Are you considering getting a pet gecko? These fascinating creatures are loved by reptile enthusiasts everywhere. They make wonderful low-maintenance companions.
The vast assortment of geckos, differing in shapes, sizes, and colors, can make your choice a challenging one when trying to find the perfect fit for you. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the best pet geckos that you can buy right now.
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced owner, this guide is designed to aid you in finding the ideal gecko that caters to your needs.
We’ll provide comprehensive information about these 9 distinct species, from their care needs and temperaments to the unique traits that set them apart.
African Fat-Tailed Gecko
If you want a unique and captivating pet gecko, consider the African Fat-Tailed Gecko. Although they resemble the more common Leopard Gecko, this species possesses its own distinct characteristics.
African Fat-Tailed Geckos have a notable feature—their fat, cylindrical tail. They also sport a broad, triangular head and large, lidless eyes. With various colors and patterns like tangerine, albino, patternless, black out, and aberrant, breeders have produced numerous color variants.
These geckos are beginner-friendly and relatively low-maintenance. Provide them with a terrarium containing a heat source (e.g., heat lamp or under-tank heater), a hiding spot, and a shallow water dish. They thrive on a diet of insects like crickets and mealworms, requiring feeding every other day.
With proper care, African Fat-Tailed Geckos can live up to 20 years in captivity. They are hardy and need less attention than other gecko species. This makes them a great choice for novice owners.
Crested Geckos are popular pet geckos known for their friendly nature, easy care, and unique appearance. Let’s explore their key characteristics:
Crested Geckos are medium-sized, reaching up to 8 inches in length. They feature a distinctive fringed crest from eyes to neck and back. They come in various colors and patterns like solid colors, stripes, and spots.
These geckos are docile and friendly, making them easy to handle without a tendency to bite. They are active during the day, providing entertainment for owners.
Crested Geckos are arboreal and require tall enclosures with climbing opportunities. A 20-gallon terrarium is suitable for one or two geckos. Maintain temperatures between 72-80°F during the day. It should only vary slightly to about 65-75°F at night.
Crested Geckos are omnivorous, consuming insects, fruit, and commercial crested gecko diets. Feed them every other day. Also supplement their diet with calcium and vitamin D3.
While generally healthy, Crested Geckos can be prone to conditions like metabolic bone disease and respiratory infections. Regular vet check-ups and proper husbandry are essential for their well-being.
Gargoyle Geckos are known for their distinct appearance and easy-going nature. Here’s what you need to know about caring for one:
Gargoyle Geckos have various colors and patterns. They have bumpy skin with horn-like lumps on their heads. Their skin combines browns, grays, and greens with spots or stripes of brighter colors.
Gargoyle Geckos are arboreal and need a tall enclosure with branches and plants for climbing. They are nocturnal and require a hiding spot. Keep the temperature between 72-80°F during the day. The enclosure can be slightly cooler at night.
Gargoyle Geckos eat insects and fruit. Feed them crickets, mealworms, and other insects, along with mashed fruit or baby food. Give them calcium and vitamin D supplements.
Gargoyle Geckos are docile and easy to handle, although they may be skittish at first. They are active at night and can regrow their tails if lost, but avoid stressing them.
Gold Dust Day Gecko
The Gold Dust Day Geckos (Phelsuma laticauda) are native to Madagascar. They have bright green skin with yellow dots, which is where they get their name from. Here’s what you need to know about caring for them:
Gold Dust Day Geckos are arboreal, meaning they live in trees. In captivity, provide a tall terrarium with branches and foliage. The terrarium should be at least 18 inches tall and have a screen top for ventilation. Use coconut fiber or sphagnum moss as the substrate.
Try to maintain a warm and humid environment. Keep the terrarium temperature between 80-85°F during the day. Ensure it is above 70°F at night. Use a basking light for heat during the day and provide a UVB light for 10-12 hours daily for calcium metabolism.
Gold Dust Day Geckos are insectivores. Feed them crickets, mealworms, and waxworms. Dust their food with calcium and vitamin D3 supplements. Offer small amounts of mashed banana or papaya as a fruit treat.
Gold Dust Day Geckos are not known for being friendly or social, so limit handling. When necessary, handle them gently, supporting their entire body. Avoid causing stress as they can drop their tails if they feel threatened.
Leopard geckos are hugely popular pet geckos. They are loved for their easy care and stunning appearance. They are native to India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. They are nocturnal, which means they sleep during the day and are active at night.
Leopard geckos have distinctive spots resembling those of a leopard. They come in various colors including yellow, orange, and white. They can grow up to 10 inches long. They have a stocky body, short tail, and large eyes.
