Devil’s Leaf Tailed Gecko

The Devil’s Leaf-Tailed Gecko is a stunning-looking reptile from Madagascar. It gets its name from its resemblance to a dragon, but it also goes by other names, including the Eyelash Gecko and Phantastic Gecko. This is one of the smallest gecko species, with only one other up for grabs. If you’re interested in keeping one of these tiny reptiles as a pet, keep reading as we look at their temperament, diet, habitat and more to see if this gecko is a good fit for your home.

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Quick Facts About the Devil’s Leaf Tailed Gecko

Species Name:U. phantasticus
Family:Gekkonidae
Treatment Level:Expert
Temperature:72–78 degrees Fahrenheit
Temperament:docile, submissive
Color Shape:Purple, orange, brown, yellow, brown
Lifetime:8–10 years
Size:3 inches
Diet:Insects, flies, worms, spiders
Minimum Tank Size:10″x10″x20″
Tank Setting:Moss, plant, branch, log

Devil’s Leaf Tailed Gecko Overview

The Devil’s Leaf-Tailed Gecko is one of three geckos from Madagascar that all resemble dry leaves. You can only find it in its natural habitat on the island of Madagascar, and its numbers are decreasing due to habitat destruction and the illegal animal trade. It’s important to look for reputable breeders who sell captive animals, not those caught by hunters on the island.

Devil's Leaf Tailed Gecko

What is the price of the Devil’s Leaf Tailed Gecko?

You should spend between $300–$500 for a captive-raised Devil Leaf-tailed Gecko, depending on the breeder. There are several great companies in America that can help you get your pet in this price range. You will also need to purchase an appropriate aquarium, food, humidifier, and other accessories to accommodate your new pet and keep it healthy.

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Typical Behavior & Temperament

Your Devil’s Leaf-Tailed Gecko is very shy and prefers to be left alone. You can keep it with other Devil Leaf Tailed Geckos, but he won’t like it if you pick him up or try to handle him. It is a nocturnal animal that climbs through the bush to hunt and avoid predators. In the wild, when faced with a predator, it can press itself to the ground to dispel its shadow and can release its tail as bait.

Devil's Leaf Tailed Gecko on the tree

Appearance & Variety

Your Devil’s Leaf-Tailed Gecko can come in a variety of colors, including purple, orange, tan, yellow, and brown, and be 2.5 to 3.5 inches long. The tails are flat to mimic dead leaves, and some will have notches along the edges to enhance the illusion, and there are long spines on the head, trunk, and body. Some will also have eyelash-like projections above the eyes to cover them and help them blend in during the day.

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How to Take Care of a Devil’s Leaf Tail Gecko

Habitat, Tank Conditions & Settings

Tank

Your Devil’s Leaf Tailed Gecko needs a tall cage, so a traditional fish tank aquarium won’t work. Most experts recommend a minimum cage size of 10” W x 10” D x 20” H, although bigger is always better.

Lightning

Your Devil’s Leaf-Tailed Gecko enjoys cooler temperatures that range between 72 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit, which is no more than most people’s homes, so it should be relatively easy to get to the desired temperature without expensive heating lights. Your pet doesn’t need to bask like other reptiles, and there’s even debate about the amount of UVB light they need if any. We recommend purchasing at least one UVB lamp just in case.

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Devil's Leaf Tailed Gecko

Humidity

Creating sufficient humidity is the most difficult part of creating a habitat for the Devil’s Leaf-Tailed Gecko. This will require a constant level of between 70% and 85%, so frequent misting and an accurate hygrometer are necessary to stay within guidelines.

vegetation

You also need to give your pet lots of plants to climb on and hide behind. Plants, ivy, logs, and branches will make your pet feel more at home, and they are more likely to come out of hiding.

Can the Devil’s Leaf-Tailed Gecko Make Friends with Other Pets?

Your Devil’s Leaf Tailed Gecko is very shy and will flee for cover at the first sign of danger. However, unlike many other reptiles, you can place several of these reptiles in the same habitat as long as you increase the size of the aquarium. Males will rarely become aggressive towards one another.

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What’s Feeding Your Devil’s Leaf Tailed Gecko?

Your Devil’s Leaf Tailed Gecko is an insectivorous gecko and eats all kinds of insects in the wild, but in captivity it will eat mainly crickets as they are easy to find and inexpensive to buy. You’ll want to fill the bugs’ stomachs, which means feeding them a nutritious diet before giving it to your pet. You also need to cleanse them with calcium supplements to get the nutrients they need.

Devil's Leaf Tailed Gecko

Keeping Your Devil Leaf Tailed Gecko Healthy

As long as you follow the guidelines we’ve listed here regarding habitat size and feeding, your Devil’s Leaf-Tailed Gecko will provide you with several years of friendship with minimal effort. Resisting the urge to hold your pet will also help keep it happy and healthy.

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Breeding

The Devil’s Leaf-Tailed Gecko is an egg-laying animal that usually lays a clutch of two eggs on the ground under a leaf cover. The eggs will hatch 60–70 days later, and the gecko will be fully developed and independent without the need for further care.

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Is the Devil’s Leaf Tailed Gecko Right For You?

The Devil’s Leaf-Tailed Gecko can make excellent pets as long as you take care of its habitat properly. Once you’ve set it up, the hardest part of raising your reptile is remembering to blow the cage frequently, so there’s enough humidity in the air and your pet can get the moisture it needs to stay hydrated. Crickets will be their main food source, and you will need to fill their stomachs and cleanse them with calcium. This may sound like a lot, but it won’t take much time or thought after a few weeks.

We hope you enjoyed reading our review of this unique animal and learning some new facts. If we’ve convinced you to price your local breeder, please share this guide to owning a Devil’s Leaf Tailed Gecko on Facebook and Twitter.


Featured Image Credit: Mark_Kostich, Shutterstock