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Pictus/Panther/Ocelot Gecko Care Sheets
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Care Sheet for Geckos

Average Rating Given To This Care Sheet Is 3.75    (1=lowest, 5=highest)    Last Updated: 04/25/2006

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Years Experience:

3 to 5 Years


Pictus/Panther/Ocelot Gecko

Other Species or Phases this Care Sheet May Cover:

Leopard gecko has similar care

Sexing and Characteristics:

Pictus geckos are sexual dimorphic and you can easily tell the sex of the gecko by just looking at it. Males have large heads and have two large bumps near the vent. The hemipenal bumps are large and obvious. Females lack this bump and/or show very little signs of it. In order to be sure of the sex, it is best to start sexing your gecko at 1 year of age.

Mostly Active During:


Substrate and Water Needs:

My substrate in my 10 gallon tank is 75% reptile carpet with 25% paper towel. I mist the paper towel once a day for proper humidity to help the gecko shed. Reptile carpet has to be put in the washer once every two weeks for sanitary purposes. Obviously, the paper towel has to be changed every two weeks as well. Put a shallow water dish in its tank that it will go to when thirsty.

A lot of people try to imitate natural habitat of their pet, and frankly when you try to imitate they end up dying. Sand, wood chips are all deadly and i donít care if youíve been using it for a long time, it is eventually going to kill youíre pet.
SAND will build up in the intestine and will prevent youíre gecko from defecating. Calcium sand is the worse sand out there, no matter what the company says.

WOOD CHIPS are large and hard to digest and also transfer mites to your pets. If you want to risk killing your pet and use wood chips, bake it in the oven for 20 mins. Do not use too high temps or you may start a fire. Let the wood chips cool. Use wood chips for snakes or something not for geckos.

Lighting and UVB:

UVB is not really needed in nocturnal geckos such as pictus, leopard etc. However it is important you give them a source of light for their daytime/nighttime routine. I simply use one of those 75 watt reptile daylight bulbs for 12 hours and then switch to the infrared 75 watt bulb at night. You get to enjoy them during the night with these night bulbs.

Temperatures and Humidity:

Pictus geckos are from Madagascar so they should be used to high temps. Mine are around 88-90 F. Its OK to if its not that high, but they need heat because they are ectothermic and they donít produce body heat like humans do. Leopard geckos seem to prefer higher heat than pictus so for pictus a range of 80-85 is fine while leopard geckos 88-90 is fine. As long as youre gecko has a cool side it can go to to thermoregulate, high temps are fine.
As for humidity, too much humidity can cause respiratory infections, and too little humidity can cause shedding problems. Humidity should be around 40-50%. Mist the tank once a day, and mist once in its hide so that they can shed more easily.

Heating and Equipment:

I use a heating and lighting bulb in one so a 75 reptile daylight bulb is good only if it is used with a designated heat lamp that allows the wattage and heat. On the lamp fixtures it will tell you how many watts the bulb can take. Do not use desk lamps or other low wattage lamps because the will overheat and explode, sometimes even cause house fires.

Caging Provided:

A 10 gallon tank is sufficient, but i like to give my guy lots of room. Due to me living in a small bedroom, i am pressed for space so i have to use 10 gallons for all my geckos. If i had more space id probably upgrade them to a 20 gallon long or maybe even 35 gallon.



Description of Diet:

Strict insectivore. Pictus are aggressive hunters of crickets, mealworms, silkworms and waxworms. Never really fed superworms. I think it will be too big. Pictus donít grow too big (8 inches max) so try to stick to the smallest sized worms. As for crickets, make sure that the crickets arenít too big or he will choke. Gut load all feeders before feeding. Mealworms and crickets should be staple diet. Feed crickets or mealworms once a day, feed as much as he will eat in one feeding period. Silkworms and waxworms should be used as a treat. Maybe one feeding of 2-3 once a week. Good for variety.

Supplements, Nutrition and Usage:

I dust mine with calcium with D3 once a week, vitamins once a week. They get most of their calcium and water from crickets so its a good idea to gut-load youíre crickets with koi fish flakes and gelatin water (crickets will drown, even in a shallow water dish)


Very low maintenance. Feed every two days (eat about 6 crickets or mealworms). Leopard geckos eat once a day around 30 crickets or 20 mealworms. As long as they have right temps, water, substrate and basking light they should be happy and healthy. Clean tank every 2 weeks, pictus makes less mess in my opinion. Leopard geckos are pretty clean as well, but not as clean. Also leos, and pictus like to defecate in the same area so its easy to spot clean their tanks.

Some Words on this Species:

Pictus are really cute and i love to watch them when theyíre active. However, they tend to be shy and are fast so its kinda hard to catch them. Some are jumpy and when they jump out onto the floor, it takes me 30 mins to catch them again. Most the time they are sleeping. they have no eyelids so they donít close their eyes (unlike leopard geckos) so they spend most of their time in hides, sleeping.
Also, never house more than 1 pictus gecko together. Females will compete for hides, food, water and you will end up with one starving or unhealthy gecko. Obviously, two males will fight, and if its male or female, they will overbreed, maybe even killing your female. SO its not a very good idea to mix them, unless its for breeding reasons. Breeding is simple, mix them and let them do their thing. Make a nesting box, give her lots of calcium, she lays eggs, incubate eggs at 84 F and in a couple of weeks, youíll have babies. with babies make sure they are separated, meaning around 10 extra tanks, buy more food, 10 extra lighting fixtures with heat bulbs, more reptile carpets, isnít cheap. I would stick to one. Overall they are sweet pets.
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The information contain in these care sheets represents only the opinions and husbandry care of members and therefore is not guaranteed to be 100% accurate or reflects the advice or opinions of It is always advised to seek additional information or the advice of a qualified veterinarian or qualified reptile dealer. It is also advisable for you to a good amount of research before implementing any of the ideas and care described in these care sheets. We also recommend you ask many questions in their related forums before acting on any information.

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