Chameleon Gecko, Eurydactylodes agricolae
The Chameleon Gecko, Eurydactylodes agricolae and Eurydactylodes vieillardi, is a fascinating gecko species we keep and breed. This species is slow moving and very well aware of its surroundings. Found on New Caledonia this species is endemic to Grande Terre, Iles Belep, and Ile Yandé. Reaching a maximum size of 6-7" for females and 4-6" for males. Females are sexually dimorphic and may also appear as darker in color than males during breeding.
A 1.1 pair, one male to one female is recommended, but a trio may cohabitate without competition for food.
- 12 x 12 x 18 terrarium for the adult breeding pair and trio.
- A secure enclosure with a sliding top is what we use. A 16oz deli cup used for fruit flies is an alternative if you do not have a proper enclosure.
Temperature, Humidity & Lighting
Chameleon Geckos can be found in their natural maquis habitat low to the ground and in brush type foliage. A temperature range of 72-78F (22C to 25C) with a nighttime drop between 68-74F (20C to 23C) is tolerable. A humidity range of 60-80% should be provided to compensate for natural weather parameters of New Caledonia. Full spectrum lighting should be provided as this species enjoys basking while sleeping and could possibly benefit from d3 absorption. The most significant benefit of full spectrum lighting is the coloration of this species when exposed to UVA/UVB lighting.
Diet & Nutrition
The Chameleon Gecko feed on insects, fruit, and nectar in the wild. We feed a variety of live insects such as fruit flies, wax worms, phoenix worms, cockroach nymphs, and small crickets.
Meal Replacement Powder MRPs work by mixing the product in powder form with water to create a semi-thick liquid that smells like fruit nectar. There are a number of products on the market. Crested Gecko Diet from Repashy Superfoods is one example.
Live Feeders Chameleon Geckos will readily feed on live insects from hatchling to juvenile. Offer a small prey item such as fruit flies to hatchlings. As they mature, an adult may be offered cockroach nymphs (dubia) and crickets of appropriate size.
Dust all live feeders with a Vitamin and Mineral supplement mixed with Calcium. We do not provide lighting and use Calcium with vitamin D3.
For Chameleon-Geckos choose an insect by size in length. The size should not be greater than the length between the eyes and very robust. Coat the feeder using Calcium with Vitamin D3 by placing the feeder in a plastic bag with the powder and shaking until the feeder is coated in the supplement.
Weekly Feeding Routine We provide the same feeding routine as with all our frugivorous geckos. We offer fresh MRP three times a week; Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. We allow the food to stay in the enclosure until we replace it on the third night. On Sunday we remove all food from the enclosure and offer live prey that has been dusted with vitamins and minerals and gut loaded the night before. Any mixed but not served diet is placed in the refrigerator or freezer for future feeding.
Handling & Taming
Chameleon Geckos can be handled but may also secrete a foul smell if they feel threatened. If you don't want to stink after handling your gecko then I have a recommendation for you. I like to place my hand in front of the head and maneuvering my other hand behind the gecko. Soon enough your little friend will be running up your arm. You can then use the "hand walking" technique to keep your gecko from going wild and running around the place. Simply put your free hand in front of the gecko as it is moving to the edge of your hand and then repeat. Your gecko will also become tired and more manageable.
Sexing Eurydactylodes agricolae can be performed visually. The male will have an enlarged hemipenal bulge while females will not. Adult females will also be larger in size and length than males. Sexing Eurydactylodes vieillardi is done in the same manner.
Breeding Chameleon Geckos can be a bit tricky due to their small size. We start off the spring season, bringing them out of brumation. The male and female will copulate and in a months time the female will produce eggs. A lay box with appropriate substrate should be provided throughout the year. We prefer New Zealand Sphagnum Moss over vermiculite since it is easier to spot the smaller eggs. Provide a cool down for females to recover from the previous breeding season. Brumation is when the temperatures gradually decrease and the geckos turn off like a light switch. Try and shoot for temperatures in the high 60s to low 70s.
We like to use calcined clay (SuperHatch) as an incubation medium. We incubate in room temperature (low 70s) along with other New Caledonian species.
We feed hatchling to juveniles the same as adults with phoenix worms, pinhead crickets and fruit flies for live prey. We offer the same commercial diets that we do for adults just in smaller quantities. Finding an appropriate cage for hatchlings is no easy task. A small Kritter Keeper is a good size and screen or cheese cloth can be used to prevent an escape through the vents in the top. A 16oz container used for fruit flies can be used in a pinch. Much like Mourning Geckos we recommend the sliding screen top terrariums which can be sectional.
- Chameleon Geckos secrete a foul smelling substance from their tail during distress.
- The entire range is subject to deforestation and fires threatening the species.
- The main threat to the species habitat is nickel mines.
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