Popularity: Make good house pets, but not the best for handling as they tend to bite and latch on for several minutes at a time. The bite can be painful.
Origin: Southeast Asia
Native habitat: Tropical rainforest
Size: 10-14 inches
Lifespan: Up to 20 years
Appearance: Blue-gray skin covered with orange or pink spots.
Diet: Insects, small vertebrates
Activities: They are solitary and only meet during the mating season.
Defense Mechanisms: Males are territorial and attack other males and other gecko species, as well as anything else that threatens their territory. They can detach their tails when attacked. It takes about three weeks to grow back.
Misc characteristics: Tokays are nocturnal and arboreal. They like to make a loud croaking sound as a mating call. Other calls include barking, grunting and trilling sounds. They have microscopic filaments on their toe pads that can cling to glass, allowing them to walk across a glass or similar ceiling.
Housing and Furnishings
Never house males together. Housing for a single adult should be at least a 20- gallon enclosure, at least 20 inches tall. This provides climbing area as well as a thermal gradient. Because they are tree-dwellers, they need a wooded setting with limbs, branches, and other plants to climb around on and hide in.
Substrate can be coconut fiber, orchid bark mulch, fir bark or a mixture of potting soil and sand. It needs to be able to hold moisture.
Temperature and Lighting
Temperature should be 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and around 70-75 at night. Providing a thermal gradient with the taller housing allows the gecko to regulate its body temperature by moving around. They also need a basking area of 85-90 degrees during the daytime. This should come from a source that is outside of the enclosure, or at least where the gecko cannot be burned by it. Tokay Geckos do not benefit at all from under-floor heating.
Because they are nocturnal, household lighting that has regular day/light cycles is sufficient, but UVB lighting could be beneficial for better well-being.
Crickets are a Tokay’s favorite meal. They will also eat commercially raised superworms, roaches, wax moths, locusts and mealworms. Never feed geckos wild-caught insects that may transmit disease. All insects should be gut-loaded and dusted with a reptile vitamin and calcium powder. Larger Tokays will eat frozen and thawed pinkie mice, but don’t feed them more than once per week. Feed adults 2-3 times a week and babies every day. Always keep a shallow bowl of fresh, chlorine-free water in the enclosure.