Care Sheet - New Caledonian Giant Geckos "Leachie"
How to care for the largest gecko in the world! New Caledonian Giant Geckos also known as "Leachie" geckos are a giant and nocturnal species of a gecko.
New Caledonian Giant Gecko Care Sheet - BHB Reptiles
Common Name: New Caledonian Giant Gecko or Leachie Geckos
Scientific Name: Rhacodactylus leachianus leachianus
Native Habitat: New Caledonia and nearby islands. This species has a stable population in the wild on Grand Terre and the Pine Islands.
Lifespan: With proper care, they can live between 20-30 years in captivity.
Size: They can grow 8-17 inches depending on which island they come from.
Expert Level and Temperament: Great for advanced keepers and some intermediate keepers.
We believe they have the potential to be more aggressive than some of the other New Caledonian species of geckos if not handled regularly. **We at BHB make a point to handle our Leachies and they generally have a great temperament.**
Handling: Each Leachie gecko may feel differently about being handled. Some Leachies may not have a problem with being handled, some may need to build up trust over a long period and others may not wish to be handled at all.
If your Leachie does not mind being handled, we suggest using the hand-over-hand method to allow them to jump from one hand to the other. If you have never tried this technique before, have your hands close to a table or surface so that if they jump off your hands they are not injured.
Enclosure: As a baby, focus on making your Leachie gecko feel secure. I know it can be tempting or more convenient to house your baby gecko in a larger home, but try not to. Babies may stress easily if their space is too large. We would suggest a 5-gallon tall terrarium…tops 10 gallons.
For a sub-adult to adult Leachie gecko, they love vertical climbing room upgrading to either a 18x18x36 or 18x18x24 is essential.
As a side note, Leachies do well in a variety of setups, if you wanted to try a tall and similarly sized Sterlite tub (make sure to add holes for breathing) they can also thrive there.
Plants: Leachie geckos love to have plenty of places to climb and hide. Adding plenty of foliage whether fake or real is part of keeping your Leachie gecko happy and healthy. Ideas for safe plants are Pothos and Philodendrons.
You can also look into setting up a Bioactive Vivarium which includes creating a natural living space with plants, substrate, and living organisms that act as a cleanup crew in the enclosure.
Housing Multiple Leachie geckos: Do not cohabit your Leachie geckos. The only time you should house two Leachies is when you are trying to breed a male and female. Any signs of stress or aggression, please separate the two geckos.
Substrate: It is best to use paper towel for baby Leachies. You can see if your gecko is passing their food regularly and have no issues with constipation. Also, paper towel is very easy to clean and replace.
Now, for sub-adults and adults, you could still use paper but you may struggle to keep the humidity correct, and to be honest it is not that pretty. Switching over to a substrate that helps to hold humidity and release it slowly over the day will make husbandry that much easier.
Our sister company ReptilePrime.com (the regular, not fine bag) is what we use and suggest. It is a 100% organic coconut substrate that is perfect for any humidity-loving species of reptile. The substrate is also available on Amazon Prime. Canadian customers are not able to buy thru the website, but they can buy thru Amazon Prime. Other great alternatives are any coconut fiber substrate or even ABG mix.
Hides: Multiple hides are important for Leachie geckos. Cork bark tubes are a must, but also be creative with fun places to hide for your gecko.
Humidity: Leachie geckos need their humidity between 60-70%.
You must spray your enclosure. Usually, a daily spray in the late evening will do the trick. Spray a moderate mist on all four sides of the enclosure and the plants and substrate as well. Make sure that your enclosure completely dries between mistings so that bacteria and mold do not grow. If you are away for the night, I would just make sure to spray a bit more heavily the night before and they will be ok.
Hygrometer: This very important tool for keeping most reptiles. A hygrometer is a very inexpensive piece of equipment that allows you to measure the humidity in your reptile's enclosure.
Shedding: Leachie geckos will eat their shed, they normally do not have issues with shedding as long as your humidity is correct.
Shedding Issues: If you notice any stuck shed like on their toes, put them immediately into a small Tupperware container (with a couple of small breathing holes) that has a couple of pieces of paper towel damp with a little warmer than room temp water for 30 minutes to an hour to see if that will help to loosen the stuck shed. You can try this a couple of times, but if it is not helping, I would schedule a vet appointment.
Temperature: Between 73-80°F.
Heating Source: You do not need a direct heat source, but do make sure that you can maintain the temperatures listed above. If your home is colder than 73°F you may need to move your gecko into a warmer room or buy a low-wattage heat bulb such as the Daylight Blue™ or Nightlight Red™ from Zoo Med or a similar product from another brand is a great choice for providing heat.
UVB light is not required: however, some Leachies will use it if you offer one. UVB assists in the synthesis of vitamin D3.
Do not use heat rocks in your enclosure as your gecko could get burned.
Thermometer: To make sure that your temperatures are correct in your Leachie gecko’s enclosure, buy a thermometer. There are many options on the market. Shop around to see where the best deals are. You can also buy a Digital Infrared thermometer that reads the temperature instantly.
Food Dish: An elevated food dish is preferred, but they will eat on the ground as well.
Feeding: We feed our Leachie’s Pangea Complete Diet every other day and Dubia roaches weekly. You are also available to offer a variety of other insects such as crickets. If you would like to add more fat into their diet feel free to offer waxworms, hornworms, or silkworms. Make sure not to offer any prey larger than the width between their eyes. Make sure to dust all insects with the powder supplement mix listed below.
Once a month you can offer a small fuzzy mouse.
Treats: Leachie geckos can have a variety of blended-up fruit, you just need to watch that you are not feeding fruits high in phosphorus. Safe options: pears, mango, watermelon, and fig. Blended fruit should be given as treats and not as their staple diet.
Powder Supplements: Osteo-form SA & Vionate Powder. Use a 1 part Osteo-Form SA to either 3 parts Vionate. Some keepers do a 1:4 ratio instead. Dust on any insects that you are feeding your gecko and offer a tiny dish of powder in the enclosure for them.
Water Dish: Water is very important for your Leachie gecko and a small water dish should be in their enclosure at all times. They will most likely not be drinking out of their dish that often because you will be spraying their enclosure.
**Make sure to NOT use distilled water for your reptile. If you do not know if your tap water is safe, we would suggest using bottled water like spring water. Also, you can you the product: “ReptiSafe® water conditioner which is great for water bowls and removes chloramines and chlorine, detoxifies ammonia and nitrites, and provides essential ions and electrolytes which help to hydrate newly acquired animals.” **
FUN FACT ABOUT NEW CALEDONIAN GIANT GECKOS “LEACHIE” GECKOS
Here is a quick fun fact - Leachies will and can make noises that sound like little growls, barks, and clicks. The reasons vary, but normally to defend territory, attract a mate or show distress.
Care Sheet Information From Our On-site Gecko Breeder and Specialist Jessica Saunders.
***Did I forget something or is there anything else you feel I should include on this care sheet? Please feel free to email me at Stephanie@BHBReptiles.com****
WHEN YOU ORDER A LEACHIE GECKO(S) FROM BHB REPTILES
Once you receive your Leachie Gecko(s), please inspect your box and the gecko. If there are any problems, please call us during business hours or email us during non-business hours for the fastest service. If there are no issues, please place your gecko directly into their new home and offer water. Wait to offer food until the next day to allow their stomach to settle from shipping. Finally, we would recommend extremely light handling or no handling the first week they arrive so that they can become acclimated to their new environment. Most of all, enjoy your new companion(s).