announce he wanted to mate. “Tu-ko” or “Toh-kay” is a mere announcement that in some human expression is “Hey, girl! There is an able male here, I am ready!” Well, this is technically correct however there is more to this call if any of you have experienced hearing or living with them in their natural habitat. (more…)

How Geckos Survive and Adapt to Their Environment

Posted on: December 14th, 2012 by JE

Geckos are among the world's most wonderful creatures. They have several adaptations to help them live and survive the environment where they live. And in fact, they can easily adapt and are so prolific to various environments that there are now not less than 2,000 distinct species of geckos distributed in the different parts of the globe. Each has evolved and altered some of their physical features and appearance to survive their hostile environment. (more…)

She’s so Mean!

Posted on: December 9th, 2012 by JE

Bullying in Tokay Geckos

You often hear kids bullying other kids in school. Well, it’s a common social issue nowadays. But have you heard geckos bullying other geckos? If you think bullying happens only in school, there’s a lot more you need to learn as a pet owner – bullying is a way of life in the animal kingdom and in worst cases, bullying results to premature death. Tokay geckos are very aggressive animals, extremely territorial, and have low tolerance to other animals. This can explain why they prefer living in solitary especially male Tokays. This distinctive traits are among the reasons why bullying is common among Tokay geckos in captivity.

Bullying in young Tokay geckos may result to poor growth and sometimes untimely death. Bullying in adult Tokays (common in female Tokay geckos) may result to scratches, bite marks, loss of appetite, loss of tail and consequently when not addressed immediately may result to death. So as a responsible Tokay gecko owner, you need to identify early signs of bullying among your juvenile and female Tokay geckos.

Ways to Avoid Bullying in Your Tokay Geckos  

The earliest possible way to prevent bullying is the timely segregation of male and female juveniles. While you can keep female juveniles together in one enclosure, it is important to keep male Tokays each in a separate enclosure. Early maturing males usually bully smaller and inferior male Tokays. Dominant males usually bite or chase around inferior ones especially during feeding time. They eat allot too!

Though bullying is rare among female juveniles, it is still possible that among the group a dominant female juvenile will assert its dominance in the group. You need to separate them as soon as possible.      

Now you have learned that male Tokays are very territorial and do not tolerate other geckos from entering their territory without putting up a fight. To avoid injuries NEVER place two or more adult males in one enclosure. This makes it an established fact that adult males should be kept in solitary – no “buts”, no “ifs”.

While you can keep two or more females in one enclosure, it is still possible that a newly introduced female will be bullied by the older or dominant female. You need to be very vigilant about this. There are ways how to properly introduce a new female Tokay gecko into the herd. As we have discussed in the opening paragraph, Tokays are very territorial, this is also true among female Tokay geckos. So if you want to introduce a new female Tokay, one way to do this is to choose a neutral place, a tub or on a separate container. Give them some time to adjust and be familiar with one another. In the first sign of aggressiveness of either the females, separate them at ones. Give them time to settle down and try again after a few minutes. If the aggressiveness still persists from either of the females, chances are they are both dominant females and keeping them in one enclosure is not a good idea.

To prevent bullying from happening, vigilance is a key, especially if you have just introduced new Tokay in your collection. In the first sign of bullying (bite marks on the neck and tail, or scratches near these areas may indicate bullying) make sure to either remove the new Tokay or separate the dominant female from the rest of the group.  

Tokay Gecko

Posted on: December 5th, 2012 by JE

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Tokay geckos are lizards originally found in tropical countries in Southeast Asia such as Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines. Tokay gecko grows around from 7 to 15 long, and they usually have grayish shade and orange spots. There is really no clear account how the first Tokay reach US and Europe. Some accounts suggest that the first Tokay geckos were stowaways in ships doing commerce in the Southeast Asia in the early years. Still some stories tell that the Chinese first introduced Tokay geckos in the Americas as a medicine, and somewhat some escaped and became the ancestors of today’s Tokay gecko found in the wild. But these are just stories.

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Amazing Facts about Tokay Geckos Feet

Posted on: August 26th, 2012 by JE


Tokay Geckos are very fascinating creatures. Aside from their various interesting colors that changes its hue depending on their environment and the time of the day, what’s more interesting is their feet. Do you ever wonder how this creature could cling and ran quickly on walls and even on ceilings? Interesting right?

