Mossy Leaf-tailed Gecko Care
Uroplatus Sikorae Care involves a similar amount of effort compared to other geckos, but they don’t make great handling pets.
They can be a little sensitive, particularly to humidity and temperature. As you read the article you’ll learn about their species and then will get an in depth breakdown of all the care that is required for these cool looking geckos.
Quick Reference Section
- Scientific Name: Uroplatus Sikorae
- Alternate Name(s): Mossy Leaf-tailed Gecko, Southern Flat-Tail Gecko
- Family: Gekkonidae
- Size: 5 to 7 inches
- Weight: about 10 to 30 grams
- Diet: Insectivores
- Lifespan: 5 years
- Where to buy: BackwaterReptiles.com
The Mossy Leaf-tailed Gecko truly is named after its unique look. These geckos really do have a leaf-shaped tail due to an extra flap of skin called the dermal flap, which lines the body.
If you flip them over, you can see this extra skin that lines their body by looking at their ridges. It just looks like they were covered by a blanket of mossy skin or a perfectly-shaped leaf.
Their skin resembles that of bark or leaves with moss on them, which is what makes them great hiders with this camouflage. They come in many natural colors like browns, greens, tan, greys, and some splotches of blacks.
They legitimately look like a piece of bark with some moss on it, and their leafy, flat tail is almost as wide as them and resembles a leaf. This makes the forest grounds, where they reside a great place for them to get by predators.
They have really beautiful, almost starry yellow eyes with a black vertical line, which is their pupil. Around their eyes is a bunch of little pinholes, which will widen when they wake up at night, allowing them to pick up as much light as possible while they scavenge.
Location and Habitat
Uroplatus Sikorae comes from the tropical forests of Madagascar and its islands. They come from very damp, warm, and humid climates.
They are used to a nice, warm range of temperatures around 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Even though they come from a warmer climate, they are actually sensitive to heat and cannot endure temperatures higher than 80 degrees.
During the day, they are sleeping lying flat on tree trunks where they hide from predators in plain sight. At night is when they scavenge the forest floors for prey.
At night is when they hunt for insects to feast on. They are good climbers but also walk the forest floors when they are awake.
The Uroplatus Sikorae is an insectivore that feeds on insects, arthropods, and gastropods in the wild. They love insects and will eat a large variety of them.
Although they do like snails, it is more so the females that will eat them in order to replenish the calcium they lose when producing eggs. This is one of the few known differences in preference of the sexes in the animal kingdom.
Because these lizards are so secretive, there is little to know about the reproductive behaviors of Uroplatus Geckos.
Based on the little research we have, it seems that females will lay around 2 to 4 eggs on average and will just leave them in the leaves on the forest floor before leaving them. It seems like they have very little to do with their offspring once they lay their eggs.
If the breeding is successful and the eggs are safe, they should be laid every 30 days and may take up to 90 days to hatch.
Uroplatus Sikorae Care Sheet
- Enclosure: Exo Terra Glass Terrarium
- Substrate: Exo Terra Plantation Soil
- Misting System: Zoo Med Reptirain Automatic Terrarium Mister
- Light Fixture: Carolina Custom Cages Reptile 12
- UVB Bulb: Zoo Med Reptisun 15W 5.0
- Plants: Bromeliad Plants
- Branches: Cork, Driftwood, Mopani Wood
Uroplatus Sikorae are insectivores that will even eat arthropods and gastropods in the wild.
In an enclosure, you can feed them worms like silkworms, superworms, hornworms, or Dubai roaches, crickets, and even snails. Again, the males may or may not reject the snails if offered, so give it a try but be aware that you might have to take them out.
In order for them to get all their needs, you should be dusting their food with Calcium+D3 supplement powder once a week. This is essential in keeping your pet lizard happy and healthy.
Feed them a variety, don’t forget to dust their food weekly, and you can feed them every other day, as they do not need to eat any more than that.
