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African Fat-Tailed Gecko Profile

African Fat-Tailed Gecko

Scientific Classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Reptilia
  • Order: Squamata
  • Family: Gekkonidae
  • Genus: Hemitheconyx
  • Species: Hemitheconyx caudicinctus

Quick Overview

The African Fat-Tailed Gecko (Hemitheconyx caudicinctus) is a captivating and distinctive reptile known for its endearing appearance and unique characteristics. Belonging to the Gekkonidae family, this gecko species hails from West Africa and has become a popular choice among reptile enthusiasts due to its docile nature and manageable care requirements.

Fast Facts

  • Scientific Name: Hemitheconyx caudicinctus
  • Lifespan: African Fat-Tailed Geckos have an average lifespan of 15 to 20 years in captivity.
  • Size: Adult geckos typically reach a length of 7 to 10 inches, with their tails being notably plump.
  • Diet: They are insectivores, primarily consuming various insects such as crickets, mealworms, and roaches.
  • Habitat: Terrestrial and nocturnal, these geckos inhabit arid regions and are commonly found in savannas and scrublands.

Did you know?

African Fat-Tailed Geckos are known for their distinctive vocalizations, including chirps and squeaks, used for communication and establishing territory.


The African Fat-Tailed Gecko derives its name from its characteristic plump tail, which stores fat reserves and serves as a crucial energy source during periods of scarcity. Their bodies are relatively flat, and they display color variations ranging from shades of brown to orange and even pink. The tail, in particular, tends to be more brightly colored. Their eyes feature vertical pupils, a common trait among nocturnal reptiles.

Size and Weight

Adult African Fat-Tailed Geckos are moderate in size, typically ranging from 7 to 10 inches, with their tails accounting for a significant portion of their length. Despite their relatively small size, they exhibit a sturdy build and can weigh around 60 to 80 grams.

Temperament and Behavior

Known for their calm and docile temperament, African Fat-Tailed Geckos are considered suitable for novice reptile keepers. They are primarily nocturnal, becoming more active during the evening hours. While they may tolerate handling, it’s important to approach them gently to avoid stress. These geckos are solitary by nature and should be housed individually to prevent aggression.

Fun Fact

African Fat-Tailed Geckos are known to be accomplished climbers, utilizing their adhesive toe pads to navigate their enclosure vertically and access hiding spots.

Habitat and Distribution

Indigenous to West Africa, these geckos are adapted to arid environments such as savannas and scrublands. In captivity, they thrive in well-designed terrariums that replicate their natural habitat, featuring substrate for burrowing, hiding spots, and appropriate temperature gradients.

African Fat-Tailed Gecko

Care Guide

For those interested in keeping African Fat-Tailed Geckos as pets:

  • Enclosure: Provide a terrarium with adequate floor space, secure hiding spots, and a substrate suitable for burrowing.
  • Temperature: Maintain a temperature range of 75-85°F (24-29°C) during the day and a slight drop at night.
  • Humidity: Keep humidity levels between 50-70%, ensuring a humid hide is available.
  • Diet: Offer a diet of appropriately sized insects, dusted with calcium and vitamin supplements.
  • Health Check-ups: Regularly monitor your gecko’s health, including skin condition, eyes, and weight. Seek veterinary care when needed.

Three Fascinating Facts About African Fat-Tailed Geckos

  1. Tail Functionality: The plump tail of African Fat-Tailed Geckos serves as a reservoir for fat storage, enabling them to survive periods of food scarcity.
  2. Vocal Communication: These geckos are known to produce various vocalizations, including chirps and squeaks, which play a role in communication and establishing territory.
  3. Adhesive Toe Pads: African Fat-Tailed Geckos possess adhesive toe pads that aid them in climbing and exploring their enclosure in a vertical manner.
Pierre And The ReptileCraze Team
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