Chahoua Gecko: The Captivating Arboreal Reptile

Chahoua Geckos, also known as Mossy Prehensile-tailed Geckos or scientifically as Mniarogekko chahoua, are one of the most fascinating species within the reptile pet community. Native to New Caledonia, these geckos are admired for their unique appearance, docile nature, and intriguing behaviors. This comprehensive guide will delve into the essentials of Chahoua Gecko care, habitat requirements, diet, and health management, providing enthusiasts with the knowledge needed to nurture these captivating creatures.

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Understanding Chahoua Geckos

Before diving into care specifics, it’s important to appreciate what makes Chahoua Geckos so special. These geckos possess a distinctive mossy camouflage that allows them to blend seamlessly into their environment, a trait that not only serves as a defense mechanism in the wild but also makes them incredibly appealing to reptile enthusiasts. They have a robust build, prehensile tail, and a gentle demeanor, making them suitable pets for those willing to understand and meet their needs.

Natural Habitat

Chahoua Geckos thrive in the humid, forested environments of New Caledonia. They are arboreal, spending most of their time in trees, which should be reflected in their captive habitat to ensure their well-being.

Creating the Perfect Habitat

Providing a suitable enclosure for Chahoua Geckos is crucial for their health and happiness. The enclosure should mimic their natural habitat as closely as possible, focusing on space, humidity, temperature, and enrichment.

Enclosure Size and Type

For a single Chahoua Gecko, a minimum enclosure size of 18x18x24 inches is recommended, though larger is always better, especially for pairs or groups. Glass terrariums with ample ventilation are ideal, allowing for proper humidity control and visibility.

Temperature and Humidity

Maintaining a temperature gradient between 72°F to 80°F during the day and slightly cooler at night is essential. Humidity levels should be kept between 50% to 70%, with regular misting to simulate the moist environment of their native habitat.

Substrate and Furnishings

A mixture of soil and sphagnum moss makes an excellent substrate, promoting humidity while allowing for natural behaviors such as hiding. Include plenty of climbing branches, live or artificial plants for cover, and hiding spots to provide a sense of security and enrichment.

Chahoua Gecko

Diet and Nutrition

Chahoua Geckos are omnivores, requiring a balanced diet of insects and fruit-based preparations to thrive in captivity.

Feeding Schedule

Juveniles should be fed daily due to their higher nutritional needs for growth, while adults can be fed every other day. Monitoring your gecko’s weight and body condition will help adjust feeding frequency and portion sizes as needed.

Suitable Food Items

Offer a variety of insects such as crickets, roaches, and worms, ensuring they are gut-loaded and appropriately sized. A high-quality commercial gecko diet that includes fruit can supplement insect feedings, providing essential vitamins and minerals.

Health and Wellness

Regular observation and proper care are vital to prevent and quickly address health issues common in Chahoua Geckos, such as metabolic bone disease, parasitic infections, and nutritional deficiencies.

Signs of a Healthy Gecko

A healthy Chahoua Gecko will have clear, bright eyes, a well-rounded body, smooth skin, and be active and alert. Regular shedding, consistent eating habits, and normal fecal matter are additional indicators of good health.

Common Health Issues

Metabolic bone disease, caused by calcium or vitamin D3 deficiencies, is a common issue but preventable with proper diet and UVB lighting. Parasitic infections and respiratory issues can also occur, emphasizing the importance of cleanliness and correct humidity levels.

Handling and Interaction

Chahoua Geckos can become quite tame and may enjoy gentle handling. However, it’s essential to build trust gradually, avoiding stress and potential injury.

Tips for Successful Handling

  • Allow your gecko to acclimate to its new environment before attempting to handle.
  • Use slow, gentle movements to avoid startling your pet.
  • Support their body fully, allowing them to walk from one hand to the other.

Breeding Chahoua Geckos

Breeding Chahoua Geckos can be a rewarding experience, though it requires understanding their specific needs for successful reproduction, including optimal environmental conditions, diet, and recognizing breeding behaviors.

Preparing for Breeding

Ensure both male and female geckos are healthy, of appropriate age and size, and have been provided with an environment that mimics their natural breeding season in terms of temperature and humidity fluctuations.

Egg Incubation and Hatchling Care

Eggs should be incubated at a stable temperature, with the specific range depending on the desired sex of the hatchlings. Hatchlings require a diet rich in calcium and protein to support rapid growth, with careful monitoring to ensure they thrive.

FAQs on Caring for Chahoua Geckos

Can Chahoua Geckos live with other species?

It’s generally not recommended to house Chahoua Geckos with other species due to potential stress, disease transmission, and dietary differences.

How long do Chahoua Geckos live?

With proper care, Chahoua Geckos can live for over 15 years, making them a long-term commitment.

Do Chahoua Geckos need UVB lighting?

While they can obtain necessary vitamins from their diet, providing a source of UVB lighting can benefit their overall health and well-being.


Caring for a Chahoua Gecko requires a commitment to understanding and replicating their natural habitat and dietary needs as closely as possible. By providing the right environment, nutrition, and care, you can ensure your Chahoua Gecko not only survives but thrives in captivity. These geckos offer a unique opportunity to observe and interact with one of nature’s most intriguing creatures, making them a rewarding pet for those willing to invest the time and effort into their care.