Amongst owners, it is said that females are much calmer than males, as the males are more likely to get anxious. With this type of gecko, it really is a mix and you never know what you will get.
They can be super calm, while others can be a little bit aggressive.
Mossy Leaf-tailed Geckos are stressful beings, and should not be handled often. You want your pet to be comfortable and happy, so you will have to keep handling it to a minimum.
The only time you should really be handling them is when you really have to such as transporting them from one cage to another or for their yearly health checkup.
Even so, handling them with your hand should only be for a short while. It is good to get a nice, large bark piece for them to cling onto, which might make it easier for you to move them that way.
When looking at tank size, you should keep them a 10-gallon minimum. This is the absolute minimum, so the larger, the better.
Make sure you have room to put some bark in there for them to climb onto as well as some plants. This will not only make it look naturalistic, but it will make them feel more like home if you try and mimic their natural habitat.
Here are some other factors to note for their enclosure:
Uroplatus geckos are sensitive to heat, and you mustn’t expose them to temperatures above 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Their optimal temperatures are within the range of 60 to 75 Fahrenheit.
During the day, they like a good high temperature of 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. They are used to nighttime drops in temperatures of about 60 to 70 degrees, but they can vary slightly depending on the season.
If you are attempting to breed, you should allow for natural warm and cool-season temperature changes in order to encourage comfort. Temperatures are important for their overall comfort as well.
You should try your best to get their temperatures and humidity as close, if not exactly, as their original habitat.
Since they come from the rainforests of Madagascar, they require high humidity. During the day, humidity should be around 60 to 80 percent, whereas the night time should be almost 100 percent.
These geckos like very moist climates and will need a lot of misting. They get their water from lapping up the water, which keeps them hydrated and healthy.
Misting is an essential part when caring for Uroplatus geckos. Even if you are misting, you should also keep a bowl of water in their enclosure for them to drink from as well.
You will need to mist them and their enclosure nightly in order to provide a well-maintained humidity for them. You can also mist throughout the day multiple times.
Dehydration is harmful to these geckos so you should always give them an opportunity to drink and make sure they are well hydrated at all times, especially when they are active at night.
These geckos will still need to synthesize Vitamin D during the day to metabolize calcium. This makes it crucial to their health.
You can use a simple UVB 5.0 light to expose them to UVB rays, regulating their biological clock. Keep in mind that they are sensitive to heat, so make sure these lights will not get hotter than 75 degrees.
In order to keep their biological clock in order, you should set a timer that will consistently follow the daytime and nighttime hours. This way, they will know when to sleep and when to be awake.
When it comes to buying substrate for your Uroplatus Sikorae, any soil-based substrate should be good. Soil-based will keep a higher humidity in the tank for them.
Eco earth should work fine as a substrate. You can also add mosses like peat or Sphagnum as an added substrate for even more humidity.
Since these lizards like a moist environment, this makes it a great environment for mold as well. Mold can cause bacterial or parasitic infection to your lizard so you should spot clean your gecko’s enclosure daily to prevent illness.
You should also make sure to clean their feces as soon as you see them, do not let waste sit in their enclosure.
Uroplatus Sikorae that are imported from the wild will often have parasites when you first get them. So make sure you are cleaning their tank as often as you can in the beginning stages in order to prevent them from re-transferring the parasites.
If you’re interested in learning more, or want to watch a video overview on caring for these geckos, check out Clint’s Reptiles YouTube video here:
These beautiful geckos are not the most beginner-friendly pet but are fascinating, mysterious lizards that can make great pets for those who are good at caring for them.
It is recommended that only experienced reptile enthusiasts care for these lizards since they have strict environmental needs. They are also very easily stressed out, so you want to be very careful with them.
Otherwise, the Mossy Leaf-tailed Gecko is an awesome pet to have, and caring for them should be an exciting experience. Watching them slowly move around during their nightly routines and feasting behavior is always a great encounter.