The flying gecko or also known as the Ptychozoon Kuhli, isn’t exactly a very common pet to own but they’re fantastic pets to own that can last a very long time with the right owner and the right amount of care. Unlike a lot of geckos, these are very unique in nature and actually live in rainforests but unlike most geckos, they live inside of trees. They can hop from branch to branch and steer themselves clear of all the predators that other species have to deal with on the ground, which is what makes them so unique. You won’t find them in a desert area; you’ll instead have to go to the jungles of Indonesia and the surrounding immediate areas to find these geckos.
It’s not very common to own one of these but a lot of people don’t commonly go for these types of geckos because they’re not really meant to be handled. If you do handle them, they’re more than likely going to jump as they scare very easily and not only that, but their skin rips incredibly easy. That’s why this may not be the ideal gift pet for someone who wants to hold or play with their gecko, this is more of an observing pet. The flying gecko will commonly reach anywhere from six inches to eight inches in length at a maximum. In the forest, they use a mixture of black, tan and brown blotches all over their skin that helps them blend into the environment, blend into the branches and stay clear of predators.
To help them glide and balance, their toes are webbed and their tail is flat like in nature, almost like a rudder that you’d use to help guide you through the water. What this rudder allows it to do is guide through the air and help navigate from branch to branch. However, they lack wings and they don’t actually fly if that’s the type of flying that you’re thinking of. The reason they got their name is because of their jumping distance and how they fall, it’s not because they actually fly from tree to tree. However, due to being held in captivity for some of them, they form flaps on their skin that are never going to be used and are just for cosmetic appeal.
If you’re looking to house a flying gecko, you’re going to need a 20 gallon tank as the recommended capacity. Some people will tell you that you can get away with a 15 gallon tank but it’s highly recommended that you get a 20 gallon for the extra room. The space from these alone should be enough to support 2 adult flying geckos. Much like a lot of other species of gecko, if two males are kept together in the same space or confined enclosure, they will fight each other. Geckos in nature are highly territorial so it’s best to keep them on their own unless you plan on breeding them, then they should be alright to stay with a female as a male.
However, if you plan on housing some younger baby geckos (while respecting the rule of not keeping two males together), you can plan on using a 10 gallon enclosure but you’re going to have to upgrade it once it grows out of that enclosure, so you need to plan accordingly for that. Some people say they have some moderate success housing male geckos together until they’re about 6 months of age, and that’s when they begin to start fighting each other. However, the most important thing about choosing your housing is not the appeal of the cage or the width but the height of the cage, because a flying gecko isn’t going to spend a lot of its time on the ground. They prefer to be up off the ground, much like in their natural habitat.
However, unlike other gecko, the flying gecko requires a unique housing setup, because of the habitat that they’re used to living in. With most gecko, you have to worry about getting props, getting a shelter, getting all this different stuff and as long as it looks pretty then you’ll be alright (provided the temperature in the enclosure is accurate). However, with a flying gecko, you need to worry about something else inside the housing unit which is foliage or tree like figures. You need something in the enclosure that it can hop around on or hop to and back. So, the first thing you need to do, is to make sure that the foliage is very dense throughout either the cage or the aquarium.
A lot of people like to accomplish this using fake plants over live plants because fake plants will die, you have to keep them constantly watered and it’s a huge hassle when they do die because you have to replace them. Cosmetic items are optional but make the cage or enclosure look better such as rocks, logs, fallen trees, etc. How much of a budget and space you have to work with will more than likely determine just how cool you want to make your enclosure. One of the main things that you’re going to want to look at in your foliage is that there’s plenty of hiding spots within the cage.
A flying gecko might be an airborne gecko, but it likes to hide just like every other reptile. Make sure that there’s not only one type of shelter in the cage, but that there are multiple places to hide in the cage, because it might not use only one. Now, when it comes to substrate for this particular gecko, you want to follow the standard and typical gecko rules for substrate. First, you never want to use any kind of fine grain sand, because this has a risk of getting caught inside of the gecko’s throat and choking it to death or ripping apart the insides. Not only that, but you don’t want to use any kind of fine or small mulch as well because if you’re feeding your pet crickets or any kind of small feed, it could choke on the mulch.
