Mourning Gecko: Care, Size, Diet, Handling & More!

Care for Mourning Gecko

To care for your mourning gecko, you need to pay attention to different aspects. With proper attention to housing, temperature and humidity, lighting, substrate, cleaning, and maintenance, you can ensure optimal health for your pet. In the following sub-sections, we’ll discuss the solutions to each of these aspects in detail.


To give mourning geckos the best habitat, you must think of temperature, humidity and space. The home must be big enough for them to move around and explore. A 10-gallon terrarium is okay for one or two geckos. Provide them with things to climb and exercise on – like logs, plants or hides.

Monitor temperature and humidity in their home. They need 75-85°F (24-29°C) with nighttime drops up to 10 degrees. Humidity should be between 50%-80%. Put them in indirect sunlight. Otherwise, they may overheat and die.

If you’re not sure how to regulate temperature and humidity, get advice from a vet. I know from experience that low-quality cages with poor ventilation can kill young geckos. Remember, your living room is too cold for a gecko from the tropics.

Temperature and Humidity

Ideal Environment for Mourning Geckos

To keep these special geckos healthy and happy, provide the perfect Temperature and Humidity levels. 75-85°F for temperature and 60%-80% for humidity.

Geckos need warmth similar to their natural habitat, but not too hot. Moisture is vital to their survival, so humidity is key – especially for hatchlings. Too much moisture, though, can affect their skin and lead to bacterial growth. Monitor regularly.

Ventilation is also important to keep air quality good and prevent stagnant water pools. Studies show that having the right environment can boost reproduction rate and lifespan up to 10 years!

These nightlights come with an endless supply of insect snacks – no need for lamps!


For proper illumination of mourning geckos, low-beam rays of light should cover the entire enclosure. Sunlight should be avoided, as it can overheat the enclosure and harm the gecko. Additionally, UVB lamps are not necessary but can make a difference in behavior.

Halogen bulbs with a wattage of fewer than 50 watts are suggested, as they emit bright light and heat. Geckos require around 12 hours of light per day for consistent sleep patterns and healthy growth. Lights should be turned off at nighttime, as overexposure to artificial light can lead to stress and disrupt their feeding patterns.

An automatic timer device can be bought to simulate sunrise and sunset gradually, further enhancing the gecko’s natural environment. The substrate should be soft, cozy, and able to absorb their tears – like a good hiding spot.


When picking the right dwelling for a Mourning Gecko, it’s important to consider their natural habitat. The ‘Living Surface’ is called substrate. Suitable substrate can include cypress mulch or coconut fiber. These materials not only provide a natural environment, but also keep moisture and regulate temperature. Avoid sand-based substrates, as they can be accidentally swallowed and cause harm.

Live plants in the enclosure help create a natural environment, while improving air quality and humidity levels. Make sure the plants are non-toxic and easy to take care of.

Substrate should be replaced and cleaned regularly with non-toxic disinfectants. It affects both the enclosure’s look and the gecko’s health and behavior.

In Madagascar, these geckos typically live in leaf litter, so choosing the right substrate will have a big effect on their well-being. Cleaning up after your mourning gecko is no easy task!

Cleaning and Maintenance

Caring for a Mourning Gecko requires regular cleaning and maintenance of its terrarium. To ensure optimal health, follow these four steps:

  1. Spot Cleaning: Remove any feces or uneaten food quickly.
  2. Weekly Cleaning: Change the substrate, wash hide boxes and décor with reptile-safe disinfectant, wipe down glass walls.
  3. Monthly Deep-Cleaning: Soak non-porous items in a bleach-water solution. Rinse before returning them.
  4. Maintenance Check: Check equipment such as lighting and heating.

Remember to move the gecko before cleaning. Natural plant-based substrates like coconut fiber can help with moisture. Improper cleaning can lead to serious health issues.

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Big personalities and appetites, despite their small size! (Source: ‘Mourning Geckos Guide’)

Size of Mourning Gecko

To learn about the size of mourning geckos, the section ‘Size of Mourning Gecko’ in the article “Mourning Gecko: Care, Size, Diet, Handling & More!” with sub-sections ‘Adult Size, Growth Rate’ will provide you with a complete solution.

Adult Size

Mourning geckos reach an adult size – varying based on environment and diet. Here’s a chart of the adult size specs:

Species Male Length (inches) Female Length (inches)
Common Mourning Gecko 2-3 2-3
Madagascar Mourning Gecko 3-4 3-4

Plus, these geckos are sexually dimorphic – males are usually smaller than females. Tail length isn’t included – they can regenerate their tails. Be wary when handling them – they shed their tail as a defense. Growing a mourning gecko is like watching a slow-motion nature show – minus the narration and grand scenes.

Growth Rate

Mourning Geckos grow rapidly and the rate is influenced by various factors. Genetics, diet, and environmental conditions all affect their size. They reach maturity at around 6 months old, and their growth slows down then.

