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5 Care Tips for Tokay Geckos

Learn five tips for how to take care of a tokay gecko from reptile and amphibian expert Jungle Bob in this Howcast video.


We see Tokay Geckos in almost every type of pet store in America. And there's only reason for that and that is their low cost. Because really this is more of a specialty animal. I see them very often for $19.99 or, "Buy the tank and we'll throw the gecko in for free". And I would say 99 percent of the times that people succumb to that come-on, it ends up bad for the owner or for the gecko.

These animals are absolutely beautiful and in a tank they will sit on the back of the glass because of their sticky feet and sticky hands. So you can see them readily. They do make a noise. I was trying to get him to do that. I think he did it a couple of times. They make a call. They do that Tokay kind of a call. So you can hear them at night, which is very, very pleasant to hear.

However, they're also known by people in the know as the pit bull of all lizards, if not the pit bull of geckos for sure. This animal has a tremendous jaw strength for its size and extremely sharp teeth. So the uneducated may go to a pet store and say, "Wow, I got this whole tank setup and I got a free gecko with it. I think I did well." And the first time they try to reach in and take him out of the tank, this animal will latch onto their finger and quickly he's being brought back to the pet store, because no one told him that they have a ferocious bite. They bite. They bite hard. They got tremendous jaw muscles and I call them the pit bull of geckos, because they don't let go. So you don't want really to be bitten by a Tokay.

It is not a beginner animal, even though it's priced as such. It is really more of an advanced hobbyist animal, who can appreciate the beauty of it. It certainly is a beautiful creature, from the front to the back. There's all kinds of wonderful patterns. And now they're being bred in captivity and the color patterns are changing, which happens quite often in captivity. Recessive genes meet recessive genes and different color patterns pop up out of the Tokay. So, a beautiful animal.

In my store here, we always let a few of them go in the store. We put them on cricket patrol. They're fantastic insect eaters. They come out at night. They got those big, beautiful eyes and they could see in the dark, and they'll hunt down any cricket that may escape in the store and be free. So we got one giant Tokay Gecko that lives in the back room. He's over a foot long and when my employees encounter him, they steer clear because he's got a ferocious bite. The Tokay Gecko, not for the uninformed, that's for sure.

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