Care of Pet White Lined Geckos

Set Up Essentials

Skunk Gecko
frted/Creative Commons/Flickr

White lined geckos reach an adult length of around 9 to 10 inches, including their tail. They can live 10 to 20 years or so; however, they are relatively new to reptile hobbyists, so their life span is a bit uncertain. White lined geckos' bodies are brown, green or tan, and have a white stripe on each side of the head that converges on the back and runs down to the tail base which has broad white bands.

They have specialized toe pads that allow them to effortlessly move along vertical surfaces.

White lined geckos tend to be less aggressive than their close relative, tokay geckos. They are pretty fast, somewhat delicate, and will bite if feeling threatened, so care is required when handling.

White lined geckos are sometimes called a white striped gecko (which may lead to confusion with other species), Indonesian skunk gecko or skunk gecko.

Housing White Lined Geckos

A 20-gallon tall terrarium is sufficient for a couple of white lined geckos, but bigger is better as white lined geckos are active lizards.  White lined geckos need vertical space for climbing, so use a tall tank. A glass terrarium with a screened top or side for ventilation works well. Males are territorial so should only be kept one to a cage; never house males together.

Substrate

The substrate for white lined geckos should be something that retains moisture to aid in humidity levels such as coconut fiber bedding, cypress mulch, moss or peat, though you can use paper or paper towels as well.

Accessories

White lined geckos need room to climb--provide a mix of branches, driftwood, corkbark, bamboo and vines at a variety of heights and orientations. Add a variety of silk and/or sturdy live plants (e.g. dracena, snake plants) as they will hide in the plants for cover. Use caves, bark or other items suitable for hides.

Provide a small shallow water dish with fresh water daily, though they will likely prefer to drink water droplets from leaves.

Temperature

Provide a daytime temperature gradient of 82-85 F for white lined geckos, with a drop at night time to 70-75 F. A heat lamp or ceramic heat emitter makes a good heat source for day time; at night, a red night time bulb or ceramic heat emitter is a good choice. You can also use undertank heat. Do not rest a heat source right the top of the tank as these climbing geckos could get too close and burn themselves.

Lighting for White Lined Geckos

White lined geckos are nocturnal, so do not need special UV lighting. However, many experts feel providing low levels of UV lighting is still beneficial to their overall health. Ensure that geckos can hide from the light if desired. A red night time bulb allows viewing when they are most active.

Humidity

White lined geckos need a moderately high humidity level; aim for 65-75 percent relative humidity which you can measure and monitor with a hygrometer. Provide humidity with regular misting with warm filtered water; depending on your cage set up, you may need to mist a few times a day, and make sure the cage is well-misted at night when their activity is highest.

White lined geckos will likely drink from water droplets left from the mist.

Feeding

Feed white lined geckos a diet mainly of crickets. A variety of other insects can be added for variety: roaches, locusts, cutworms and silkworms (only feed waxworms and mealworms occasionally). Prey should be about the size of the space between the gecko's eyes. Gut load it  prior to feeding and dust with a calcium supplement two to three times a week plus a multivitamin once a week. Feed in the evening; juveniles should be feed daily but adults do not need to be fed every day (every other day might suffice). Feed as much prey at one time as the gecko eagerly eats, and don't leave uneaten crickets roaming around the tank.

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