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Giant Leaf Tailed Gecko Pet Care

Updated on June 18, 2013

From all the reptile shows I have been to in the last few months, I have noticed a trend in the high importation of Giant Leaf Tail and Mossy Tail Geckos. These animals are becoming extremely popular due to their intense looks, docile personalities, and low husbandry duties. The following article is going to discuss what I follow to take care of my Giant Leaf Tail Gecko. The following information is what I follow and is the basis of the essential qualities needed for the Giant Leaf Tail Gecko.

The Giant Leaf Tail Gecko is native to Madagascar, and it is only found on this island. It comes from densely forested areas and has the ability to alter its colors and patterns on its skin to better blend into its surroundings. These Geckos mostly stay a bark/mossy color, but I have seen these geckos have colors of red, orange, blue, and even pinks. These geckos also have a flap of skin that looks like a dust ruffle that encompasses their entire bodies. This flap of skin blends the gecko with the barks of trees to complete camouflage itself. This gecko reaches about a foot in length.

Giant Leaf Tail Gecko Habitat

Leaf Tail geckos are extremely arboreal, meaning they spend all day up in the trees. It is recommended to have a tank that is about 40 gallons or more for one giant leaf tail gecko. The tank I have for my gecko, and because I have the room, is a homemade cage that is 2.5' X 2.5' X 6' tall. Inside is a re-wrapped cat tree full of fake leaves and bark. Although this cage may be extreme, it gives my gecko ample amounts of climbing space and hiding areas. Most of the day you will find your gecko laying vertical, head down, on a branch or the side of the tank. I want to say that with careful tank layout, a 29 gallon tall aquarium will be sufficient for these geckos. 29 tall aquariums are pretty easy to come by and relatively inexpensive.

Giant Leaf Tail Gecko Lighting

I cannot wait for the responses to this claim, but they do not require any special lighting. My apartment is kept around 75 degrees which is the ideal temperature for these geckos. Anything hotter than 80 degrees can be too hot for them. I say 70-75 gradient is good. I have a 40 watt bulb on top of the cage just so my gecko can regulate his day and night cycle. Even if you do not want to purchase a bulb, just make sure the room the cage is in has a window so the cage lights up. If you want to use a UVB bulb, I recommend the lowest wattage because of the sensitivity these geckos have towards sunlight.

Giant Leaf Tail Gecko Humidity

THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT SECTION! These geckos need 100% humidity. Do not let it drop below 80%. The easiest way to keep the humidity up is to have an all glass terrarium with a screen top. Spray the sides of the tank a few times a day so there are water droplets for most of the day. If you do not want to do this, I recommend purchasing the Exo-Terra fogger. It works great and will keep your gecko hydrated. You can do what I do and purchase a cool air humidifier. Since my cage is so large, I have a 1 gallon cool mist humidifier inside the cage. I have the humidifier plugged into a timer that goes on for 30 minutes about 10 times in a 24 hour cycle. DO NOT USE a warm mist humidifier cause your gecko will get burned! I also spray the cage 2 or 3 times with a mist bottle. I also have two large water bowls and a water dripper. QUICK TIP: Make sure you have a hydrometer in the cage so you know exactly what the humidity is in the cage. Another thing you can look at is the tail of the gecko. If the tail is smooth and flat, the gecko is hydrated. If the tail begins to shrivel and curl like a dried leaf, it needs more humidity. A quick fix to this is a humid shower. Steam up your bathroom and give the gecko 20 minutes, 2 or 3 times a day until the tail is looking better. You can also use a plastic syringe to drip water onto the gecko's mouth to force it to lap up the water. Humidity is the most essential part to keeping these geckos.

Giant Leaf Tail Gecko Diet

These geckos will eat just about anything. My gecko loves large grasshoppers, pinkie mice, and cockroaches. They tend to eat exclusively at night in complete darkness. I use tongs to feed my geckos. I have tried using feeder bowls but my gecko does not go for it. You can feed the gecko insects like crickets, grasshoppers, cockroaches, mealworms, superworms, and caterpillars/horn worms. I feed my gecko two times a week, and give it enough food until she stops eating during the feeding time.

Giant Leaf Tail Gecko Temperament

These geckos are fairly docile as far as I have experienced. Just like any animal, they do have their own personalities and some may just be complete jerks. Their bite is not vicious and does not hurt at all. Handling is easy. Just make sure to completely support their bodies. My gecko loves to jump onto my face, so be aware. They can jump far and they can jump often. My gecko is real calm and jumps on my face when I am staring it down, but otherwise she will just rest on my shoulder, hand, or on my computer. They are a nice gecko to just chill with.

Giant Leaf Tail Gecko Warnings

I have no warnings. These geckos are easy to care for, lovable, and cannot cause you any physical harm. If you have a bad experience with a Giant Leaf Tail Gecko, please tell me so I may warn others. Thank you.

If you have any comments or questions, feel free to add them here. Thank you. Email me if you would like to see more pictures of my gecko or her cage.


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    • Reptile Joe profile imageAUTHOR

      Reptile Joe 

      22 months ago from Illinois

      Hey Elijah,

      I'm not on here much, but I would advise you not to leave any bugs in the tank. I always figure that if they are hungry, your gecko will eat. Once they are done, remove all bugs. I know some can be shy eaters, but even if I put bugs in a cage, it's always in an escape proof bowl. For crickets and locust, break off their jumping legs and they cannot get out. I'll leave the gecko alone for awhile, but I always take the bugs out before I go to bed. No reason to have more creatures dirting your tank or biting your animal. Just my thoughts. Hope it helps!

    • profile image


      23 months ago

      Hey! I’m having trouble feeding my gecko. He was given to me today and I have him in my snakes old tall 20 gallon until Monday. Is it ok to leave the meal worms in on terrarium liner until we get his permanent tank?

    • bbanks27 profile image

      Brittany Banks 

      2 years ago from Spokane, Washington

      I was thinking about getting one. They are awesome looking. I currently have two crested geckos and a leopard gecko.

    • Reptile Joe profile imageAUTHOR

      Reptile Joe 

      3 years ago from Illinois

      Autumm: shriveled tail usually means dehydration and low humidity. Increase humidity and maybe soak your GLT so it drinks. Also, you dont have to keep these guys too warm, so make sure your temps are correct.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      What does it mean when your gecko's tail shrivels up?

    • mcahal profile image


      6 years ago from Longview, Texas

      I just got a male and a female giant leaf-tail gecko. I've wanted a pair for so long! I've kept cresteds, AFT's and leos for years, but I'm still nervous about my new guys. As soon as we get used to each other, I'll probably hit you up with breeding questions. Great care sheets! Thank you!


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