Tarentola mauritanica information
Tarentola mauritanica is a species of gecko native to the western Mediterranean area of Northwestern Africa and Europe and widely introduced to America and Asia. It is commonly observed on walls in urban environments, mainly in warm coastal areas. However, it can be found further inland, especially in Spain. A robust species, up to 150 millimetres long, its tubercules are enlarged and give the species a spiny armoured appearance.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Reptilia
- Order: Squamata
- Family: Phyllodactylidae
- Genus: Tarentola
- Species: T. Mauritanica
Habitat and Ecology
It is found in a variety of habitats, and it has been recorded from rocky areas, cliffs, stone walls, ruins, building walls and inside houses. It is generally not present in forested areas although animals can often be found climbing in trees. The females lay clutches of one to two eggs. These may be laid communally, typically under stones, in cracks and in hollow trees.
Tarentola mauritanica Description
Adults can measure up to 15 cm, tail included. Robust body and flat head. Back, legs and tail with prominent conic tubercles. Its regenerated tail is smoother and doesn’t have tubercles. Obtuse mouth, big eyes with no eyelids and vertical pupil.
Fingers with big lateral growths and adherent division less laminae in the bottom face. Only the third and fourth fingers end in union.
Brownish grey or brown coloration with darker or lighter spots. These colours change in intensity according to the light. When they are active by day their colour is darker than during the night. It can be found on many construction sites, ruins, rock fields, tree trunks, etc.
Mainly nocturnal or crepuscular. Also active during the day, on sunny days at the end of the winter especially. They like to receive sunlight near their refuge. They hunt insects and in the warmer months of the year it can be found hunting nocturnal insects near light sources, street lamps, etc. After 4 months, little salamanquesas of less than 5 cm in length are born. Moorish geckos are slow to mature, taking 4 to 5 years in captivity.
The introduction of the species may impact on native fauna, by preying on frogs and smaller lizards. The adoption of this species as a pet has led to populations becoming established in Florida and elsewhere.
Tarentola mauritanica Habitat
The common wall gecko is naturally found in warm, dry coastal areas, although its range also extends inland in some areas , and it has been recorded at elevations as high as 2,300 metres in Spain. It occurs in a variety of habitats, including rocky cliffs, stone walls and rocky outcrops, and is occasionally found on trees. An adaptable species, the common wall gecko also thrives in urban habitats, where it is found on walls, ruins and houses.
The common wall gecko is primarily nocturnal, but will bask during the day to regulate its body temperature. The common wall gecko preys upon arthropods, but its diet and hunting strategy change according to its habitat. In its natural habitat, this species eats mainly spiders, caterpillars and beetles, and it must actively forage as this prey is widely distributed. In contrast, in urban habitats, the common wall gecko sits and waits near lights where it typically catches flies and moths.
Tarentola mauritanica Facts
- As its name suggests, the common wall gecko is a common and widespread reptile species.
- The common wall gecko is the largest gecko in Europe.
- Specialised pads on its toes allow the common wall gecko to climb smooth, vertical surfaces such as walls and rocks.
- The common wall gecko thrives in urban habitats, and is often found on walls and in houses.
Crocodile Geckos are insectivores. Offer a variety of live insects including crickets, mealworms, waxworms, and cockroach nymphs. Be sure to gut-load your insects before feeding them to your gecko. This can be achieved by feeding the crickets commercially available cricket diets.
Feed babies and juveniles once daily. Adults should also eat daily, although they may not eat as much as a younger Crocodile Gecko. Dust food with calcium powder daily & a multivitamin once a week. Feed them the amount they will eat in 10 minutes.
Crocodile Geckos may be kept alone or in pairs. Never house two males together in the same tank. Two females generally get along well. A male and female will likely breed if housed together.
An adult must have a minimum cage size of 20” Long x 10” Deep x 12” High, also known as a 10 gallon tank. A screen lid is recommended for safety.
Due to humidity requirements an absorbent substrate is desired. Peat moss or coconut fiber are preferred.
Crocodile Geckos come from the Mediterranean. The environment should be kept warm and humid. Provide plenty of foliage for hiding along with various branches for climbing.
A Crocodile Gecko’s basking spot should be 85° F. The cool end of the tank can be as cool as 70° F.
Provide a bowl of fresh drinking water at all times. Crocodile Geckos also require high humidity. The cage should be sprayed once to twice daily with a spray bottle. Spray until the cage and decorations are dripping.
Since this is a nocturnal species, it requires only one light bulb. This is the heat lamp which also emits UVA. There is no current proof that the animal requires UVB light, although some keepers prefer to provide UVB.
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