Most people think that Tokay geckos move or cling on walls and ceilings through little suctions on their feet like octopus. That is a wrong perception. Tokay Geckos like lizards cling on vertical surfaces and ceilings by using the microscopic hairs on their feet. They have millions of these tiny hairs that clutch on different types of surfaces. Each of these tiny hairs further branches out into smaller ones making the grip stronger even on smooth surfaces.

What's amazing about their feet?

Studies have further been conducted to support the said facts. Researchers have found out that the microscopic hairs found on a Tokay Gecko’s feet measures roughly about 100 millionths meters long or equivalent to twice the diameter of a human hair. Each hair called seta (pl. setae) further branches out into 1000 smaller tips that measures approximately 200 billionths meter, even much smaller than the wavelength of visible light.

Furthermore, researchers found out that the strength of a single strand of seta can lift the weight of a 25mg ant. Therefore, if you have a million of this seta, it can even support the weight of a child weighing 45lbs or approximately 20kgs. The maximum force of all the tiny hairs found in a Tokay Gecko’s feet is a thousand times more that what is required for them to be able to cling on walls or ceilings. Technically, the almost 2,000,000 setae on the four feet of geckos can produce force equivalent to 400 Newton or roughly 90 lbs of force whereas the weight of a normal Tokay Gecko only ranges from 50 to 150 grams. That is why geckos can support their entire weight even with only one finger.

The Weakness

No matter how strong their feet’s grip could be, there are instances wherein their capability to cling on certain surfaces are reduced. Tokay Geckos cling best on rough and dry surfaces. Rough texture makes it easier for the tiny hairs to cling harder on the surface. However, geckos are also capable of clinging on smooth surfaces provided that it is not wet or covered with water.

The toe pads of a gecko are super hydrophobic which means that water easily rolls off the toes quickly, keeping it dry as much as possible. How? It is through the air bubbles that build up between the microscopic setae on the feet creating water beads that easily fall off the hairs. Although the hairs found on a gecko’s feet are capable of repelling water quickly, it can only tolerate a certain amount of wetness. It can only tolerate surfaces covered with water less that 0.5 cm deep. More than that, Geckos lose their grip on the surface.

Amazing isn’t it? These findings led to the development of gecko tapes and other tools that uses synthetic setae which can aid humans in various useful ways.

Tell Tails: What Happens When Your Gecko Loses Its Tail

Posted on: July 24th, 2012 by JE

In the wild, when geckos are threatened or grabbed by bigger specie or by a predator, it naturally drops its tail as a defense mechanism. When its tail drops off, it wriggles as to create a diversion to distract its enemies as it fled to safety. If you have a gecko as a pet, you don’t want to grab it by its tail, it will naturally shed off its tail as a defense to a possible threat.  When this happens, there are several things that may take place in a gecko when it lost its tail.

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Your Gecko Might be a Carrier: Risk of Salmonella and Other Diseases

Posted on: June 30th, 2012 by JE

Salmonellosis, a serious illness, is among the most notorious diseases your gecko might be carrying. It is caused by Salmonella bacterium, which can be potentially fatal especially in children if remained untreated.  It is also a hard-to-kill strain of bacterium. Salmonella bacterium is not easily destroyed by a simple administration of antibiotics. Often it stays within your gecko and continues to spread especially when geckos are exposed to stressful situations (like transportation or sudden change in environment).

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Skin parasites:How to check and what to do if your tokay gecko have them

Posted on: May 25th, 2012 by Jdp

 

Worried that your tokay gecko is not looking healthy? Your pet gecko may have skin parasites—and you just can’t see them—but these parasites are already “sucking” nutrients and causing your gecko to be anaemic and unhealthy.
 
What are the skin parasites of geckos?
Skin parasites of geckos include mites and ticks. Mites and ticks are joint-legged invertebrates (arachnids) that live on the skin of reptiles, including geckos. Mites are usually <1.5 mm long and are often found in the eyecaps, gluttal folds, involutions around the face, and the space between the eye and its orbit.
 
How can I know if my tokay gecko has skin parasites?
Ticks and mites can be seen by the naked eye but due to their small size (especially the mites), they can be hard to see in small numbers. A simple way to know if your gecko has mites/ticks is to rub the skin of the gecko while the gecko is standing over a piece of white paper. This will allow you to see the mites/ticks once they have fallen off. Also, the skin of geckos that are infested with mites appear coarse and may not shed properly or completely (dysecdysis). Another sign that your gecko is infested is if it spends a lot of time soaking itself (to drown the parasites). You can then check the water dish for drowned remains of the parasites. Also, carefully check the areas which the mites are usually found (gluttal folds, etc.).
 