Ideally, you can honestly just use a couple of paper towels that will get replaced when you spot clean or you notice that it’s time to clean out and maintain the cage. This is easiest and most cost effective kind of substrate but there are other options out there available as well such as potting soil (provided that it’s non-fertilized). Also, you might want to look into using a bed-a-beast type soul as well, as this is excellent substrate for the flying gecko. Not only do these substrates look good, but they provide a benefit to the temperature and condition of the cage, providing a good humidity boost which is great for the overall health of the gecko and the shedding process.
Flying gecko generally aren’t going to nor do they like to spend a lot of time on the ground so if you can’t afford the bundle of foliage, you want to make sure there’s at least a lot of plants (being alive or dead doesn’t matter), so that it has somewhere to be. Now, the general temperature is a lot more straight forward than most geckos because it can vary depending on season or depending on what they’re doing. When you’re taking care of flying gecko, you want to make sure the temperature in the basking part of the cage is 95 degrees. It’s not necessary to heat up every part of the cage to 95 degrees, but it’s absolutely essential to have one area like this.
Most people prefer to use a basking light to achieve this goal and to maintain a steady temperature of 95. I’m sure you can walk into just about any kind of pet store and you’ll find that most of them sell basking lights that are used for this specific purpose. You’re going to want an appropriate bulb for the light as well, and generally speaking, you should be using an 80 to 100 watt bulb. However, everyone’s house is a different temperature and you may find yourself adjusting the wattage to meet a certain temperature standard in the cage to accommodate the gecko.
The last thing you need to remember is to pick up a digital thermometer to ensure you have one area of the cage at appropriate temperature and that you want to make sure the humidity is high. Really, the only thing you have to do to maintain a decent humidity is spray down the enclosure every night and some people prefer to do it when they wake up as well. Remember, these geckos are from the rainforests and are used to such conditions such as high humidity and being wet.
If you have a tool to measure the humidity, you want to make sure it’s at a steady 80% and during the day, it can drop to a safe 60%. A lot of people have stated that you don’t actually need a water bowl with the flying gecko, because when they become thirsty, they actually lick the enclosure or the water droplets and that keeps them satisfied.
The flying gecko is an insectivore meaning that it’s mostly going to eat insects. It’s not much of a meat predator because it doesn’t really spend a lot of time on the ground to hunt small predators. However, you can feed them a variety of different foods such as crickets, worms or even mealworms. Most people prefer to feed them crickets because they’re the most nutritious and they provide the most value to a cricket. You really don’t need to gut load flying geckos because they get everything they need from crickets.
When it comes to feeding patterns and feeding habits, you’re going to feed your young gecko and your adult flying gecko differently. The young babies can be fed anywhere from a small plate of 5 crickets to 10 a day (or until you notice they stop eating them). However, the adults can be fed up to 15 a day, but make sure they’re eating them all or else you’re going to leave a lot of live waste laying around in the enclosure and you’re going to make more of a mess than you want to. The adults don’t require fed every single day and they can be fed every three days.
A lot of people will try to sell of calcium nutriments and etc to you but it’s not absolutely necessary to do this. A lot of these nutrients are already built into the meals they eat but it really doesn’t harm anything to feed them a little extra and to make sure they’re getting their calcium. Some people have been known to put vitamins little pieces of vegetables such as lettuce or such and try to feed them that. They don’t always eat it though so be advised, you might spend money on wasted vitamins because they don’t always take the bait.
Handling them really shouldn’t be done because they’re not for handling. They have very sensitive skin and not only that, but if you attempt to pick them up or hold them, they could leap away from your hand. These geckos are known to be extremely skittish and jumpy on even the slightest nudge, so if you absolutely feel you want to handle the gecko, do it with caution. If it does happen to jump out or start running away, I hope you’re in for a long night, because the flying gecko is an extremely fast animal and will lead you on a wild goose chase.