Barking Geckos (Underwoodisaurus spp.), also known as barking geckos or thick-tailed geckos, are unique and fascinating nocturnal reptiles native to Australia. Their distinct vocalizations and relatively simple care requirements make them intriguing pets for experienced reptile enthusiasts. Here's a care sheet to guide you in caring for your Barking Gecko:
Enclosure: For a single adult Barking Gecko, a 20-gallon enclosure (24" x 18" x 12") can suffice, but providing more space is ideal. The BlackBox XT2 24x18x18" or XA3 BIO24 36x24x24" would both work well, with the larger enclosure offering more room for enrichment.
Substrate: Use a substrate that retains humidity, such as coconut fiber, cypress mulch, or a mix of topsoil and sand.
Hides: Provide at least two hiding spots—one on the warm side and one on the cool side of the enclosure. Provide secure hiding spaces as Barking Geckos are shy and nocturnal.
Temperature: Maintain a temperature gradient in the enclosure. The warm side should be around 85-90°F (29-32°C), and the cool side around 70-75°F (21-24°C).
Heating: Use a ceramic heat emitter or deep heat projector to provide nighttime warmth. A thermostat helps control the temperature.
Feeding: Barking Geckos are insectivores. Feed them appropriately sized live insects, such as crickets, mealworms, waxworms, and roaches.
Supplements: Dust insects with calcium powder and a multivitamin supplement with D3 every 2-4 weeks.
Health and Handling:
Health Checks: Regularly observe your Barking Gecko for any signs of health issues, including changes in appetite, weight loss, or unusual behavior.
Handling: Barking Geckos are generally not handled often due to their shy and nocturnal nature. Minimize handling to reduce stress.
Environment and Maintenance:
Humidity: Maintain a humidity level of around 50-70%. Mist the enclosure daily and ensure a humid hide filled with damp moss is available.
Cleaning: Regularly clean and disinfect the enclosure. Remove waste, clean surfaces, and replace substrate as needed.
Shedding: Provide a humid hide during shedding periods to help your gecko shed its skin more easily.
BlackBox XT2 24x18x18": This size can accommodate a single adult Barking Gecko. It provides enough space for hiding spots and movement.
XA3 BIO24 36x24x24" If you want to create a more enriched environment with additional decor, hiding places, and climbing opportunities, the larger enclosure would be beneficial.
Remember, Barking Geckos are primarily nocturnal and prefer to hide during the day. Research their specific species and behavior to tailor your care to their needs. Regularly consulting with experienced reptile keepers or veterinarians will help you provide the best care for your Barking Gecko.