Can skin parasites affect or cause disease to my gecko?
Mites can cause reduced vitality in geckos and if the mites are many, they may cause death due to anemia. The mites are also very irritating to the animal. Aside from causing anemia and irritation, mites are also involved in the transmission of certain bacterial and rickettsial agents.
Ticks may also cause anemia, especially if there are many of them living on the skin of your pet gecko. Soft ticks may cause paralysis, with muscle degeneration at the site of the bite. Ticks are also important because they can transmit certain viruses, worms, and several hemogregarines (a type of parasite that lives inside red blood cells).
 
What can I do to remove/eliminate the skin parasites?
To eliminate the mites infesting your gecko, you need to:
  • Clean the cage thoroughly and throw away substrate materials, branches and disposable cage furnitures
  • While the gecko is being treated for the parasites, newspaper bedding can be used to facilitate frequent cleaning and eliminate egg-laying sites
  • Use dichlorvos to kill the parasites in the cage by placing pieces of dichlorvos strips in a jar in which holes have been made. Place the jar (with the dichlorvos strips inside) in the cage for 3-4 hrs for 2-3 times a week for at least 3 weeks. Make sure that the cage is well ventilated and remember to remove the water dish while the jar (with the dichlorvos strips inside) is in the cage, OR
  • Use ivermectin. Dilute 1 ml of ivermectin 1% solution with 1 quart of water. This solution is stable for 30 days. Thoroughly spray the cage and the animal (your tokay gecko) with the diluted ivermectin solution every 4-5 days for up to 3 weeks. Water dish should be removed while spraying.
Trichlorfon, a chemical used for the control of mites in other reptiles SHOULD NOT be used for geckos.
 
Ticks can manually be removed using tweezers, scalpel or fine combs.
When treating for mite or tick infestation, it is best to consult your local exotic animal veterinarian so he can assess your pet’s condition, recommend the appropriate treatment regimen and give antibiotics (if necessary).
 

4 Questions to Ask Yourself before Buying a Pet Lizard

Posted on: May 20th, 2012 by JE

More and more people are getting fascinated with geckos. But with the thousands of species there are in the world, it can truly be exasperating to look for the perfect lizard that you can have as your pet. After reading this post, you will be able to select the best lizard out of the numerous options you have.

 

You must have done a lot of research on the internet trying to find the best type of gecko you can raise as pet. You must have heard that there are over 800 species under this and they differ in various things from the appearance to behavior, size, environment, diet, and so on. When confronted with tons of information, you could end up having the wrong pet.

So instead of going through the blogs, articles, and various encyclopedias, why not stop for a while, clear your mind, and ask these 5 questions? By doing this, you can limit your search down to the geckos or lizards that fall under your preferences.

Question #1: How Much Time Can You Give to Your Pet?

While most lizards do not require much of your time and effort, they still need to be properly taken care of. Some geckos can do well without eating for several days while some species need to be fed in a regular basis to survive. Make sure to decide whether you would have enough time for your pet. Otherwise, you need to choose the gecko that doesn’t require too much maintenance.

Question #2: Do You Want a Lizard You Can Touch?

Not all geckos are human-friendly. So if you’re the type of person who wants to cuddle and touch his/her pet gecko every now and then, limit your search to those that are known for being docile. If you have kids at home, you also want to ensure their safety. Leopard geckos, bearded dragons, and blue tank skinks are great options for people who are looking for a reptile pet that is kind, passive, and less dangerous. If you simply want to look at your gecko and be fascinated by their appearance, then you can choose to raise a Tokay gecko. This lizard can bite you real hard if you touch it. But the good news is that you can train it to become as docile as leopard geckos.

Question #3: Do You Have Prior Experience Handling Pet Lizards?

If this is the first time you will raise a pet lizard, it’s advisable that you start with the commonly breed species which are easier to handle such as Tokay and leopard geckos. Experience is necessary if you want to be a great pet gecko owner. There are lizards that can get very dangerous like in the case of iguanas. Such species require high amount of care and attention.

Question #4: How Much Money Can You Spare for your Pet?

It isn’t expensive to buy a pet lizard but you would have to invest a bit on its terrarium and all other equipment needed for it. The bigger the gecko, the bigger tank you need. If you have limited budget, you can stick to geckos that don’t grow too big so you can keep the tank until its maturity. Before you buy a lizard, know how big it can reach as an adult.

When you know what you want, selecting the best gecko specie can be a great, smooth, and fun-filled experience.