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Pictus Gecko Care

Pictus Gecko Care

Pictus Gecko (Paroedura pictus)

also known as Ocelot Gecko, Panther Gecko, Madagascar Gecko and Malagasy Fat-tailed Gecko

Popularity: They make good house pets, but are not good for handling as they are small and have delicate skin.

Origin: Island of Madagascar

Native habitat: Scrub leaves

Size: 4-8 inches

Lifespan: up to 10 years

Appearance: The Pictus Gecko has striped bands of various shades of brown with gold tint and some white. Some have black markings, and some may have a white dorsal stripe. In captivity, there are several color phases available including orange and yellow. Males have prominent bumps at the base of the tail, but not the females.

Diet: Insects

Activities: nocturnal, terrestrial

Defense Mechanisms: Males are territorial and will fight with each other

Misc characteristics: Does well living alone or in groups of two or three females. Males can become quite territorial, so should not be housed together. Females can die from over-breeding in captivity.


Housing and Furnishings

The housing should be a 20-gallon aquarium tank with a securable screen top. That will accommodate up to three lizards. It should be wide rather than tall because these geckos like to stay on the ground. Driftwood and rock need to be added to the housing so the lizards have a place to hang out. Also, use hide boxes with moist peat moss in them for humidity. The more geckos you keep in the same tank, the more hides you need. Keep branches and perches near the floor of the housing so the geckos don’t fall to their death.


Good substrates include coco fiber, reptile carpet, orchid bark, mulch and peat moss. Use different substrates in different areas of the enclosure to provide variety for the lizards.

Temperature and Humidity

Keep the temperature in a 70-85 degree Fahrenheit temperature gradient in the daytime, and down to room temperature at night. Upper 80s is too hot for these geckos. Use under-tank heating rather than overhead lamps because this is a ground dweller. Lightly mist the enclosure once or twice daily to maintain a humidity of 50-80 percent.


Normal household lighting is adequate as long as it has a day/night cycle. You can use UV lights if you like, but most owners do not.


Gut-loaded, calcium-dusted crickets and some occasional mealworm make up the Pictus gecko’s diet. Crickets should be no longer than the gecko’s head is wide, and should only be the commercially raised variety. Feed juveniles 4-6 crickets daily and feed adults 6-8 crickets 3-4 times a week. Dust the crickets with a vitamin supplement once per week. A dish of fresh, chlorine-free water should always be available.

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