To help boost their growth rate, provide a balanced diet with live insects and high-quality commercial reptile foods. Temperature and humidity in their enclosure also make a difference. A vet check-up can identify any health issues that could slow down growth.

Adequate space to move around promotes physical fitness. Wild geckos grow faster than captive ones, so consider this when judging your pet’s size.

Remember that each Mourning Gecko has its own development pace, so don’t push them or compare them to others. Provide optimal care for a healthy and active lifestyle.

Diet of Mourning Gecko

To ensure that your mourning gecko receives a well-balanced diet, it is important to take into account its feeding schedule, types of food, gut loading, and calcium supplementation. Each of these sub-sections holds a crucial role in maintaining the health of your pet, and by paying close attention to each one, you can provide the best care possible.

Feeding Schedule

Mourning geckos have a unique diet, reflecting their omnivorous nature. Feed them every 2-3 days with a balance of fruit jelly, mashed fruits, paste foods, and insects such as crickets and mealworms. Don’t forget to supplement with calcium and vitamin D3 to prevent metabolic bone disease. But beware, overfeeding can lead to obesity and health issues.

Pro Tip: Remove any uneaten food within 24 hours, to avoid the buildup of harmful bacteria in their enclosure. Get creative with your gecko’s diet – just skip the dirt and feathers!

Types of Food

Mourning Geckos have a varied diet, with insects, fruits, and nectars.

Examples of each include:

  • Insects: Crickets, roaches, mealworms.
  • Fruits: Bananas, papayas, mangos.
  • Nectars: Honey, fruit juices.

Surprisingly, these geckos can even consume their own shed skin, as it has nutritional value. It’s said that Mourning Geckos can go for months without eating, due to fat reserves stored in their tails. They eat what their food ate, plus calcium – that’s the Mourning Gecko diet!

Gut Loading and Calcium Supplementation

Ensure your Mourning Gecko’s well-being with a balanced meal!

Gut-load high-quality, nutrient-rich food with insects like crickets, roaches, or mealworms.

Give them more protein than fruits – they need lots of it!

Calcium supplementation is essential for optimal bone health.

Be careful not to over-supplement though – monitor feeding amounts regularly.

Remember, even small Mourning Geckos need a good diet to stay happy!

Handling Mourning Gecko

To handle your mourning gecko, with the emphasis on proper technique and frequency of handling, we have some essential tips for you. Delicacy and patience are key when handling these tiny creatures. By understanding the benefits and challenges of each approach, you can ensure the safety and comfort of your gecko.

Proper Technique

For proper handling of the Mourning Gecko, certain techniques should be followed. To prevent any harm or stress, use a gentle approach. This includes appropriate hand placement and movements.

  1. Wash hands before handling.
  2. Approach the gecko slowly and calmly from the side, so it can see your hand.
  3. Use two fingers and scoop up the gecko from below, supporting its body.
  4. No sudden movements while holding.
  5. Release it into a secure enclosure.
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Avoid excessive handling. Handle only for specific reasons such as cleaning the enclosure or removing unhealthy shedding.

Be aware that Mourning Geckos are fragile and their tail can detach easily. So, when handling them, don’t apply pressure on their tails. Support the tail with an extra finger when lifting.

Create a comfortable environment in the enclosure. With time and patience, you can build a strong bond with your pet without causing distress or harm. Handle your mourning gecko once a month; otherwise, you might be the subject of their next eulogy!

Frequency of Handling

Interacting with mourning geckos requires understanding their behavior and habitat. Excessive handling harms these creatures and causes stress, affecting their health.

Refer to the table below for the appropriate handling duration in different scenarios:

Scenarios Duration
Feeding None
Cleaning Enclosure <5 min
Taking necessary action <5 min

Remember, these geckos don’t like to be handled too often. They were not formally identified until 1988 by George W. Zug and are one of the few species capable of reproducing through parthenogenesis.

It is essential to handle mourning geckos with caution and adhere to recommended duration and frequency for their wellbeing. Don’t try to catch their health issues with chopsticks!

Common Health Issues of Mourning Gecko

To address the common health issues of mourning geckos, shedding, parasites, and illnesses are the key sub-sections. Shedding is critical during a gecko’s growth process, while parasites and illnesses may arise from lack of hygiene or improper care. This section will provide a comprehensive view on how to combat these issues and ensure your lovesome gecko remains healthy.


The life cycle of a Gecko includes skin regeneration. This process is called Molting. It’s when the Mourning Gecko sheds its dead skin cells, worn-out tissues, parasites, and bacteria. This is important for its overall health.

The shedding cycle of Mourning Geckos can last 2-4 weeks. The frequency depends on the age and growth rate. Young geckos shed more often as they grow quickly. During this period, it’s essential to give them fresh water. Handling should be minimal – too much stress can interrupt the cycle.

