Chinese Cave & Chinese Leopard

& Japanese Cave Gecko Caresheet

Here is my own caresheet that I have compiled. I think these are all close enough species that you should be fine to use the Chinese Cave Gecko Caresheet as a general guide.

 

Chinese Cave Gecko General Information

Common Name: Chinese Cave Gecko

Latin name:  Goniurosaurus Luii

            Unknown in captive collections until 1996 when specimens of G. luii were imported from Hainan Island China and G. lichtenfelderi hainanensis was found in adjacent Mainland China. Little information is available on their natural habitat, although it is suspected to be rocky forested and scrubland areas. These geckos are welcomed by the pet trade as a fantastic new addition to the eublepharid gecko family, which contains such popular species as the Leopard Gecko (Eublepharis macularius) and the African Fat-Tailed Gecko (Hemitheconyx caudicinctus).

            Approximately 4” long at birth, they average about 8” to 9” in length as adults. Juveniles are dark purplish black with thin white to pale orange bands. Chinese Leopards are clad in purplish gray with numerous tiny dark spots and bands of yellow or orange. Chinese Cave geckos are built similar to Leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius), although slimmer and more ‘spidery’ in appearance, and have startling reddish-brown eyes.

            The geckos tail is its reserve of fat, so the fatter the tail, the healthier your gecko is. Never grab your gecko by the tail. Like many lizards, their tails will break off as a defence mechanism if handled roughly. The tail will grow back fairly quickly, although it will not be as elegant as the original.

            Parasites - it's possible to obtain a gecko that is infested with parasites. This could be accompanied with loss of weight, refusal of food, runny stools, being lethargic, and regurgitation. If you have any combination of these, or have doubts as to your gecko's health, consult a vet as soon as possible. A stool sample test is a good idea if you are concerned.

 

Chinese Cave Gecko Feeding Information

I am unsure of feeding, but I have seen nothing to indicate feeding is different that a Leopard gecko.

 

Geckos require Calcium supplements. All feed should be shaken in a Calcium supplement till coated before feeding and a small dish of calcium is recommended in the tank for you gecko's to lick, especially if you are breeding them. Two supplements should be used: one that is just calcium/D3 and another that is a reptile multivitamin. You can feed your gecko calcium dusted insects such as crickets (main food), mealworms, wax worms, super worms, and an occasional pinkie mouse. Wax worms and super worms are not to be used as a main diet, due to the fact they are a high protein & fat treat, but good for breeding female geckos. The Multi-vitamin can be given every 3rd or 4th feeding, but the calcium dusting is what should be used mainly.

Gut-loading your gecko’s food is recommended. Whatever you feed you gecko's food supply with will be inadvertently be fed to your gecko, so the more minerals the food eats, the more your gecko will be ingesting. It’s always a good idea to feed the insects a high quality diet so as to "gut-load" them and increase their nutritional value. Baby carrots are what I use to gut load all my geckos foods. I slice the carrots in half; the crickets seem to eat it a little more readily then. There are a wide variety of feeds you can use for all your geckos feeders.

Fresh water should be kept in the tank at all times and changed daily to stop bacteria and fungus growth. Keep the water dish at the cool end of your tank. A water conditioner is required to remove Chlorine from the water.

A good measure for the size of cricket or mealworm is never feed your gecko insects larger than the length from the gecko's tip of the nose to its eyes. If too large of a cricket is fed, the juvenile may have digestive problems and regurgitate the meal. A few stray crickets may not be bad, but large numbers of crickets can stress your gecko, and should be reduced to an acceptable amount (A few for snacks in-between feedings). Feed hatchlings and younger geckos everyday. Feed juveniles and adults every second day. 

Feeders used:

-1 or 2 week old crickets for very young geckos, 3 or 4 week old crickets for sub-adult geckos, 4 week old or adult crickets for adult geckos (4 weeks are easier to digest, allow for more consumption of calcium, and less noise)

-Mealworms, Kingworms, Superworms

-Waxworms, Butterworms, Silkworms

-Pinky mice (A treat to feed them once they are old enough, but no more than once a month)

Food Supplements used:

-Repti-Calcium with D3

-Repti-Vitamin with Beta Carotene (I only dust crickets with this occasionally)

-High-Calcium Cricket Feed

-Fresh baby carrots, sliced thinly (for crickets/mealworms/superworms)

 

Chinese Cave Gecko Housing Information

            These geckos are a little more work that Leopard geckos. Chinese Cave geckos require a high humidity (about 60-80% humidity) so a good substrate that will hold moisture is required. Sphagnum moss is most likely your best bet, but keep it fresh and change it often.

Chinese Cave geckos require a thermal gradient by placing a heat pad under one end of the cage. This should allow the gecko to choose from higher temperatures (about 82°F) at the warm end, and cooler temperatures (about 72°F) at the cooler end. Tank should remain from 75°F-82°F during daytime and 72°F-75°F during nighttime. Provide suitable hiding areas at both warm and cool areas, so the geckos can feel secure at any temperature. Temperatures below 75°F should be avoided. No special lighting is required for these nocturnal animals, but a day/night lighting pattern may help the geckos’ health. I do not recommend heat rocks, as they can be too hot and burn your geckos.

All tho I recommend using a screen, you should block most of it off with something (I am going to use hard plastic pieces) so that humidity is increased and airflow is decreased to help with humidity. This way moisture is kept in and the higher humidity requirements are met.

I recommend Sphagnum moss or Forest bedding to be used for substrate (bedding) in the tank for geckos. These substrates hold moisture and are not a danger of impaction. Clean or replace any substrate frequently. Decorations like cork-bark, rock slabs, driftwood, artificial cave structures, and artificial plants can also be used as decorations/hides. Be careful that your decorations will not collapse and crush your geckos. If there are not enough hiding spots, your gecko may become stressed and nervous and may not eat properly.

A moist chamber of some form with either vermiculite or sphagnum moss is important also. This can be as simple as a container with a hole 1"Hx2"W cut in the side or top for your gecko to crawl into. This provides a humid environment to aid with shedding and for females to lay eggs in. I consider a humid chamber a must for every gecko. If several females are in your tank, you may want several humid chambers available, to prevent fights over egg laying territory. 

About cleaning your tanks. Do not use any harmful cleaners, only herp safe cleaners and rinse everything well after to ensure no residue is left behind. Clean fecal matter very often and sterilize everything in your tank regularly, to prevent bacteria build up. Substrates like moss and forest bedding should be changed completely on a regular basis. These creatures depend on YOU to keep their environment clean and healthy for them, so please, do not neglect your little friends!!

 

Chinese Cave Gecko Breeding Information

Hatchlings are about 4” in length, other than that I have not found much credible information. I have to do some more research, as I know these species are becoming a little more common now.

 

Sexing A Chinese Gecko:

Males are slightly larger than females, and can be distinguished by the presence a V-shaped row of pre-anal pores and a pair of prominent hemipenal bulges.

 

Incubating Chinese Gecko Eggs:

            The eggs are removed and placed into a container with moist vermiculite and set up in an incubator set for 78°F-80°F. At these temperatures, incubation time ranges from 55-80 days.

 

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