CARE SHEET - Eurydactylodes (Chameleon Geckos)
Eurydactylodes is a genus of smaller geckos comprised of only four species endemic to the island New Caledonia. At Jecko’s Geckos LLC, we are currently breeding all four species of Eurydactylodes.
These geckos live in Sclerophyll Forests in the wild. Inside the cage we recommend manzanita sticks, Fluker’s Bend a Branch, Zoo Med Flexible Hanging Vine, and Pangea’s Ultimate Reptile Vine (assorted vines, Pangea Mossy Sticks and foliage can be found here: https://www.pangeareptile.com/store/vines.html). Cage size should be appropriate for the age of the gecko. For a single baby/ juvenile we use 8x8x8 or 8x8x12 Exo Terra tanks (or equivalent size from other companies). A single adult will do well in a 12x12x18 Exo Terra tank, as will pairs or trios.
Pictured is an Eurydactylodes agricolae baby
Eurydactylodes can be a variety of colors and can fire up and down. The typical body color is a shade of green. Some individuals can have a dark green or a light green base. Additionally, yellow or orange can be very present on the sides of the bodies, especially in E. agricolae and E. occidentalis. Eurydactlyodes symmetricus tend to have a more pastel color. Eurydacytylodes vieillardi tend to have the most pattern out of all the species.
We supply tropical level UVB (either Reptisun 5.0 or 6% UVB from Aracadia) on all our Eurydactylodes breeders. We recommend temperatures between 70-80° F.
Eurydactylodes can be raised on powdered fruit mixes. We use Pangea Fruit Mix Complete Breeder and Apricot Formulas (pangeareptile.com). Feeding occurs every other day. We do supplement our geckos, as recommended by Pangea, with insects: 1/8th-1/4” crickets and dubia roaches and fruit flies.
We lightly mist our geckos daily.
Either paper towel or bioactive substrates can be used. We use paper towel at Jecko’s Geckos and swap it out every other week or sooner if it appears to be dirty.
Babies and Juveniles:
We recommend smaller cages with paper towel and small sticks for them to grasp. We recommend manzanita sticks, Fluker’s Bend a Branch, Zoo Med Flexible Hanging Vine, and Pangea’s Ultimate Reptile Vine.
Pictured is a Eurydactylodes vieillardi
Species tend to start laying eggs in the spring (February-April). Depending on conditions, they can lay eggs for a while in winter (December). October-December is typically when laying begins to slow down. No eggs are laid during the cooler months/ brumation period. During the brumation period, we keep the conditions the same and feed the same amounts. The temperature drops only a few degrees from the house naturally being cooler in the winter. We keep adults are kept together year round. The age we recommend breeding is at least 1.5 years for E. agricolae, E. vieillardi, and E. occidentalis and 2 years for E. symmetricus. This is in concurrence with appropriate weights (<7.5g) and/or duds. Waiting longer is not a bad idea, but certainly ready to breed if duds are laid. Breeding early can lead to hemipene prolapse in males and egg bound females. Males and females may vocalize when interacting, but unknown if associated with breeding or other social interactions (or both). Males will typically bite the female on the nape and both can vocalize at this point. Males will also exhibit a titillating-twitching behavior that can be the full body, head, or tail.
The exact incubation method is using our incubation kit we make at Jecko's Geckos. The Kit comes with a container and incubation medium (vermiculite). We fill the tray with vermiculite and add water, being careful to not add too much (no water should run off when tipped, gently squeeze extra moisture out by pressing on the vermiculite). Eggs typically take between 2-3 months to hatch. Sometime eggs hatch earlier (even 1 month) or later (4 months).
The life expectancy of these geckos are unknown. Best guess based on the time to sexually mature (1.5 - 3 years), would be 10-15 years. We recently lost one of first females that was at least 12 years old.
Other information: In general, there is little information on the genus as a whole. However, here is a link to one of my favorite articles (AKA the Eurydactylodes revision) that can help you understand the difference between the species (https://www.academia.edu/2246697/Review_and_phylogeny_of_the_New_Caledonian_diplodactylid_gekkotan_genus_Eurydactylodes_Wermuth_1965_with_the_description_of_a_new_species).
These are our general guidelines that we adhere to at Jecko’s Geckos LLC. In general there is little information on this genus for captive care. We are happy to advise, but our care comes from experience and other advice from other veteran hobbyists. For additional questions please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A common question is "How do I tell them apart?". The answer lies in the taxonomy and the species descriptions. The figure below is from Bauer et al. 2009 from the revision of the Eurydactylodes clade, depicting the differences in head morphology between all four species. The easiest way to tell the difference between the two most commons species in the pet trade are E. agricolae have a continuous slit from their mouths to ears (Fig. 7C) while in E. vieillardi they do not (Fig. 7A). Eurydactylodes symmetricus have tubercles (small bumps) on the nape (Fig. 7D) and have a continuous slit from their mouths to ear. Eurydactylodes occidentalis have larger head scales, large body scales, and are significantly smaller (~10mm SVL) than the other species.
