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Caring for Paroedura Bastardi Bastardi

Updated on November 13, 2008
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Whitney has raised and bred different species of geckos, snakes, lizards, tortoises and other exotics since 2003

Paroedura Bastardi Bastardi

Although, I am relatively new to keeping and caring for the P. bastardi, below, you'll find a relatively thorough caresheet that I was given when I received my P. bastardi. I want to thank Harold with CCHerps for my P. bastardi and the below caresheet.

The P. bastardi is native to southern and central Madagascar, but since the reptile species has only been in captive care for a short period, it is not 100% known as to whether or not the gecko is native to other any other areas.

These geckos are semi-arboreal and typically are found living on the floor of dry forest and on the lower areas of tree trunks. In more mountainous areas, they can be found between cliffs and beneath rocks.

Common Names: Bastard gecko, Madagascar spiny gecko

Handling & Temperament: The P. bastardi is not the most handlable reptile species. It is not impossible, but these geckos are rather swift and can get away from you easily. These geckos are more or less look at pets rather than play with pets. But, they can tolerate some handling, but I would never pull them too far out of the enclosure.

Size: up to 2.5 inches (snout to vent); up to about 4 inches (to include the tail).

Lifespan: Because the P. bastardi are not one of the most popular reptile species kept at pets, nor has it been in captivity for as long as other species such as the Eublepharis macularius (leopard gecko), but it is thought that the gecko has an average lifespan to up to 7 years.

Physical Description: The P. bastardi is a compact gecko with a triangular head. Their entire body has a scaley appearance with is scattered conical scales. They are typically shades of tan for blending into leaf litter.

Sexing: Typically males develop large hemipenal bulges. Females typically do not have a bulge, but they may have a slight bulge. P. bastardi become sexually mature between 8 to 10 months old. (I tried to grab snapshots of the difference between a male and female, but because of their size, I was having trouble getting clear pictures.)

Housing P. Bastardi

Enclosure Size: Many people house the P. bastardi singlely in 5 gallon aquariums. You can house pairs and trios in a 10 gallon aquarium. (If you house a pair or trio, you want to make sure to closely monitor for bullying and stress.)

Substrate: You have two options to happily house your P. bastardi. The first is a 50/50 ratio of peat moss and fine washed playsand (as seen in the second picture on the right) or 100% fine washed playsand (as seen in the first picture). If you opt for playsand, just make sure that you purchase white or tan playsand, as you want the enclosure natural, so that means avoid the blue, green, and other colored sands.

Décor: Because these geckos are semi-arboreal, they appreciate climbing structures. You can use clean branches or even slate tiles (leaned up against the enclosure). Whatever décor you opt to include in the enclosure, you want to make sure that you have it secured so that it will not fall and hurt the gecko.

You will want to include housing and shelter of some kind. I have multiple housing in my enclosure, as I am housing a trio.

You may include bark or other structures so that the gecko can climb on at different levels of the enclosure.

Lighting: You can use a low wattage light to help heat the enclosure, but depending on what size enclosure you are using, the watt of the bulb will vary.

Heating: Maintain the enclosure between 80 to 88F during the day. You can let the temperatures drop to 75 to 80F at night.  I like to use an under tank heater to provide the bulk of the heat with a low watt bulb for lighting and extra added air heat.


This species of gecko are voracious eaters, and they will consume a variety of prey items, even if it seems too large.

To be on the safe side you want to stick with prey that is no wider than the width of the head. I like using 1/2" crickets.

Make sure to dust all insects with a good calcium and vitamin supplement.

Also, make sure that you provide fresh water.


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    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 7 years ago from Georgia

      I would go with at least a 20 gallon long, but a little bigger surface area would probably be best. Yes, they will fight if the tank is too small. They will fight if you have more than one male. They will fight if you have more than one female that feels she is more dominant than another; or just one female that feels she is dominant. They may suffer stress and bullying with one male and several females. Housing multiple geckos in an enclosure, always comes with a risk.

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      jeff 7 years ago

      i have 9 p. bastardis what size tank do i need, adn if it is to small will my geckos fight