Carrot-tail Viper Gecko (Hemidactylus imbricatus)

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Carrot-tail Viper Gecko
Hemidactylus imbricatus
Carrot-tail Viper Gecko (Hemidactylus imbricatus)
Name Carrot-tail Viper Gecko
Name Lat. Hemidactylus imbricatus
Synonym Teratolepis fasciata
Family Geckos
Family lat. Gekkonidae
Order Scaled Reptiles
Order lat. Squamata
Origin South Asia
Habitat Dry savanna
Diet Insects
Humidity 40-60 %
Behavior Nocturnal, ♂ territorial
Keeping Individual, pair
Care Level Easy
Reproduction Oviparous
Housing Dry terrarium
Life Span 8-10 years
Protection No
Metric Units
Size 10 cm
Temperature 26-30 °C
Temperature Local 35 °C
Housing Size 40 x 30 x 30 cm
US Units
Size 4"
Temperature 79-86 °F
Temperature Local 95 °F
Housing Size 15" x 10" x 10"

Distribution and habitat

The crepuscular to nocturnal, ground-dwelling turnip-tailed viper geckos are distributed from Iran through Pakistan to India. They live mainly in dry savannas and semi-deserts on sandy soils with sparse vegetation.


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. 40 x 30 x 30 cm is recommended, which should be placed in a quiet and vibration-free place.

You will need a terrarium with roots, climbing branches and stone structures (hiding places), structured back and side walls (e.g. cork covering), a burrowable substrate of sand-clay mixture and rubble, a shallow water dish and hardy, drought-resistant potted plants (e.g. succulents, aloe). A small portion of the substrate, especially the lower sand layers, should always be kept slightly moist. Once a day, preferably in the evening, the furnishings of the terrarium should be finely sprayed with water, but not directly the animals. A rain or mist system is ideal.

Temp. day: 26-30 °C Temp. night: 20-23 °C Temp. local: up to 35 °C Humidity: 40-60

Thermostatically controlled floor heating is recommended. Lighting duration must be 10-12 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

Adult males are usually larger and more powerfully built than females and can be recognized by their preanal pores (pore-like openings in front of the anal fissure). The female buries her hard-shelled eggs (usually 2 eggs) in slightly moist sand several times a year. At a temperature of 26 °C the incubation period is 60-70 days. Small insects such as fruit flies and micro crickets are suitable as initial food for the young

Their life expectancy can be 8-10 years.


Their thickened tail, which is a fat store for times when food is scarce, is a good indicator of their nutritional status. Their toes have claws and a double row of adhesive lamellae.

Sunny places with radiant heat are readily accepted.

Adult males behave very territorial and are incompatible with each other. Keeping a group, one male with 2-4 females is unproblematic.

For the resting phase, the lighting duration is shortened by 2-3 hours and the temperature is lowered by 5-8 °C for approx. two months

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: Werner Winter; Image: Franz Lowak

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