Oedura castelnaui

Northern Velvet Gecko
















Range: endemic to Australia

Size: adults average between 21/2 inches

Active: nocturnal

Habitat: found in wide variety of habitats, including woodlands, rocky outcrops and caves

Captive: 10-20 gallon enclosures, plain enclosures with minimal furnishings, snug fitting top is crucial because they are escape artists
for ease of cleaning paper substrate can be used, for more pleasing look bark or high quality peat moss can be used, no pebbles or perlite pepples can be mixed since it may cause impaction within the lizard decorative wood or toilet paper rolls for can be used for hiding spots they need heat and incandescent lights or ceramic heating elements can be used to heat the enclosure good ventilation is a must, restricted airflow encourages the growth of harmful molds and fungi stagnant air leads to serious health problems

Food: appropriate sized crickets, wax worms, meal worms and other no non offensive invertebrates avoid a cage of over run with insects, will stress Gecko and it will retreat into hiding instead of eating , hungry prey can injure or kill the gecko’s, especially juveniles enjoy the occasional serving of baby food non-citrus fruits such as banana, peach and apricot are good choices and lizards often gorge themselves on this occasional treat provide vitamin/mineral supplements occasionally along with a calcium supplement

Temperament: primarily terrarium subjects because do not enjoy excessive handlingsecretive and shy creatures since require hiding spots to feel secure

Temperature: optimum temperatures seem to be between 78 F and 85F temperatures above 90 F are not recommended. do well if they have a humid hiding area with an overall humidity level between 65 to 75% during spring and summer months. (live plants or soil substrate help keep humidity at adequate levels)

Breeding: (unlike many gecko species, incubation temperatures do not determine the sex of velvet gecko’s- even ratio of female/male ratios occur) cooling period of six to eight weeks when temp gradually drops to 65F to 75F due to cooler conditions- animal’s metabolism will slow down, feeding cut back to 2X a week lower humidity levels at this time reduce light from 14 to 16 hrs of light to 10-12 hrs after cooling period is over, light cycles should be lengthened and temperature and humidity gradually raised back to optimum levels eggs produced several weeks later if breeding successful clutch of two eggs sometimes one, these lizards can store sperm for a time, and multiple clutches can be fertilized and laid after only one mating bury eggs in moist soil; if dry will dehydrate and die remove eggs in case parents accidentally trample them, small plastic shoe boxes or deli cups work well for a little incubator for eggs-should be filled with slightly moistened substrate, such as vermiculite, perlite or peat moss keep in dark area-consistent temp 78F to 83F avoid temp extremes after incubation of 60-100 days- neonates will emerge specimens can reach sexual maturity in one year.

Reference: Baldwin, Robert. (1998) " A touch of velvet." Reptiles. Fancy Publications., Irvine, California. (12pp).

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