So you want a Mourning Gecko as pet?
Well the good news is that you’ve come to the right place, or maybe you’re just looking for the right pet for you – well you’re still in the right place.
Mourning Gecko’s are easy to keep and great for beginners to reptiles. However they are still reptiles, so bare that in mind before jumping in to keeping them as pets. They are also small and fast.
Here you’ll find all the information you need before deciding to get a Mourning Gecko as a pet. I hope it will make your decision a lot easier and that I will have given you a helping hand on looking after your geckos.
But first let me stress that I’m not an expert, I’m just a boy who keeps Mourning Geckos. So I have a lot to say on the subject, a lot of information but some things you’ll need to go to your vet about.
However if you have any questions, please feel free to ask at the end in the comments section I’ll do my best to answer them.
Mourning Geckos In The Wild
The Mourning Gecko occurs on all the large Hawaiian Islands as well as Niihau, Lanai and Kahoolawe. This is a very adaptable gecko, found both around residences and in rural, uninhabited areas as well. The species ranges from Sri Lanka eastward across tropical Asia, and across the Pacific to Mexico and Central America.
They arrived in Hawaii before Europeans, either by stowing away with early Polynesians, or perhaps by rafting across the Pacific Ocean. Tests have shown that Mourning Gecko eggs are saltwater tolerant, making it likely that these geckos, or their eggs, could drift long distances across the ocean on uprooted trees or mats of vegetation washed out to sea by storms and floods.
Before You Buy - Mourning Gecko Care
Before you get a Mourning Gecko for a pet, you need to consider a few things.
Firstly have you kept reptiles before? If not you need to read up and do some research. I would say that Mourning Gecko’s are one of the easier species to keep – however they are still reptiles and as such they are easily stressed.
Also check if your vet (if you already have one) has experience in dealing with exotic species and reptiles.
Lastly, although Mourning Geckos can largely be left to their own devices, you need to make sure you are ready to take on the care that they do need.
What You Need To Know About Mourning Geckos
There are a few basics you need to know about Mourning Geckos in order to keep them healthy, happy and safe.
1. All Mourning Gecko’s Are Female.
Yes that’s right, there are no males. And whilst this makes sexing a mourning a gecko easier you need to be aware that one lone female can lay eggs. Don’t panic about all the eggs not all will be fertile, but you need to be aware that you could end up with more geckos!
If you’re not so keen on this don’t worry – you can easily remove the eggs from the Viv and throw them away, they will not grow a youngster under the wrong conditions.
2. They Don’t Eat Insects!
You weren’t expecting that one were you? Well the truth is that Mourning Gecko’s don’t eat bugs, insects or any creepy crawlies as part of their main diet.
They will eat them but it’s not their main food source so you don’t have to handle any of those little nasties in order to feed your hungry little geckos. How cool is that!
What they do eat is fruit, but you will need to feed them a meal paste as their food. They can occasionally have fruit. But NO citrus fruits!
3. They Need A Constant Temperature
Temperature Of Around 20°C All year round. 24 hours a day. Slightly over or under should be fine, but don’t let it get too hot or too old or your geckos will suffer! Learn when you need to warm them up and cool them down. You will also need a temperature and humidity gauge so you can check on this.
4. Mourning Geckos Cannot Produce Their Own Calcium.
Therefore you need to add calcium to their vivarium or their food, so they can get what they need.
5. They are Nocturnal.
Don’t expect to see them out in the day that often.
Housing: Where to keep your Gecko?
So you’ve decided you want a Mourning Gecko as a pet, you’ll need somewhere to keep it.
Most people keep their Mourning Gecko’s in a Vivarium or Terrarium, you don’t need a big one as they’re only small creatures.
I have the Exo Terra Allglass Terrarium with Background – which is only 45 x 45 x 60 cm (18″ x 18″ x 24″) (WxDxH), so it’s not too big at all. I currently have 2 in this one and it will keep probably another 5 comfortably.
Okay, so you’ve got your Vivarium/Terrarium. What next? Well you’ll need some essential decorations.
You need to buy plantation soil from a reputable reptile plantation soul company. I got mine from Exo Terra. It’s cheap, it’s comes in a compact block – you just need to put in it a bucket, add water as per instructions and it will make a bucketful of soil (but you probably won’t use it all).
How many you use is entirely up you, don’t use to many otherwise you’ll never see your geckos, but make sure they have cover to go to if they need it. Also bare in mind the size of the plants that you buy and the size of your Vivarium – don’t buy plants too big for your Viv!
Taking Care Of Your Mourning Geckos
Time to talk about the other things you need – food, water, calcium, temperature and all those things. This might be a lot of information to take in – but they’re quite easy to took after. Just read over it a few times.
Gecko Diet: What do they eat?
Mourning Geckos don’t eat live insects as their main source of food, so they are easy to feed. You need to feed them a meal replacement powder (Crested Gecko Meal Replacement Powders, that’s the staple diet of my two.
I use the 2-part system which has different fruit flavours), specially designed for their diet – don’t worry, it’s not expensive and once you’ve brought it – it was last 6 months or so since they don’t need a lot mixed – again because they are so small.
We wrote full article, and you can read it here “What do Geckos eat?“
As a treat you can occasionally (once a week) give your geckos some fruit. This is normal fruit that you would buy for yourself – of course you don’t need to give them a lot. However DO NOT give them citrus fruits!
They cannot handle the citric acid – they will be poorly do not give them any at all! Also only give banana ONCE A MONTH – if you give it to them too often they will have a poorly stomach. You can also give them a touch of honey.
Some places may recommend baby food, however there are many additives and a lot of Vitamin A in them so I don’t recommend feeding baby food to your geckos.
Vitamins and Calcium
You will definitely need some calcium powder – particularly after they are 9 months old, as this is when they start to produce eggs – which takes up a lot of calcium. Just leave a small amount in a bowl of plastic bottle cap.
As for vitamins you don’t need this – but vitamin D3 powder is useful to have around, you can add it to their food every now and again to give them a boost!
Temperature and Humidity Gauges
Yup, you’ll definitely need these. Temperature needs to be around 20°C. And you also need to keep an eye on the humidity.
You’ll need to spray the Vivarium once a day, keeps the humidity up and the geckos will also drink water droplets off the surfaces.
Heat Mat and Thermostat
Very important. Don’t want you geckos getting cold. Where I live here in the Canada, they can do without a heat mat in the summer months, so be aware that you may not always need one, it will depend on the natural temperatures of where you live.
Heat Mat can be placed on the side or under the tank – it is very important that you attach a thermostat as the heat mat can be very hot and may make the vivarium too hot.
You don’t necessarily need a light – as Mourning Geckos are nocturnal. However they can provide a small amount of heat and enable you to see inside the vivarium better. A 2.0 light will be more than sufficient at a low wattage.
Keeping Mourning Geckos – FAQ!
Fequently Asked Questions
Please again remember, I’m not an expert and I’m certainly NOT A VET!
Question 1: Can Mourning Geckos tolerate the cold?
The short answer is no. They can’t. I appreciate that cold means different things to people if you live in a warm country, so Mourning Geckos should be kept at around 20°C/68°F. One degree won’t kill them for a short period of time. But do not let the temperature drop below 17°C.
Question 2: Do Mourning Geckos make noise?
Yes they do. It’s called “chirping”.