A B C D
FROM BAUER ET AL. 2009
FIG. 7: Comparative dorsal (above) and lateral (below) head scalation of Eurydactylodes spp. A, E. vieillardi (CAS 231983); B, E. occidentalis, sp. nov. (MNHN 2004.0026); C, E. agricolae (CAS 231995); D, E. symmetricus (CAS 232007). Note the small piece of scaled-skin separating the postlabial slit from the ear in A and B (black arrows) and the continuous postlabial-subauricuar slit visible in C. Eurydactylodes occidentalis has larger, more symmetrical head scales than either E. vieillardi or E. agricolae, but not as large or regular as E. symmetricus. Only E. symmetricus has a patch of tubercles on the nape (white arrow).
What species do I have?
If you are unsure, ask the breeder/ seller you go the reptile from. If they do not know, its a sign you should not get the gecko form them as they likely do not know the care requirements either. The best way to figure out what species you have is to use a diagnosis key to narrow down the species. The best key is from Bauer et al. 2009 (I have the information above)
When can my geckos breed?
The age we recommend breeding is at least 1.5 years for E. agricolae, E. vieillardi, and E. occidentalis and 2 years for E. symmetricus. This is in concurrence with appropriate weights (<7.5g) and/or duds. Waiting longer is not a bad idea, but certainly ready to breed if duds are laid. Breeding early can lead to hemipene prolapse in males and egg bound females.
Can my geckos live together?
We generally do not recommend keeping individuals together until they are ready to breed. If a pair is kept together early, the male can prolapse the hemipenes and females can become eggbound. Females tend to be fine together but can nip tails, I believe thinking that the tails are prey, and this happens and groups in general. We do not keep males or babies together as they tend to fight.
What do my geckos eat?
We recommend feeding Pangea Fruit Mix Complete Diet every 2-3 days. You can also feed small live insects such as crickets, roaches, and fruit flies. keep in mind that if the prey items are too large Eurydactylodes tend to ignore them.
Is my gecko eating?
Likely yes. You have to remember these are NOT giant geckos like crested geckos. This means that they really do not eat much visually. You may or may not see licks depending on the consistency of the fruit mix, more thick tends to show the lick marks. We recommend keeping the geckos on paper towel when you first get them so you can more easily monitor for fecal matter.
How do I care for babies?
You care for the babies same as you do for the adults, just on a smaller scale.
When can you sex Eurydactylodes?
We can accurately sex Eurydactylodes after 2 months old using a jewlers loupe, we use this one.
If someone is telling you that a baby is unsexed and its 3+ months, they either do not know how to sex them or possibly lying and know it is a male.
How old should babies before shipping.
We like to wait till at least 3 months before shipping our babies. For Jecko, this means we no longer sell unsexed Eurydactylodes because we can sex babies at 2 months old, too young to ship.
How do I find eggs?
We do not use bioactive because it is much more difficult to find eggs. We use a laybox mixed with 50:50 coconut fiber: vermiculite and cover half the laybox with a lid. Typically we can lift the lid off and see a hole where the female dug and laid eggs. Otherwise we sift through the entire lay box every 2-3 days.
Can I have a bioactive cage?
Yes, it just is more difficult to find the eggs. however for some species, like E. symmetricus, a more humid environment is better for them.
Are isopods ok to keep with them?
Yes but isopods may consume eggs and the geckos may consume the isopods.
How many geckos can I keep together?
We keep our geckos singly (to track lineage) or in groups of 2 or 3 in ratios of 1.1 or 1.2 respectively. Anymore than 2 females and it seems that the male is less reproductive. Additionally, it seems that grouping males together with females can lead to intraspecific competition and thus fighting. Some people have success keeping large colonies together, it really depends on the amount of space and places for hiding.
Can I keep my geckos together year round?
Yes, we keep all our breeding groups together as long as they do not have any health issues.
Should I use UVB?
What is the hump on my geckos head?
Eurydactylodes have endolymphatic sacs which are basically calcium storage (Bauer 1989, Extracranial endolymphatic sacs in Eurydactylodes, J. Herp. vol. 22, 172-175. email me if you want the paper). They are harmless to the gecko but can become damaged or infected and should be taken to a vet if excessively large or gecko seems in poor health.