Rhacodactylus Leachianus

Size: 34cm to 38cm leachianus leachianus,

28cm to 30cm leachies henkeli adult average.

Weight: 250 to 350 grams leachianus leachianus,

150 to 200 grams leachianus Henkeli adult average.

Distribution: New Caledonia. Grande Terre, Isle of pines plus additional satellite islands.

Habitat: Primary forest.

Description: Nocturnal, large arboreal gecko, coloration is a mottled pattern of white or cream banding on a green to brownish background.

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 misting should take place once a day during the early evening. Also include a large water dish containing fresh water which should be changed daily.

Diet: feeding on crickets, roaches 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. Turkey and chicken baby food may also be taken along with pinkie mice. Food should always be removed at the first signs of spoiling.

Housing: A minimum size of 60cm x 60cm x 60cm( L x W x H ) is recommended for an adult pair. Never house males together as they will fight and can 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 after first introductions. Peat or coconut fibre substrate can be used for juveniles/adults. Hatchlings are best kept on kitchen roll. Being an arboreal species, 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. 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. Any fecal matter should be removed immediately with a complete cleaning occurring every month.

Breeding: Leachianus 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 3-4 clutches in a season, laying two soft-shelled eggs every 5 weeks. Breeding females should be monitored closely for any early 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 90-140 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.