Leopard geckos are terrestrial and require a tank of at least 10 gallons with a secure lid. Maintain a temperature range of 75-85°F during the day. It can vary to 65-75°F at night. Use an under-tank heater in the enclosure. Provide a hiding spot, like a cave or piece of wood, and a shallow water dish.
Leopard geckos are insectivores and eat a variety of insects such as crickets, mealworms, and dubia roaches. Feed gut-loaded insects, ensuring they are nourished before offering them to the gecko. Feed leopard geckos every other day, with more frequent feedings for juveniles.
Leopard geckos are generally healthy, but they may face shedding or impaction issues. To address shedding problems, provide a humid hide. Avoid impaction by using substrate like paper towels or reptile carpet that is easily passable.
Next up is the Chahoua Gecko. These small geckos are native to New Caledonia. They are known for their distinct appearance and gentle nature.
Chahoua Geckos measure 10-12 inches (25-31 cm) in length. They have a triangular head, blunt snout, large lidless eyes with vertical pupils, velvety skin, sticky toe pads, and a muscular prehensile tail. Their colors vary. However, red is a favorite among many keepers.
To keep your Chahoua Gecko healthy, provide a comfortable and spacious enclosure. A 20-gallon tank is recommended, although of course, but bigger is better. Offer hiding places and climbing opportunities. You should also use a moisture-retaining substrate like coconut coir or sphagnum moss. Maintain a temperature range of 72-78°F (22-26°C) during the day. Have only a slight drop at night. Also, keep humidity levels between 60-80%.
Chahoua Geckos are omnivores. They can eat insects like crickets and roaches, and also fruit and nectar. Ensure you give them proper nutrition by dusting their food with calcium and vitamin D3 supplements.
Next is the Chinese Cave Gecko. These geckos are popular among pet enthusiasts due to their distinctive appearance. They are native to Japan, Vietnam, and Southern China, specifically the Cat Ba and Hainan islands.
Chinese Cave Geckos possess a striking look. They have black and white banded tails and brownish-yellow bodies. They are medium-sized geckos. They can reach up to 8 inches in length. With their large lidless eyes, they have a unique appearance that sets them apart.
Chinese Cave Geckos are relatively easy to care for, but specific conditions are necessary for their well-being. Provide a terrarium with a minimum size of 20 gallons. They prefer a humid environment with ample hiding places, such as rocks, logs, and plants.
Try to maintain a warm basking spot of 88-90°F. Also have a cooler area of 70-75°F. UVB lighting is essential to aid in vitamin D3 synthesis. Additionally, Chinese Cave Geckos are insectivores. So feed them a diet consisting of small insects like crickets and mealworms. Also provide calcium supplements to ensure proper bone health.
With proper care, Chinese Cave Geckos can live for 10-15 years. They are generally docile and can be handled, but they are delicate creatures that require gentle handling.
Giant Day Gecko
Next up is the Giant Day Gecko. These geckos are famous for their vibrant colors. They also grow to be quite large, ranging from 8 to 12 inches. They come from Madagascar and belong to the Phelsuma group, which has over 70 gecko species.
Giant Day Geckos need a large and tall enclosure with branches and plants to climb on. A glass terrarium with a screen top works well. Maintain temperatures between 75-85°F during the day. It can vary to about 65-75°F at night. Keep humidity between 60% and 80%.
These geckos are primarily insectivores. Feed them live insects like crickets, mealworms, and waxworms. You can also offer fruit puree or baby food as a treat. Dust their food with calcium and vitamin D3 supplements for proper nutrition.
The Leachie Gecko is also known as the New Caledonian Giant Gecko. It is a species from New Caledonia. It’s the largest gecko species and known for vocalizations like barking and yipping. Leachie Geckos have markings for camouflage against tree bark.
Leachie Geckos are heavy-bodied. They can grow to be up to 14 inches long. They have a stocky build and a short, thick tail. Their skin is rough and textured. Their head is also distinct, with large eyes and a wide mouth. They come in colors like brown, gray, and green. They also have unique patterns for blending in.
Leachie Geckos inhabit the tropical rainforests of New Caledonia. They live in trees. They hunt insects and small prey. In captivity, provide a spacious enclosure with live plants, branches, and climbing structures.
Leachie Geckos need a balanced diet of insects and fruit. Feed them crickets, mealworms, waxworms, and fresh fruit. Supply calcium through supplements or by dusting their food. They require a warm and humid environments. Temperatures need to be 75-85°F with a humidity of 60-80%. Provide water and mist regularly.