Mourning Gecko Care Sheet, Lepidodactylus lugubris
The Mourning Gecko is one of the most fascinating gecko species in the hobby today. There is no need for a male to reproduce as this gecko is parthenogenetic. Not only is this nocturnal species active during the day but very communal exchanging body language and even establishing a hierarchy of sorts. Lepidodactylus lugubris is well adapted to varying environments being endemic to the Pacific region and introduced to the Hawaiian Islands, Cocos Islands, Queensland Australia as well as Central and South America.
The mourning gecko cage should be vertically orientated rather than horizontal since this is an arboreal species. The larger the cage the more geckos you can house and since this is a communal species you will want 6 individual geckos at the least for the most activity. The cage should be furnished with as many removable plants, leaves and branches as possible. Bamboo is highly recommended for the enclosure since it can easily be removed, trimmed and replaced. We use an arboreal feeding ledge to offer both food and water which makes routine chores an easy task!
Temperature, Humidity & Lighting
Mourning Geckos should be kept at temperatures between 70 °F and 80 °F. The warmer the temperature the more active this species will become. This species is endemic to tropical regions with moderate to high humidity. We recommend 60% as the minimum and no more than 80%. Allow the cage to dry out for a period during the day to prevent bacteria build up. Lighting the mourning gecko cage will help with seasonal change, social interaction and visual appeal. This species will not benefit from full-spectrum lighting for Vitamin D absorption so a proper supplement will be necessary.
Diet & Nutrition
Mourning gecko food is primarily insects, fruit and nectar with no desire for leafy green vegetation as this species is more frugivorous than omnivorous. We offer a balanced diet around Crested Gecko Diet.
Meal Replacement Powder Crested Gecko Diet by Repashy Superfoods is the most advanced reptile food available with human grade ingredients that are balanced to make this a complete diet. We offer both Crested Gecko Diet and Day Gecko Diet 3 times a week.
Live Feeders We feed 1/4" crickets, roach nymphs, and phoenix worms as live feeders every evening that the Meal Replacement Powder is not offered. All our insects eat left over Crested Gecko Diet which makes for great gut loading. We also dust all insects except for phoenix worms with a Calcium powder that has Vitamin D3 using the shake and bake method.
Weekly Feeding Routine On a consistent routine your geckos will be familiarized with the food and how often it is fed. We like to feed all our fruit eating geckos 4 times a week. We offer fresh Crested Gecko Diet two times a week; Monday and Friday. We allow the diet to remain in the enclosure for two nights and remove the uneaten portion when we offer live feeders.
Handling and Taming
Handling Mourning Geckos is not recommended. This species is very fast and can grip almost all surfaces and fit itself into small crevices making a missing gecko impossible to catch or find. The skin is also very tender and with rough handling can break and tear as one of it's defense mechanisms.
Colonies are primarily all female due to their parthenogenetic nature.
Sexual maturity is reached within 8 to 10 months with egg development and laying around this time. Two eggs are produced with only one on occasion. This species is also canibialistic to both eggs and hatchlings. Be sure to always have live feeders available in the cage every evening to prevent cannibalism.
Eggs are glued in place on vertical walls and decor. These eggs are difficult to remove without breaking or cracking the egg. We recommend the same method used for Phelsuma eggs with a ventilated 2oz cup taped over the egg to prevent the hatchling from escaping or being eaten and incubate in place. Total incubation time of the egg is 60 days with temperatures in the low 70 °F.
Hatchlings should be removed from the adult cage as soon as first noticed. Keep hatchlings with like sized Mourning Geckos and ensure that the cage is escape proof. We offer more CGD to the younger geckos than we do live feeders to adults. This species is very easy to raise. Fun Facts
- This communal gecko will cycle at the same time with all the females laying eggs around the same time as each other.
- There are three main types or variants of pattern.
- Snout to Vent Length varies between types.
- The call produced by this species is a high pitched chirp and made five to ten times in sequence.