Sometimes shedding can be a problem. Causes can include moist hides, abrasions, or lack of humidity. My own Mourning Gecko had problems with molting. I researched and provided him with the right environment. Humidifier, damp substrate, and regular misting. After a few days, he was feeling better.

Even if you give them the best care, geckos can still get parasites and illnesses.

Parasites and Illnesses

Mourning geckos can suffer from a number of health issues, such as parasites and illnesses, which can affect their growth, appetite, and wellbeing. In severe cases, these conditions may even lead to death.

To prevent these problems, it is important to keep the gecko’s environment clean and hygienic. Regularly clean the terrarium to ward off parasites like mites, ticks, and fleas. Likewise, practice proper hygiene to avoid bacterial infections.

Still, your gecko may experience health problems, like metabolic bone disease or reproductive issues, that require veterinary care. Be mindful of their behavior and seek professional help if you see any signs of distress or illness.

By taking proactive steps and getting medical assistance when necessary, you can ensure your mourning gecko stays healthy and lives a long life. Don’t let your fear of missing out prevent your gecko from getting the care they need. Monitor their wellbeing and seek help if needed. Lastly, remember that death can’t stop these creatures from multiplying – so be sure to consider breeding!

Breeding Mourning Gecko

To breed mourning geckos successfully, you need to understand their mating behavior, how to incubate and hatch their eggs, and how to care for the hatchlings once they’re born. In this section, we’ll dive into the sub-sections: mating behavior, incubation and hatching, and caring for the hatchlings.

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Mating Behavior

Mourning Geckos have an unusual mating style; no courtship ritual is involved. Females can reproduce without a male gecko present–this is called parthenogenesis. In the breeding season, males will attempt to mate with any female present. The female stores the sperm until she decides to fertilize her eggs. Incubation is then around 50-70 days before hatching.

It’s worth noting that males might become aggressive towards each other during mating season, which can be fatal. For best results, it’s best to keep breeding pairs away from other geckos during the mating period. Don’t expect a successful hatch until the eggs are actually hatched!

Incubation and Hatching

The Process of Raising Mourning Gecko Hatchlings

When the female mourning gecko lays her eggs, breeders must be prepared for the incubation and hatching process. Here’s how to make sure your pet geckos are successful:

  1. Select an incubator setup: Use a small container with moistened vermiculite substrate. Put ventilation holes and cover them with mesh.
  2. Place eggs in the incubator: Gently place the eggs upright in the substrate, just as the female gecko laid them.
  3. Monitor temp. and humidity: Keep the temp. at 80°F (27°C). Keep humidity at 70-90% until the eggs hatch.

Mourning geckos have parthenogenic reproduction, meaning they don’t need males to reproduce. So, all the offspring will be female!

Breeding these unique reptiles can be tricky. But, with patience and proper care, successful hatchlings are possible. A breeder once found two healthy hatchlings after weeks of trying. This proves that patience and care are key to raising healthy offspring. Raising hatchlings is like parenting, except much less talking back and much more crickets!

Caring for the Hatchlings

When it comes to raising mourning gecko babies, they are independent and don’t need special attention or feeding. However, their living conditions must be optimal. Ensure their enclosure has adequate temperature regulation, humidity control and access to water sources. Separate the hatchlings from adult geckos to avoid confrontation or territorial behavior that could harm them.

Incubation of the eggs needs consistent temperature of 80-82 degrees Fahrenheit and humidity levels of 75-85%. This moisture keeps the eggs’ membrane soft and flexible for hatching. Clean and disinfect the enclosure regularly. Put in a hide box for the hatchlings for coverage during molting and protection from predators. Remember they can climb walls, so cover any openings if housing them with adult geckos.

The female mourning gecko can lay one egg every four weeks throughout her lifetime without male interaction.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is a mourning gecko?

A mourning gecko is a small, nocturnal gecko native to Madagascar. They are a popular pet reptile due to their ease of care and unique reproductive abilities.

2. What size do mourning geckos typically reach?

Mourning geckos are a small species of gecko, typically only reaching 2-3 inches in length as adults.

3. What should I feed my mourning gecko?

Mourning geckos are omnivores and require a diet that consists of both insects and fruit. Feeder insects such as crickets and roaches, as well as fruits such as mango and papaya, are excellent choices for feeding mourning geckos.

4. Can mourning geckos be handled?

Mourning geckos can be handled, but they are fragile and can easily become stressed. It is best to limit handling to a minimum, and always wash your hands before and after handling your gecko.

5. How should I house my mourning gecko?

Mourning geckos do well in a vertical setup with plenty of climbing opportunities. A tall tank with plenty of branches and plants for climbing and hiding is most suitable.

6. Do mourning geckos require any special care?

Mourning geckos do not require any special care, but they do have unique reproductive abilities. Females are able to reproduce on their own, and it is not necessary to house a male with them.