African Fat-tailed Gecko (Hemitheconyx caudicinctus)

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African Fat-tailed Gecko
Hemitheconyx caudicinctus
African Fat-tailed Gecko (Hemitheconyx caudicinctus)
Name African Fat-tailed Gecko
Name Lat. Hemitheconyx caudicinctus
Family Eublepharid Geckos
Family lat. Eublepharidae
Order Scaled Reptiles
Order lat. Squamata
Origin Africa
Habitat Savanna
Diet Insects
Humidity 40-60 %
Behavior Nocturnal; ♂ territorial
Keeping Individual, pair, harem
Care Level Moderate
Reproduction Oviparous
Housing Dry terrarium
Life Span 15-20 years
Protection No
Metric Units
Size 25 cm
Temperature 26-28 °C
Temperature Local 35 °C
Housing Size 80 x 60 x 40 cm
US Units
Size 10"
Temperature 79-82 °F
Temperature Local 95 °F
Housing Size 30" x 25" x 15"

Distribution and habitat

The crepuscular to nocturnal ground-dwelling West African clawed geckos inhabit the dry steppe and semi-deserts in West Africa from Senegal to Cameroon. They live during the day hidden under stones and roots and as culture followers on walls and house walls.


Minimum dimensions for the terrarium, according to the size and number of animals

1-2 animals 4KRL x 3KRL x 2KRL (L x W x H)

Head-torso length (KRL) is measured on the largest animal. For each additional animal, increase the footprint by 15%. A terrarium of e.g. 80 x 60 x 40 cm is recommended, which should be placed in a quiet and vibration-free place.

You will need a terrarium with roots, cork tubes and flat stones (controllable hiding places and privacy screens), structured back and side walls (e.g. cork lining), a graveable substrate of sand-humus mixture, a small water container and hardy, drought-resistant potted plants (e.g. succulents). Part of the substrate, especially the lower sand layers, should always be kept slightly moist. Once a day, preferably in the evening, the interior of the terrarium should be finely sprayed with lukewarm water, but not directly the animals.

Temp. day: 26-28 °C Temp. night: 18-22 °C Temp. local: up to 35 °C Humidity: 45-60

Thermostatically controlled floor heating is recommended. Lighting duration must be 12-14 hrs. Daylight fluorescent tubes are ideal. A special UV light is not necessary.


The food supply consists of live insects, such as crickets, house crickets, grasshoppers, millipedes, zophobas and mealybug larvae. Alternatively, special ready-made food for insectivorous reptiles can be offered, possibly with tweezers for habituation. Wax moths should only be fed in small amounts to adults, but not to juveniles, because of their large fat content. Regular addition of minerals and vitamins (dusting of food) is important. Young animals should be offered food daily, adult animals 4-5 times a week. Drinking water must always be available

A regular and varied diet promotes health and prevents deficiency symptoms.

Reproduction and breeding

Males have a small spur on either side of the cloaca.

The female lays her soft-shelled eggs (1-2 pieces) several times a year in a crevice or cave with moist soil. The incubation period is 70-90 days at a temperature of 26-28 °C. Small insects such as fruit flies and micro crickets are suitable as initial food for the young


West African clawed geckos are bred in numerous fabmorphs.

They have movable eyelids and no adhesive lamellae on their toes. Smaller reptiles, including their own young, are considered prey. Adult males are territorial and incompatible with each other. They can be well maintained in a small group, 1 male with 2-3 females.

For the resting phase, shorten the lighting duration by 2-3 hours and lower the temperature by 4-6 °C for about two months, depending on the origin of the animals.

With fruit and honey water as food for the feeders, their quality can be upgraded.

The terrarium must have good ventilation without drafts and meet the species specific needs. Measuring devices such as thermometers, hygrometers, etc. are necessary. The lighting has to correspond to the species-specific day-night rhythm and has to be placed in such a way that the animals cannot injure themselves. The terrarium should be locked in such a way that neither unauthorized persons can open it nor the animals can escape. Contamination must be removed regularly.

Further literature can be found in your pet store.


Text: petdata; Image: petdata 

Source: BMELV (1997): Tierschutzgutachten - Mindestanforderungen an die Haltung von Reptilien; ENGELMANN (2006): Zootierhaltung - Tiere in menschlicher Obhut: Reptilien und Amphibien, Harri Deutsch Verlag

  • Gemäß § 21 Abs. 5 Tierschutzgesetz idgF