The frog-eyed gecko (Teratoscincus scincus) is a species of gecko found in central Asia, including parts of Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. They are named after their distinctive, large eyes which are similar in appearance to those of a frog.
Frog-eyed geckos are small reptiles, typically growing to around 16-20 centimeters in length. They are known for their unique adaptations that allow them to thrive in arid, desert environments. For example, they have specialized kidneys that are highly efficient at retaining water, and they can close their eyes to protect their delicate skin from blowing sand and dust.
In the wild, frog-eyed geckos feed on insects and other small invertebrates. They are active at night and use their keen eyesight to locate prey. In captivity, they can be fed a diet of live insects such as crickets and mealworms.
Frog-eyed geckos are relatively uncommon in the pet trade, but they can make interesting and low-maintenance pets for experienced reptile keepers. As with all reptiles, they require specific care and housing conditions, including a suitable temperature and humidity range, as well as a source of UVB light for proper health.
Behavior and lifestyle.
Skeptical behavior is common in frog-eyed geckos. They have a low threshold for stress, which means they’re quick to react defensively if provoked.
Note: If the lizard feels threatened, it will raise itself up on its hind legs, arch its back like a cat, then make a mean face. If threatened again, the gecko may use its tail to strike back.
In most cases, males and females could live together without conflict. But men shouldn’t share a habitat ever.
There is often conflict between male frog-eyed geckos. There will be a lot of fighting and shouting when this occurs. There are a variety of sounds made by these geckos, including squeaking and hissing. Frog-eyed geckos, like many other species, will drop their tail during a fight.
If you want to avoid conflict, it’s ideal if the guys don’t talk to each other. Generally speaking, a single bonded couple can live together without too many problems.
frog-eyed geckos live on land, and they are known for their impressive digging abilities, producing holes up to one meter deep. They thrive when the sun is down or not up, making morning and evening their prime time for an operation.
These people are extremely territorial and would rather not cross into someone else’s territory. When it’s mating season, that’s when you’re most likely to see a fight between two males.
The tail scales of a teratoscincus gecko allow it to squeak and make a distinctive crack—a distraction for a potential predator and a warning for nearby reptiles.
They begin their autumn hibernation a little bit earlier or a little bit later than usual depending on the local conditions. The first individuals start to awaken from their winter slumber in the months of March and April. But the Teratoscincus gecko gets ready for the winter with great care.
On an inclination, it creates a hole in the sand, climbs inside to the moist sand layers, and seals off the entrance with a sand plug. Since it is too hot during the day to go hunting, the lizard not just to hibernates but then also stays during the day indoors.
The Teratoscincus gecko is mostly a surface-dweller, therefore it preys on insects and insect larvae. Light from a lantern at night is all that’s needed to capture these lizards and snakes, as the brightness of the light temporarily blinds them and renders them immobile.
Regardless of whether the gecko is captured, it can still get away, leaving the enemy with nothing but a squirming, crackling tail.
Researchers in the field of zoology pointed out that when other geckos see a tail like that in their enclosure, they become fearful and start running for cover. In most cases, these reptiles are willing to part with this area of their bodies and can swiftly revert it to its previous state.
They can, surprisingly, molt, and do so underground in their burrows. However, zoologists have witnessed the Teratoscincus gecko tearing off the torso skin of a baby and eating it in the nursery. The scales fall off in clumps from their digits.
The length of the reptile is about 16-20 cm. It has a small, ungainly body covered in big, spherical scales that look if they were overlaid. These scales on the head are considerably smaller and more polygonal in shape. Of all the scutes on your face, only the ones by your mouth’s corners are in the right place.
A single glance at a frog-eyed gecko is all it takes to see that it isn’t designed to live in densely forested areas.
The body is coated in scales. Scales on the skull are tiny and complex. However, as you approach the back, their size increases. The lizard’s special body armor allows it to better absorb water, a rare resource in its native habitat.
Many other species of geckos, including this one, have sticky pads on their toes. Instead of regular nail beds, the soles of their feet are covered in scales that resemble combs, making them ideal for navigating sandy terrain.
The frog-eyed gecko’s coloring ranges widely, from yellowish as well as greenish with a gray tinge on top to rusty red on top and lilac-smoky on the bottom.
The abdomen is nearly white, with just a hint of lemon yellow at the throat; the back is covered with a pattern of many dark bars or patches which are more chaotic but also spotted with coffee color.
The males have a big genital sack and dark markings on their hind legs. Most women tend to act in a more subdued fashion.
The frog-eyed gecko has a slender, delicate tail that is covered with numerous nail plates. In the event of a predator attack, lizards can quickly and readily abandon it. As with the rest of the tail, the scales come off with the slightest touch.
Unlike most other reptiles, frog-eyed geckos lack femoral and preanal pores. Nighttime watchers of these lizards noticed right once that their brilliant ruby light beneath dark eyes was their most distinctive trait.
A frog-eyed gecko can live up to ten years on average. Somewhere at age of one and a half, it reaches sexual maturity.
Frog-Eyed Gecko Care.
