Mniarogekko Chahoua

 Size: 24 to 25 cm adult average

Weight: 50 to 60 grams adult average

Distribution: New Caledonia. Grande Terre and Isle of Pines

Habitat: Mature forest.

Description: Nocturnal, arboreal prehensile tailed gecko with mottled pattern of green to reddish brown coloration, some specimens have white banding to nape and pelvic regions.

Sexing: Males develop external large hemipenal bulges and pre-anal pores.

Temperature: Maintained at 21-25°C during the day, dropping to a minimum of 18°C at night. Always properly protect the heat source as an unprotected heat source can cause severe burns if an animal comes into contact with it.

Lighting: Being a nocturnal species it seems not to require additional UVA/UVB lighting, but one may be provided for limited periods with no detrimental affects. Background lighting should be controlled with a timing device left on 10-12hrs a day in summer with a 2-4 hour reduction during winter months. As with the heat source, always properly protect the light source as this too may become hot after prolonged used.

Humidity/Water: Humidity should be kept high 60 to 80%. A generous misting should take place once a day during the early evening. Also include a shallow water dish containing fresh water which should be changed daily.

Diet: feeding on crickets and soft fruits. Feed a number of appropriately sized crickets approximately two times a week with a twice weekly feeding of a commercially available Rhacodactylus powered diet, fresh pureed fruit  offered in a shallow dish. All fruit should be non citrus. Food should always be removed at the first signs of spoiling.

Housing: A minimum size of 40cm x 40cm x 60cm ( L x W x H ) is recommended for an adult pair. Never house males together as they may fight and inflict serous injuries. If a number of animals are to be housed together make sure they are of a similar size and always closely monitor first introductions to identify any incompatibility. Peat or coconut fibre substrate can be used for juveniles/adults, but hatchlings are best kept on kitchen roll. Being an arboreal species, thick climbing branches and cork bark should be used, also provide a different hide spot for every occupant. Plenty of foliage either real or artificial should also be used, but unlike ciliatus, chahoua prefer to rest on the branches themselves and not in the foliage. A hide box half filled with a mixture of moistened vermiculite or perlite, peat and sphagnum moss should be included to facilitate shedding and egg laying if a natural substrate is not used. Fecal matter should be removed immediately with a complete cleaning occurring every month.

Breeding: Chahoua should be kept at 21-25°C during the day and 18-20°C at night for a couple of months prior to breeding. They can produce approximately 4-5 clutches in a season, laying two highly calcified eggs every 5 weeks. Females have also been known to guard their eggs. Females should be at least 18months of age before breeding is attempted and they should always be monitored closely for any signs of calcium deficiency.

Incubation: Eggs should be incubated in an aerated plastic container, on a medium of vermiculite or perlite mixed with filtered water at a ratio of 2 parts medium to 1 part water, by weight and at temperatures between 21-26°C.. Eggs normally hatch in 90-120 days. Any discoloured eggs should be put to one side in the container, do not discard as these eggs could still be viable, if they collapse and mould is visible they should be discarded immediately.