The Mourning Gecko: Hawaii's Tiny Treasure in Your Terrarium

The Mourning Gecko: Hawaii's Tiny Treasure in Your Terrarium

July 01, 2024

Imagine a gecko the size of your thumb, with a captivating call and a surprisingly social personality. Meet the Hawaiian Mourning Gecko (Lepidodactylus lugubris), a captivating little lizard that can thrive in your terrarium. Not only are they adorable and interesting to observe, but they're also relatively easy to care for, making them perfect for reptile enthusiasts of all levels.

Island Dwellers with a Twist:

Found basking in the dappled sunlight of the Hawaiian Islands, Mourning Geckos are unique in several ways. First,they're entirely female! These reptiles reproduce through a process called parthenogenesis, meaning they don't need a male to lay eggs. Second, despite their name, Mourning Geckos don't actually mourn. Their name likely comes from a misinterpretation of their chirping calls, which some thought resembled a mournful song.



A Gecko-Sized Slice of Paradise:

These tiny titans typically reach only 3.5 to 4 inches long, making them perfect for smaller terrariums. They come in various color morphs, ranging from brown and tan to a beautiful marbled pattern. Mourning Geckos are nocturnal,coming alive at night to hunt for insects like fruit flies and springtails.

Caring for Your Mourning Gecko Buddy:

Here's what you need to know to create a happy home for your Mourning Gecko:

  • Terrarium Setup: A 10-gallon terrarium with vertical space for climbing is ideal. Provide hiding spots like cork bark or hollow bamboo, and enrich their environment with live plants.
  • Temperature and Humidity: Maintain a temperature range of 70-80°F (21-27°C) with moderate humidity (60-80%). A mister can help maintain the right moisture level.
  • Diet: Feed your Mourning Gecko a diet of flightless fruit flies, supplemented with occasional calcium and vitamin D3 dusting.
  • Handling: While gentle handling is possible, Mourning Geckos are escape artists and can be fragile. It's best to minimize handling and let them observe the world from their terrarium.

A Social Butterfly (or Gecko):

Unlike many geckos, Mourning Geckos are surprisingly social creatures. You can house a small colony of females together, providing ample space and hiding spots to avoid territorial disputes. Watching them interact and explore their environment can be a fascinating experience.

A Tiny Footprint, Big Rewards:

The Mourning Gecko might be small, but the joy they bring is immense. These captivating creatures are relatively easy to care for, offer a glimpse into the unique ecology of Hawaii, and can be a conversation starter for any reptile lover. So,if you're looking for a unique and rewarding pet, consider welcoming a Mourning Gecko into your world!

Before getting any pet, be sure to research your local laws and regulations regarding exotic animals.

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