There are several species of gecko, and the frog-eyed gecko is just one of them. However, the frog-eyed gecko is not as popular as other types of geckos as a pet due to its sensitivity to handling. There is still a lot to like about this lizard, though, thanks to the fact that it is a rare breed with distinguishing features like scales and big eyes. The following is what you’ll need to provide for one as a pet.
Frog-eyed geckos bask in the sun, where temperatures average approximately 90 degrees. We aim to heat up about a third of the enclosure while keeping the other two-thirds at a comfortable 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
We do this by installing a basking lamp on the enclosure’s ceiling. A dimmer thermostat regulates the brightness to provide a comfortable environment all day long.
Protecting the basking lamp from frog-eyed geckos requires more than just a few plants or rocks. Ten to twelve hours a day, the basking lamp is left on.
There should be no light in the enclosure once the sun goes down. This ought to guarantee that the gecko has a distinct day-night cycle.
Despite the fact that the sun has set, there will still be rocks, walkways, and roads that already have warmed up over the day and will generate heat for most of the night.
We place a heat mat underneath the basking area to maintain this temperature without introducing light into the enclosure during the night.
The frog-eyed gecko can choose a comfortable spot to relax on the heat pad as it warms the things nearby. The heat mat is regulated by an on/off thermostat that is pre-set to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
The heat pad is covered by about an inch of bedding, and the thermostat’s sensor is placed on top of the bedding to monitor the floor’s surface temperature.
Your heat mat’s thermostat should turn it off during the day when temperatures will be far too high. Nighttime temperatures below 80 degrees Fahrenheit are required for the heat mat to begin heating.
It is recommended that you use a thermometer in addition to the thermostats we sell, even though they are highly dependable.
Dial thermometers on both sides will do the trick, but smart probe thermometers will give you more precise readings.
Frog-eyed geckos aren’t basking reptiles, thus they don’t require a powerful UVB source. From 2-7%, spread out over a limited area of the enclosure, is what we suggest for most geckos.
Common frog-eyed geckos can have either a large 5% tube or a short 7% tube, with albinos and other low-pigmented geckos falling on the lower end of the spectrum.
UV tubes come in two diameters, T8 and T5, which are both commonly used. The T8 lights have a range and accuracy of 9-12 inches, a diameter of roughly 1 inch, and need to be serviced every 6 months or so. T5 bulbs are the most recent improvement. Their effective range is 18-24 inches, they have a 12-month lifespan, and they have a diameter of around half an inch.
We recommend installing your lamp at the ceiling’s warm end, in the back. There will be a gradual increase in UV intensity as you move from the back end of the enclosure to the front.
Whatever the gecko’s needs, the enclosure may be arranged to meet them thanks to the temperature gradient along the length and the UV gradient throughout the breadth.
The gecko may occasionally seek out a dark place to relax. There would be nooks and crannies throughout the enclosure designed specifically for this purpose.
Teratoscincus geckos, like other lizards, eat a wide range of insects and other tiny invertebrates that they capture. Among these are black beetles, May crunches, and even the occasional ant or spider.
Lizards kept in terrariums can be fed a variety of insects such as house crickets, Jamaican field crickets, cockroaches, flour worms (whether raised at home or purchased), zoophobas, and even newborn mice, nevertheless, this should be done on a very infrequent basis.
Baby animals need the same diet as adult lizards but in lower portions. The recommended feeding schedule is once every two days, but ideally once every day.
Don’t forget to replace the pet’s water every day and give it plenty to drink. Once a month, you should add various additives including top dressings for reptiles to the feed of Teratoscincus geckos, and you can also blend the mineral water “Borjomi” into the water on occasion.
Experts in breeding Teratoscincus geckos are unlikely to learn anything new. These reptiles lay eggs. At 1.5 years of age, when the length of the trunk is about 10 cm, they become sexually mature.
Nesting female Teratoscincus geckos conceal themselves in the nest’s main chamber during the day so they can lay eggs undisturbed.
Also, lizards sometimes invite other animals inside their burrows, including huge ground beetles, dung beetles, and even corpses and gerbils.
Teratoscincus geckos have their peak breeding season in the middle of spring, and they lay their eggs at the start of summer. Lizard mothers carry their young for roughly a month.
Depending on the species, females can lay anything from a single egg to a clutch of four. Nests with eggs from multiple mothers have been discovered on occasion.
In any case, little geckos appear at 5-6 cm in size in 2.5-3 months thanks to the burrow’s warm and dry atmosphere. Babies are initially fed by their mothers’ yolk sacs before being introduced to little insects.
Calcium must be given to young geckos on a daily basis. The female can reproduce two to four times each year under optimal conditions.
Summary: frog-eyed gecko: Care, Lifespan, Diet & Size
Taking care of a frog-eyed gecko may seem daunting at first, but it’s actually rather simple once you learn what they need. The fact that these lizards are so unusual is half the pleasure!
Don’t hesitate to drop us a line if you have any further inquiries on these geckos beyond what was covered in the book. No question is too small, and we’re always eager to assist.