Tokay Geckos: Beginners 101

Posted on: September 7th, 2013 by JE

Tokay geckos (Gekko Gecko) live in the rainforests of Southeast Asia. They are the second largest gecko growing up to 15 inches long. They are known for their aggressiveness behavior, making them unlikely for new owners. While most of these geckos can be tamed over time, some Tokay geckos simply never favor being handled. They can live as long as 20 years if given proper care.

Choosing Your First Tokay Gecko

Healthy Tokay geckos usually have good body build, round tail, clear eyes and skin. Scales are shiny. The mouth and nostrils are free from mucus or any liquid. It is best to buy your first Tokay gecko from reputable breeders to make sure that you get a healthy and parasite free Tokay gecko.


Tokay geckos are nocturnal and arboreal animals. They love climbing and they like moving around at night. You need to choose an enclosure that fits their lifestyle. A 10-gallon glass tank, for this purpose, is highly advisable.  Not only it is easier to clean a glass tank, it also allows you to view your Tokay gecko. Adding tree barks, branches, or live plants inside the tank will give the enclosure a more natural look for your pet. Make sure to place a hide where your gecko can retreat or sleep during the day. Large barks of trees can do the trick. Also, it is very important to provide a clean source of water on a shallow dish which you need to replace on a daily basis.

Heating and Humidity

Since Tokay geckos are arboreal animals, using under tank heaters is not very advisable. Overhead heaters or lights are more effective. Also, UV lights and other bright lights are not advisable for Tokay geckos since they are nocturnal animals. Very bright lights can cause damage to their eyes. You can use ceramic or black lights as heaters.  Temperature must be maintained between 80 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and a drop of 10 degrees Fahrenheit at night.

The humidity should be maintained between 60 to 70 percent. You can do this by regularly misting the enclosure with a hand spray or by leaving a shallow dish of clean water inside the tank or both. Live plants also help keep the humidity inside the tank.


Tokay geckos are insectivores. In the wild, Tokay geckos eat almost every insect they come across with. This includes bugs, crickets, roaches, and worms. They also eat small vertebrates such as lizards, small frogs, and pinkies. For convenience and availability, in captivity, Tokay geckos are fed with crickets and mealworms, which are very available in almost every local pet store. Make sure to feed them with the right size of crickets. Normally, the distance between the eyes of your gecko is the right size of crickets that you’ll feed them. Crickets that are bigger than this distance may cause harm or can stress your Tokay gecko.

You can feed young or growing geckos 1 to 3 small crickets daily. Adult geckos are fed 4 to 6 crickets every other day. Also, make sure to supplement your Tokay gecko’s diet with calcium.


Majority of Tokay geckos will bite if you try to pick them up. Though you can tame them over time, there is always the possibility that they’ll bite if they feel threatened or were taken by surprise. When handling your Tokay gecko for the first time, make sure to use protective gloves. Tokay gecko bites are quite painful and it is hard enough to draw blood. Also, avoid too much handling during your gecko’s first few weeks. It can severely stress them. It will take time before they can get used to handling.

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