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Paroedura picta (Pictus Gecko, Panther Gecko, Ocelot Gecko) Care Sheets
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Care Sheet for Geckos

Average Rating Given To This Care Sheet Is 5.00    (1=lowest, 5=highest)    Last Updated: 07/30/2010

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Years Experience:

5 to 10 Years


Paroedura picta (Pictus Gecko, Panther Gecko, Ocelot Gecko)

Other Species or Phases this Care Sheet May Cover:


Sexing and Characteristics:

Sexing these geckos is quite easy compared to other geckos, and can be done as early as 2 months of age. Males develop large bulges at the base of the tale, and tend to be bigger than females. Like other species of geckos, males should be kept separately or with females. It is important to note that these geckos breed prolifically, and females should be removed from males after laying 3 clutches to prevent over-breeding.

There are several different color and morph phases available, although normal pictus geckos appear in shades of brown, with either banding or stripes. They are a small gecko, ranging in size from 4-6 inches, although males can get a little bigger.

Mostly Active During:


Substrate and Water Needs:

Because these geckos need fairly high humidity in their enclosures, it is recommended that they be housed on a substrate that holds moisture. A mixture of bed-a-beast and moss works well, and some breeders mix clean sand in as well. Paper towels, reptile carpet, shelf liner, and tile/ slate also work well, as long as humidity is monitored properly.

A dish of fresh water should also be kept in the enclosure, giving the gecko a source of drinking water as well as boosting the humidity.

Lighting and UVB:

No lighting or UVB is needed for this nocturnal species, although some people do like to use night bulbs for nocturnal viewing.

Temperatures and Humidity:

Ambient temperatures should be no more than 85 degrees, although a basking area (either by UTH or bulb heating) of 87-89 degrees should be available. Keeping temperatures higher than this can become hazardous to the health of this gecko. Nighttime temperatures should not drop below 75 degrees.

Humidity should be kept between 50-80%. To maintain this level, mist the cage lightly as needed. Also, a humid hide should be provided to aid in shedding.

Heating and Equipment:

Heating is important to this species because it aids in digestion. Under tank heaters work perfectly, although bulbs and ceramic heaters can also be used.

NEVER use heat rocks, heat caves, or other sources of heating inside your gecko’s cage. Reptiles should not be allowed to come in direct contact with any sort of heating element.

Caging Provided:

Size of enclosures is debatable for these geckos. Remember though, that more space is typically better. Pictus geckos are terrestrial geckos, so height of the enclosure is not important. 10 gallon tanks house one or two geckos comfortably, although 20 gallon long tanks are much better for housing multiple geckos.

Steralite tubs also make excellent housing for pictus geckos.

Numerous hides should be offered, especially for multiple geckos. Overturned pots and coconut hides make inexpensive hides. These geckos need a lot of hiding areas to feel secure. Other decorations such as fake foliage, cork bark and rocks not only make the enclosure look nicer, but also give the geckos exercise areas as well more places to hide. Do not make cage accessories too high in these geckos enclosure, because they can easily hurt themselves if they fall.



Description of Diet:

Crickets should be the main diet for pictus geckos, although mealworms, silkworms, small roaches, and for an occasional treat, waxworms. Adults can eat 5-10 food items in one sitting, while hatchlings can be offered 2-5. Food should be sized respective to the geckos size. Gut load any feeders 24 hours prior to feeding.

When housing these geckos on a loose substrate, it is a good idea to feed them in a separate enclosure to avoid ingestion of the substrate. Hand feeding with tongs is also acceptable.

Supplements, Nutrition and Usage:

Food items should be dusted alternately with vitamins with d3 and calcium. Gut load for feeder insect should also be high in calcium. It is a good idea to keep a small dish, like a bottle cap, full of pure calcium in the enclosure for geckos to lick as needed.


Maintenance is the same as leopard geckos. Spot clean as needed, and clean the cage thoroughly about once every month or two, depending on cage size and how many geckos are in the enclosure.

Some Words on this Species:

Pictus geckos are shy and fragile, so are not as easy to handle as a leopard gecko or crested gecko. Take extra care when handling, because a fall can easily injure these geckos, and can even be fatal.

Do not let this deter you from this wonderful species though. They are quirky geckos, and are a lot of fun to watch when they come out at night. With regular handling they become less skittish, and i have found that they become less shy when they are hand fed.
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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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