What Are Gargoyle Geckos and How to Care for Them? A Comprehensive Guide!

Gargoyle geckos (scientific name: Rhacodactylus auriculatus) are a species of gecko native to New Caledonia, a group of islands in the Pacific Ocean. They are named after their unique appearance, which resembles the gargoyles often seen on Gothic architecture. These geckos are arboreal, meaning they spend most of their time in trees and bushes rather than on the ground.

Gargoyle geckos are a relatively small species, growing to be about 8-10 inches in length. They are known for their unique patterns and colors, which can range from brown and tan to bright green and orange. They have a prehensile tail, which means they can use it to grasp onto branches and other objects.

Gargoyle Gecko Care

Enclosure setup and size

When it comes to setting up the perfect home for your gargoyle gecko, there are a few things to keep in mind. First and foremost, you’ll need an enclosure that is large enough to accommodate your gecko. A 20-gallon tank is a good size for one adult gargoyle gecko, but you may want to consider a larger enclosure if you plan on keeping multiple geckos together.

In terms of substrate, you’ll want to use a substrate that can hold moisture and promote humidity. Good options include coconut fiber, sphagnum moss, or a mix of the two. You’ll also want to include plenty of branches, leaves, and other decorations to create a stimulating and natural environment for your gecko.

Heating and lighting

Gargoyle geckos require a temperature range of 72-78°F during the day and 65-70°F at night. You can achieve these temperatures using a heat lamp or under-tank heating pad. It’s also important to provide your gecko with a source of UVB lighting, which helps them synthesize vitamin D3 and absorb calcium.

Humidity and misting

Gargoyle geckos require a relatively high humidity level in their enclosure, between 60-80%. You can achieve this by misting their enclosure several times a day, or by using a misting system on a timer. It’s also a good idea to provide a water dish for your gecko to drink from and soak in.

Diet and feeding

Gargoyle geckos are primarily insectivores, meaning they eat insects like crickets, roaches, and mealworms. You can also offer them occasional treats like wax worms or fruit. It’s important to dust their food with a calcium supplement to prevent nutritional deficiencies.

Handling and interaction

While gargoyle geckos can be handled, they are not as tolerant of handling as some other species of geckos. It’s important to approach your gecko slowly and gently, and to support their weight with your hands. Avoid grabbing or squeezing their tail, as it can easily break off.

Common Health Issues

Metabolic Bone Disease

Metabolic Bone Disease is a common health issue in reptiles, including gargoyle geckos. It’s caused by a lack of calcium and vitamin D3 in their diet, and can lead to weakened bones, deformities, and even death. To prevent this, make sure your gecko is getting enough calcium and vitamin D3 in their diet, and provide them with a source of UVB lighting.

Stuck shed or retained eye caps

Another common issue in reptiles is stuck shed or retained eye caps. This occurs when the gecko’s skin doesn’t shed properly, leading to a buildup of dead skin. If left untreated, this can lead to infections and other health issues. To prevent this, make sure your gecko’s enclosure is humid enough, and offer a humid hide where they can go to shed.

Nutritional deficiencies

Nutritional deficiencies can occur if your gecko isn’t getting the right balance of nutrients in their diet. This can lead to issues like metabolic bone disease, as well as other health issues. To prevent this, make sure your gecko’s diet is varied and includes a balance of insects and fruits.

Choosing Your Gargoyle Gecko

Where to buy

When it comes to buying a gargoyle gecko, you have a few options. You can purchase one from a pet store, a breeder, or through an online retailer. It’s important to do your research and find a reputable seller who can provide you with a healthy gecko.

What to look for in a healthy gecko

When selecting a gargoyle gecko, there are a few things to look for to ensure that you’re getting a healthy gecko. Look for a gecko that is alert and active, with clear eyes and a healthy-looking skin. They should also have a good appetite and be free of any signs of illness or injury.

Popular morphs and colors

Gargoyle geckos come in a variety of colors and patterns, with some of the most popular morphs including striped, blotched, and banded patterns. They also come in a range of colors, from brown and tan to bright green and orange.

Gargoyle Gecko Breeding

Pairing and compatibility

If you’re interested in breeding gargoyle geckos, it’s important to do your research and make sure you have the right setup and knowledge. You’ll need to pair a male and female gecko together, and make sure they are compatible in terms of size and temperament.

Incubation and hatching

Once your geckos have mated and laid eggs, you’ll need to incubate the eggs to ensure they hatch successfully. You can use an incubator or create a DIY setup using a plastic container and a heat source. The eggs will take around 60-90 days to hatch.

Caring for hatchlings

Once the eggs have hatched, you’ll need to care for the hatchlings until they are old enough to be sold or kept as pets. This includes providing them with a suitable enclosure, feeding them a varied and nutritious diet, and ensuring they have access to UVB lighting and a source of heat.


Gargoyle geckos are fascinating and unique creatures that make great pets for reptile enthusiasts of all levels. By following the care and feeding guidelines outlined in this guide, you can ensure that your gecko thrives and lives a happy and healthy life. With their striking appearance and playful personalities, gargoyle geckos are sure to bring joy and excitement to any household.

ThePetFaq Team