Caring For Mourning Geckos

Caring For Mourning Geckos

Caring For Mourning Geckos

Posted on June 12th, 2024

Mourning Gecko Care Sheet and Vivarium Setup Guide

Are you looking for an intriguing and low-maintenance addition to your reptile collection? Look no further! Mourning Geckos Lepidodactylus lugubris are the perfect pets for both novice and experienced reptile enthusiasts. These captivating creatures are known for their unique reproductive strategy and charming behavior. Here’s why Mourning Geckos should be your next pet purchase:

Mourning Geckos (Lepidodactylus lugubris) are fascinating, parthenogenetic reptiles that make wonderful pets for both beginners and experienced reptile enthusiasts. Their ease of care, interesting reproductive habits, and social behavior make them a popular choice. This care sheet will guide you through the essential aspects of Mourning Gecko care and provide detailed instructions for setting up their vivarium.

Basic Information:

Common Name: Mourning Gecko

Scientific Name: Lepidodactylus lugubris

Size: Adults reach 3.5-4 inches in length

Lifespan: 5-10 years with proper care

Activity: Nocturnal but sometime day active

Temperature: 75-80°F (24-27°C)

Humidity: 60-80%

Housing: Enclosure:

Size: A 10-gallon tank is suitable for a small group of 2-3 geckos. For larger groups, consider a 20-gallon tank. Can be housed with poison dart frogs in a larger vivarium.

Type: Glass or acrylic terrariums with a secure lid to prevent escape.

Ventilation:Ensure good airflow to maintain humidity levels and prevent mold growth.

Substrate: Options: ABG, coconut coir, peat moss, or a mix of soil and sand.

Depth: 1-2 inches to facilitate burrowing behavior and plant growth.

Decoration: Hiding Spots: Provide multiple hiding spots using cork bark, hollow logs, plants or commercial reptile hides. 

Climbing Structures: Include branches, vines, and plants (real or artificial) to create a natural environment and promote climbing behavior.

Plants: Live plants such as pothos, bromeliads, and ferns can help maintain humidity and provide additional hiding places.

Temperature and Lighting:

Temperature: Daytime: Maintain a temperature range of 75-80°F (24-27°C).

Nighttime: A slight drop to around 70-75°F (21-24°C) is acceptable.

Heating: Use a low-wattage heat lamp or an under-tank heater if necessary, but avoid excessive heat.

Lighting: Generally if your plants are happy, the Mourning geckos are happy to live amidst the plants. UVB:Not strictly required, but low-level UVB lighting (2.0) can be beneficial.

Day/Night Cycle: Provide a 12-hour light/dark cycle using a timer to mimic their natural environment.

Humidity and Water:


Level: Maintain humidity levels between 60-80%.

Misting: Mist the enclosure daily or use an automatic misting system to keep the humidity up. Ensure proper drainage to prevent waterlogging.

Hygrometer: Use a hygrometer to monitor humidity levels accurately.

Water:Dish: Provide a shallow water dish for drinking, cleaned and refilled daily.

Misting: Regular misting also provides drinking opportunities through droplets on plants and decor. your plants will enjoy this as well.

Diet and Feeding:

Diet: Insects: Feed small insects such as crickets, fruit flies, gecko diet, fruit puree, and small roaches.

Frequency: Offer food 3-4 times per week.

Supplements: Dust insects with calcium powder at every feeding and a multivitamin supplement once a week.

Other Foods: Fruit Puree: Offer occasional fruit puree or baby food (without added sugar or preservatives) as a treat. We didn't have gecko mixes in the 1990s so this is also what I fed them.

Social Structure and Behavior: Groups: Mourning Geckos are social and can be kept in groups. A 10-gallon tank can house 2-3 geckos, while larger groups need more space.

Parthenogenesis: All individuals are female and can reproduce asexually. Expect to see eggs and hatchlings in your enclosure. Before you know it, you'll have a clone colony!

Behavior: They are active and vocal, especially at night, with chirps and clicks.

Breeding and Egg Care: Breeding: There's really no effort to "breeding" these since they'll produce on their own in optimal conditions. Reproduction: Parthenogenetic, so no males are needed for reproduction. Start with a pair or group.

Egg Laying: Females lay eggs on surfaces like leaves, glass, or decor. Eggs are often adhered in pairs. 

Egg Care: Incubation: Eggs can be left in the enclosure. They typically hatch in 60-75 days. I taped a cup over the eggs to contain the babies until I could remove them from the mothers' vivarium or removed the adults to a new vivarium.

Hatchlings: Provide small hiding spots and plenty of food for the young geckos. Adults will eat babies.

Health and Maintenance: Health Checks:

Signs of Illness: Look for signs such as weight loss, lethargy, and abnormal feces.

Parasites: Regularly check for mites and other parasites, especially when introducing new geckos.

Maintenance: Cleaning: Spot clean daily, removing uneaten food and waste. Deep clean the enclosure monthly, replacing substrate and disinfecting decor. If you're going to do bio active, make sure you have a rich substrate like what we offer and add springtails and Porcellionides pruinosus isopods. See our selection of these.

Handling: Mourning Geckos are delicate and quick. Handle minimally to reduce stress and risk of injury or lost tails that will regenerate.

Conclusion: Mourning Geckos are fascinating, low-maintenance pets that offer endless enjoyment through their unique behaviors and social interactions. By providing a well-maintained vivarium and proper care, you can ensure your Mourning Geckos thrive and enrich your life for years to come.

For all your Mourning Gecko needs, including high-quality enclosures, supplements, and food, visit . Happy herping!

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