The Nosy Be Gecko (Uroplatus ebenaui) is one of the most interesting recent newcomers to the pet trade. However, its unique appearance should not prompt you into a quick purchase, as we have a great deal yet to learn about its care. Today I’d like to review its natural history, as therein lay the key to its proper captive care. In Part II of this article we’ll look at some of \this lizard’s interesting relatives.
The Nosy Be Gecko is tan, gray, orange-brown or dark brown in color, with a reticulating dark pattern, skin projections and a short, pointed tail; the over-all appearance is remarkably similar to that of a decaying leaf.
At 2-4 inches in length, it is the smallest member of its genus.
This lizard is known only from the Nosy Be region of northeastern Madagascar.
The Nosy Be Gecko is restricted to cool, humid rainforests. It is entirely arboreal and nocturnal and, unlike most lizards, prefers temperatures of 68-75F.
Status in the Wild
This species is largely unstudied, but is believed threatened due to extensive deforestation within its extremely limited natural range. It is listed on CITES Appendix II.
Despite being persistently arboreal, females descend to the ground and bury the eggs in moist earth or below leaf litter. Mature eggs can be seen through the abdominal skin of the females. The eggs hatch in 3-6 months, depending upon temperature, and the young reach adult size in approximately 7 months.
Nosy Be Geckos prey upon moths, caterpillars, spiders, beetles, tree crickets and other invertebrates. Related species take ripe fruit, sap, nectar and snails, but these items are usually refused by captive Nosy Be Geckos.
When threatened, the Nosy Be Gecko hangs head-down by the rear feet, further enhancing its resemblance to a dead leaf.
You can read more about the 12 Leaf-tailed Geckos here.