Giant Leaf Tailed Gecko

By Snaketracks / October 25, 2019
giant leaf tailed gecko

Giant Leaf Tailed Gecko

The Giant Leaf Tailed gecko also comes by the name Fringed Leaf-Tailed gecko. For lovers of the species, it makes for one magnificent pet. But, novice keepers need to think twice before having this as a pet lizard early on. It can be overwhelming to care and monitor a giant leaf-tailed gecko.

Quick Facts:

  • Scientific Name: Uroplatus Fimbriatus
  • Alternate Names: Fringed Leaf Tail Gecko or Leaf Tailed Gecko
  • Family: Gekkonidae
  • Class: Reptilia
  • Size: The average adult grows up to 11 inches long.
  • Weight: The average weight is over 30 grams.
  • Diet: It is carnivorous and the diet includes insects, crickets, and worms among others.
  • Distribution: This reptile is native to Madagascar. You’ll find Giant Leaf Tailed geckos in the rainforests.

Some Interesting facts about the Giant Leaf Tailed Gecko

  • Males are quite territorial. They tend to isolate from other males.
  • They are tame but do not like frequent handling.
  • Giant Leaf Tails are nocturnal. They are mostly active at night.
  • These can bite when stressed or startled.
  • Giant Leaf Tailed geckos camouflage well among trees and branches.
  • These can sit motionless for hours especially in the daytime.
  • They have no eyelids and have to lick their eyeballs to maintain moisture and clear vision. The eyes are highly sensitive compared to human eyes. They can perceive color even in very dark settings.
  • Fringes around their body help them sort of melt into trees when in hiding. These prevent them from casting a shadow thereby increasing stealth.
  • Their toes are very sticky, capable of sustaining their body weight as they hang upside down.
  • They can make an easy 2-feet jump between tree branches.
  • The species is not endangered but the population seems to be in decline, partly due to destruction of habitats and illegal trade.

What does the Giant Leaf Tailed gecko look like?

Giant Leaf Tailed geckos have a flat body. The head is large and angular. They have strikingly large eyes with vertical pupils. They have wide and flat tails which look similar to a leaf. The legs are muscular and so appropriately made for high, stable jumps from tree to tree.

The toes are ultra-sticky to stabilize their position and movements. They have holes on the side of their head for ears. They can hear well. They have a fringed body, hence, they are otherwise called Fringed Leaf Tailed geckos.

Fringed bodies come in various colors, from light gray to dark brown shades. Giant Leaf Tailed geckos can become aggressive or defensive. Bear in mind that these have large mouths and sharp teeth.

They can be jumpy and when triggered, you’ll see them with heads and tail raised. Then, they will open their mouths and let out screaming sounds.

Where can the Giant Leaf Tailed gecko be found?

The natural habitat of Giant Leaf Tails is a wet tropical rainforest. They live along the eastern coast of Madagascar. These are also spotted at nosy Bohara and Nosy Mangabe Islands. They are arboreal creatures that live in trees. In captivity, they should enjoy roaming around enclosures that are 30 gallons and up.

What kind of habitat do the Giant Leaf Tailed geckos live in?

These thrive in environments of moderate to high humidity. In captivity, pet owners must mist their enclosures regularly to maintain moisture and high humidity levels. Temperatures should be 80 degrees F minimum during the day and 72 degrees minimum F at night.

What does the Giant Leaf Tailed gecko eat?

In its natural habitat, a variety of large worms like mealworms or wax worms can sustain them. They also prey on other insects in the wild. They will hunt roaches, land snails, and even small mice.

How long does the Giant Leaf Tailed gecko live?

Capturing a Giant Leaf Tailed gecko may grant an average of 2 to 5 years of life in captivity. Those who grow in captivity tend to have a lifespan of 7 years, with a maximum of 10 years.

How many eggs does the Giant Leaf Tailed gecko lay?

Adult giant leaf-tailed geckos are the larger types of their kind. Hatchlings can measure from 2 to 2.5 inches and these grow at a quick pace. Females, on average, lay 2 or 3 eggs per clutch. They may produce 3 clutches max each year. They leave their eggs on the forest floor and it takes a little over 90 days for them to hatch.

What predators does the Giant Leaf Tailed gecko have?

Some small predators as long as they are swift, can prey on this species. These may be weasels and ferrets. Birds, possums, and large spiders also hunt them.

Is it legal to have the Giant Leaf Tailed gecko as a pet?

Most of the available ones for sale are wild-caught but you can scout around for a captive breeder. Just verify their reputation first. It is not unusual for them to put you in a waiting list as there’s a bit of a rarity in acquiring a captive-bred Giant Leaf Tailed Gecko.

Some types of geckos are free to keep without a license. But depending on state and country, you may need a license for a Giant Leaf Tailed Gecko. You can inquire from the appropriate agency or at your local breeder shop.

If you do take it on as a pet, remember to provide dark places where it can hide when the lights turn on. And, a full spectrum lighting should be on at least 12 hours a day. Give your Giant Leaf Tailed gecko play and roaming areas like branches, plants, and logs that they can use to climb or take shade in.

Video of Giant Leaf Tail Geckos

Conclusion

The Giant Leaf Tailed Gecko is one of the largest types of geckos you can come across with or have for a pet. These like to remain undisturbed during the day so avoid frequent interruption and handling during those times as it may experience stress. Wild Giant Leaf Tail geckos may be illegal to keep so buy only from a legitimate and reputed captive breeder. Ask for licensing requirements and know how to properly care for it.

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