Correlophus sarasinorum- Sarasin’s Giant Gecko Gecko
Slender Prehensile Tailed Geckos (Sarasin’s Giant Gecko) are a medium beginner gecko. They are a sub-tropical, semi-arboreal gecko and are nocturnal. Some are solid, while others have spots and stripes.
Depending on your need, there are a couple different ways to house a sarasin gecko. For a single gecko, a glass, front opening terrarium with a screen top or door would be the most appealing. The general rule of thumb, is to have 20 gallons of tank per gecko. Babies and juveniles require less space, but you will need to upgrade as they grow. Some keepers modify plastic tubs with screen to keep their geckos as well.
Sarasin geckos thrive best on simple substrates such as paper towel, sphagnum moss, or eco-earth. Loose substrates should be used with caution; geckos can ingest it while hunting bugs and become impacted. If you use loose substrates, it is best to feed out of enclosure or by tongs.
Female sarasin geckos will lay eggs when they reach breeding age, even if they were never with a male. It is best to provide all female geckos with a lay box with loose substrate for them to lay their eggs and prevent egg binding.
Geckos by nature are solitary animals. In sarasin geckos, females can be housed together with caution. They must be of the same size to prevent bullying. If you do choose to house more than one gecko together, more space is needed, with an additional 10 gallons of space per additional gecko. Adding more hides and decor will help prevent fighting. Males will fight with one another, and geckos of different sizes will bully and attack one another. Do not house males and females together unless you have researched breeding and are prepared for eggs and babies. Monitor females to be sure they are not picking on one another or one is not hoarding the food from the other.
Sarasin geckos come from New Caledonia, where temperatures rarely reach over 80 degrees F. However, they have a higher heat tolerance than crested geckos and thrive in slightly higher temperatures. A low wattage basking spot is appreciated. Monitor temperatures to be sure they stay between 78-82 degrees with a basking spot in the upper 80s’.Do not exceed basking temperatures of 90 degrees F.
Sarasin geckos are nocturnal, meaning they are active at night. They should be exposed to 10-12 hours of light per day, but they do not need UVB lighting. The only light they need is natural light in the room they are kept in or the light from their basking spot. Basking spots should be placed on a timer so the gecko has darkness at night, when they are most active.
Humidity and Shedding
Sarasin geckos are a sub-tropical species, so they require higher humidity level of around 50-70% with dry periods. You can best achieve this by misting the enclosure twice a day, once in the morning and once at night. While it is good to offer a shallow bowl of fresh water, most geckos will not drink from bowls and instead prefer to lick water droplets off the enclosure walls and plants. Misting will not only keep the humidity levels up, but offer them hydration as well.You do not want the cage soaking wet, and should allow it to dry out some between mistings. Sarasin geckos will shed their skin as they grow and regularly as adults. You’ll notice their color will appear dull when they are about to shed. Generally, the gecko will eat all of their shed, but you may see some of the shed skin in the cage. Some geckos will have unshed skin on their toes, we suggest letting your gecko soak in a shallow container of lukewarm water for a few minutes and you can assist the process by gently removing the skin using tweezers. Stuck shed is often an indication of humidity issues, so you can help this by misting more often or heavier.
Your sarasin gecko should have access to fresh, clean water in a shallow bowl at all times. Some will not drink directly from bowls and prefer to lick water from misting off leaves, but many have been seen drinking from bowls. Water can be treated with a commercial water treatment to remove any harsh chemicals from the water.
To ensure proper bone development and overall health, be sure to dust feeder insects in powder before feeding to ensure they are getting the calcium they need. Every few feedings, dust insects in a supplement vitamin powder instead of calcium.
Sarasin geckos are insectivores and frugivores. Typically, their diet consists of crickets or dubia roaches and a commercial based, balanced fruit powder you prepare much like a smoothie. These diets are called meal replacement powders or MRPs. Do not feed mealworms or superworms, as they do not digest them well. Crickets can be placed in the enclosure during feeding time, but uneaten crickets should always be removed. MRPs can be mixed in small bowls and placed in enclosure. Insects should be gutloaded with a commercial gutload product. Gutloading refers to the practice of feeding the insects a nutritious diet before offering them to your gecko, to ensure the most balanced nutrition. Geckos that are under 6 months old should have MRPs available at all times and it should be changed out every other day with fresh food. Adults can go a few days between feedings and should be offered fresh food at least 2 times per week. Keep on eye on food to be sure it is not moulding, and remove or replace if it is. Crickets or roaches can be offered 2 times a week. Be sure the insect is appropriately sized for your gecko. It should be no larger than the space between their eyes. Uneaten insects should be removed after a few hours.
Sarasin geckos are usually open to being handled and with regular contact, can become very tame. However, they are known to be faster and more skittish than other geckos of similar type, so may need more work to tame. Sit on the floor and let your gecko walk from hand to hand at their own pace. When handling your gecko, never hold or grab them by their tail. They have a natural ability to drop their tail as a defense mechanism. If dropped, the tail will grow back, but it may not look the same as the original.
Sarain geckos have an average lifespan of 12-15 years. They can reach up to 12-16″ in length.