African Fat-tailed Gecko

Also known as Fat-Tailed Gecko

African Fat-tailed Gecko

The African Fat-tailed Gecko (Hemitheconyx caudicinctus) is native to West Africa. They can live 10 - 20 Years and grow to 8 - 14 Inches. Their conservation statis is Least Concern (LC).

The Basics for African Fat-tailed Geckos

  • Housing
  • 10 - 15 Gallon
  • Substrate
  • Peat moss & Vermiculite 1-1
  • Lighting
  • Not Required
  • Temperature
  • 80 - 95 ° F
  • Humidity
  • 50% - 60%
  • Food
  • Crickets, Mealworms, Waxworms, Superworms

African Fat-tailed Gecko Care Sheet

Originally from the West of Africa, Fat-tailed geckos are easily recognizable thanks to the tail end being fat and not much smaller than the main body of the gecko itself. It nearly looks like they have a head on each end of their body. Fat-tailed geckos can grow to a reasonable length of 9 inches and if you are willing to care for your African fat-tailed gecko, there is no reason why it can’t live for 15-20 years.

They’re a popular breed now because of their awareness of humans and are very easy to handle. Keeping the enclosure simple and feeding your geckos correctly is all it will take to keep your geckos happy.

Cage Setup

An African fat-tailed gecko will fit nicely in a 10-gallon aquarium. Their overall size is small so their tank shouldn’t be huge. Many people do place them in larger tanks but its suggested you start with a small 10-gallon aquarium first and let them adjust before moving them into a slightly larger cage.

You can keep multiple female fat-tailed geckos within the same enclosure but it’s very important to note that only one male should be kept in the enclosure as they are very territorial and get aggressive towards other male fat-tailed geckos.

Shelter / Hides – African fat-tailed geckos like to feel safe. This is achieved by placing “hides” in their enclosure. You have many options available, just look online for “reptile hides” or visit your local pet store.

Temperature & Lighting

The suggested temperature range for this species is between 80 – 95 ° F. One side of their enclosure should range between 90 – 95 and slowly taper off to a low of 80. This can be achieved by placing an under tank heater on one side.

UVB lights aren’t required for your fat-tailed gecko but if you have a larger aquarium can be implemented. A masking light can also give the correct temperature range but be sure to keep their enclosure in the suggested heating levels. Also, if you decide to use a UVB light, studies have shown to improve the overall health of geckos. This is great, of course, but be careful not to mix UVB lighting with too much cricket dusting supplements. This can lead to too much Vitamin D3 which can be harmful.


There are a variety of suggestions for the substrate best suited for African fat-tailed geckos. What tends to work best is a mixture of peat moss mixed with vermiculite 50/50. Their enclosure needs to maintain a humidity between 50% – 60% and their substrate can help with this. Keep some areas moist and some dry.


A suggested humidity level is anywhere between 50% – 60%. This can be achieved by keeping their substrate slightly damp and also misting daily. Fat-tailed geckos shed their skin every four weeks so as stated above it’s wise to keep an area of the tank damp which will help the gecko with its shedding process.

Food & Water

As with most geckos, Fat-tailed geckos also have a strong appetite for mealworms and crickets. Adults should be fed three times per week no more than 9 crickets or mealworms at a time. With smaller geckos, it can vary but as a rule of thumb, don’t feed your baby geckos more than 5 mealworms/crickets per day, making sure the crickets are smaller in size.

Its suggested you dust your gecko with supplement powder before feeding. Fat-tailed geckos rarely have health issues provided you feed them correctly and keep its enclosure clean on a regular basis.

Always keep a shallow bowl of fresh water within the enclosure so your gecko never gets thirsty.

Comments & Replies