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Tokay Gecko Pet Care

Updated on June 18, 2013

It is three in the morning and you hear "Geh-ko, Geh-ko." The sound you hear is the Tokay Gecko call. The call is used for territory claiming and mating. The Tokay Gecko is one of the most interesting, vocal, and beautiful of the geckos to husband. These lizards come from the tropical Southeast Asia. The Tokay Gecko can easily reach 12-14 inches. At an average, the Tokay cost is relatively cheap. The habitat and diet requirements are also for any level herper.

The following information is from what I have personally found to be effective when keeping Tokay Geckos. I have kept reptiles and exotics for over 12 years. I have husbanded everything from scorpions and spiders to blue-tongue skinks and giant leaf tailed geckos. The following information is for anyone wanting to know about Tokay Geckos and the proper care they need.

Before I start, I want to clarify that the following information is how I raise my Tokays. There are too many websites with false information. I am going to be completely truthful and bold with my information.

Tokay Gecko Habitat

These animals are arboreal, meaning they like to hang out in trees, off the ground. The best type of tank for these guys is a tall tank. If you can still find the 20 gallon tall, this is perfect for keeping a single Tokay or a confirmed pair of Tokays. As with all my animals, I do not keep any of my reptiles in the same enclosure. I do not want to chance fights, bullying, food rationing, or territorial issues. Both of my Tokays are currently housed in two separate PVC pipe cages. The cages measure 2 feet tall by 1 foot wide by 1 foot deep. I have plastic garden mesh zip tied to the PVC pipe frame. Inside I have a piece of bamboo, artificial foliage, food bowl, water bowl, and newspaper substrate. The only types of substrate I recommend for these guys are newspaper or the reptile carpet you can buy at local pet stores. It is easy to clean or replace. Sand or coconut husk are just too messy for these guys. Besides, the only time I ever see my Tokays on the ground is to poop or eat. The artificial foliage creates good hiding spots for my Tokays. You can also use hollowed pieces of driftwood, grapevine or bamboo as well to give them a security blanket.

Tokay Gecko Lighting

No UVA/UVB is necessary considering these geckos are nocturnal and hide for almost all of the day. I do not have a nocturnal heat lamp or bulb either. My reptile room is kept at 75-80 degrees always. I have a 60 watt, regular bulb to provide a basking spot of 85. I do not keep them any warmer than this. Some websites say basking of 90-95, but there is no need. They need to just be able to digest their food, and at 85, they can do so.

Tokay Gecko Humidity

Tokay Geckos are one of the hardiest geckos if not lizard period. I have raised Tokays in high and low humidity. I find a daily misting suffices. I do have water bowls for my geckos, but I find they are real drop drinkers. I spray the cage well, covering everything with tiny water bubbles. Then, I watch my geckos lick the water off the cage d├ęcor and themselves. If you miss a day or two, they are not going to become dehydrated. Their humidity requirements are not as severe as that of the Giant Leaf Tail Gecko. Just keep a shallow water bowl and mist them once a day and they will be hydrated.

Tokay Gecko Diet

These geckos will eat just about anything. My geckos love crickets, superworms, and pinkies. They tend to eat exclusively at night in complete darkness. I use food bowls to feed my Tokay geckos. 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 they stop eating during the feeding time. Quick tip for judging appropriate feeding sizes: Do not feed your gecko anything that is bigger than the space between its eyes. If it fits in between, they will be able to swallow the item without a struggle.

Tokay Gecko Temperament

There is so much debate on this area of Tokay Geckos. I have seen the Youtube videos of Tokay owners who are holding their "tame" Tokay Geckos. I will give them the credit of being truthful. Every individual gecko has its own personality. Every gecko can learn to associate human hands as non-threatening. However, after raising Tokays for 10 years, here is what I live by. If the Tokay is not aggressive, he is most likely ill. Tokays should always bark and attempt to bite when being reached for or touched. If he has fight in him, he has the strength and health to do so. If he is lethargic or too tame, it could be the sign of a sick Tokay. I handle my Tokays weekly, always with the same bark and bite attempt. A quick hand out of the biting range and these geckos can be held.

Last words

Tokays are beautiful geckos. They are typically blue bodies with orange/red spots. They do change colors and can be seen going from blue to black and the spots going from reds to yellows. There are Tokay Gecko morphs, which are a bit pricey but if you want an all white Tokay, it is pretty neat. Tokays are great reptiles to husband.


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    • Reptile Joe profile image

      Reptile Joe 3 years ago from Illinois

      @jessica: he is probably adjusting to the new cage. If you are like most, your tokay is wild caught, which means any new environment can stress them pretty hard. Make sure his temps are good and he has plenty of hiding areas. You can always give him some wax worms to entice his feeding.

    • profile image

      jessica sweitzer 3 years ago

      I have a pet tokay and I've had him for two years and I'm worried bc for the first time he is refusing to eat normally.he gose hog wild and I was wondering if it could be bc Iswiched his tank or if he could be sick

    • Reptile Joe profile image

      Reptile Joe 4 years ago from Illinois

      They can be nasty, but that is what makes them the Tokay.

    • tsadjatko profile image

      TSAD 4 years ago from maybe (the guy or girl) next door

      I had one once - nasty, nasty, nasty :-)