Mediterranean House Gecko Care Guide: Origin, Appearances, Diet, Housing, and Health Issues

Mediterranean House Gecko Care Guide: Origin, Appearances, Diet, Housing, and Health Issues

Mediterranean House gecko

Mediterranean House geckos, also known as Turkish geckos, are one of the most popular pet gecko species, as they are great for beginners and can be handled easily if they are not too young. They are hardy as well as docile. However, they can still get scared and try to bite the handler and escape.

Therefore, if you have been thinking of getting a Mediterranean House gecko, you must first familiarize yourself with this unique gecko species. Continue reading to know all about the Mediterranean House gecko—origin, appearances, housing, and health issues.

Mediterranean House Gecko

Before diving into the details about Mediterranean House geckos, take a quick look at the below species overview.

Mediterranean House Gecko Overview
Common NameMediterranean House gecko
Scientific nameHemidactylus turcicus
DietCrickets, wax worms, mealworms, locusts, etc.
Lifespan3 to 9 years
Tank size10 to 20-gallon
Temperature65° to 90°F
Humidity60 to 75%
Care levelBeginners
Size4 – 5 inches (males are a bit bigger)

Mediterranean House Gecko Origin:

These geckos originated from tropical and subtropical areas of the Mediterranean and were found in the United States in 1915 in Florida.

In Eastern Mediterranean countries, this gecko helps control insect populations, so it is considered taboo to hurt them. They enjoy warm temperatures and high humidity, and environments with many places to climb and hide are their favorite.

Mediterranean House Gecko Appearance

Mediterranean House geckos can be easily identified by their colors; they are either grey or brown and have pink or purple undertones with dark mottling. Their skin is usually bumpy, their underbelly is translucent, and with correct lighting, you can see their beating heart or an egg inside.

Just like most other gecko species, such as Leachie Gecko, Mourning Gecko, and Baby Crested Gecko, etc., they also don’t possess eyelids. Such gecko species use their tongue to clean their eyes. Only gecko species belonging to the subfamily Eublepharinae have real functioning eyelids. Leopard geckos and all Leopard gecko morphs have functioning eyelids.

Mediterranean House gecko is a very small gecko species—fully grown Turkish geckos are only 4 to 5 inches. On the other hand, Giant Leopard Gecko can grow up to 11 inches. They have round and cylindrical bodies. Males have wider heads and are heavier than females. On the back of their legs, they might also have pores that are used for chemical signals and markers. It can be difficult to distinguish between the sexes because both sexes are usually the same color.

Unlike Leopard geckos, who have non-sticky paws, Turkish geckos have sticky toe pads. They use their sticky feet to climb on almost all surfaces—they can climb well on the glass as well. So you should have a screen lid on the top of their tank so they don’t escape by climbing to the top. Other gecko species, like Satanic Leaf Tailed Gecko, also have sticky toe pads.

Like most gecko species, Turkish geckos also use their tails to distract the predators that might be onto them. The tail loss in geckos may also happen due to stress. Therefore, always try to make sure that you are giving your little fells some space and not overhandle them.

A stressed Turkish gecko, like other geckos, may think of the handler as a predator and thus bite them. Though, like most geckos, Turkish geckos also have small teeth, and their bite won’t hurt much, you should never over-handle your gecko.

Mediterranean House Gecko Habitat

Turkish gecko is a friendly and easy-going gecko species. They won’t complain if something is missing in their habitat. However, to keep your gecko happy and healthy, you should make sure that their habitat resembles their natural habitat.

Mediterranean House Geckos Tank

Mediterranean House geckos love to live in large spaces, so make sure to have a 20-gallon glass aquarium as its enclosure with a screen lid. If you want to add a female gecko, then add another 5 gallons and make sure to not house any other reptile with this gecko apart from the common House gecko. Males are territorial, so they should not be housed together, but females will happily co-exist. Place branches, foliage, and caves for your gecko to hide.

The tank should be fully cleaned once a month with soap or 10% bleach solution and water. While cleaning the tank, make sure to check for its droppings. The feces and any kind of droppings should be removed on a daily basis.

Lighting and Temperature

This species of geckos thermoregulate, so having a cool and hot side in the enclosure is essential. To achieve that, you can use a UVB bulb; they do not need full-spectrum lighting, but you will have to provide the best lighting set up to help them simulate the day-night cycle.

Set up a basking spot to create a heat gradient and provide a warm environment for sleeping geckos.

To attain desirable temperature in the enclosure, use a heating pad or an incandescent bulb and place it in one half of the tank to get the temperature gradient of 75° to 90°F in the morning and 65° to 75°F at night.

While the humidity inside the tank should always be 60 – 75%, and to achieve that, you can spray water on the walls of the tank or place plants in the tank, or you can always keep its water dish toward the basking spot to ensure the desired humidity level.

Substrate

Paper—paper towels or newspaper—is considered the best substrate for your gecko as it is inexpensive and easier to replace. However, if you want to give your gecko tank a bit of a natural look, you can use reptile carpet as a substrate.

There is a litany of options available while choosing the best gecko substrate. However, you should always keep in mind that the substrate you choose is neither injuring your gecko’s tiny toes and nor being ingested as it can cause impaction.

Mediterranean House Gecko Price

This species of gecko is highly affordable. You can easily get one for around $5 to $20. You can also easily find a Mediterranean House gecko in nature, but we strongly advise that you get one of the captive-bred from a reputable breeder. Wild-caught geckos can be wild and more prone to biting.

Mediterranean House Geckos Shedding

The Mediterranean House geckos shed their skin in patches every 4 to 6 weeks. A Turkish gecko going through the shedding process may look dull, and you may want to help your gecko shed its skin, but you should not, as you can hurt your gecko. You should let your gecko shed on its own.

During this time, otherwise known as molting, the skin of your beloved gecko can become dull, and the areas above the eyelid may burst. Although your gecko may not be doing well during this time, you have to make sure to give it its private time and do not help it take its skin off as it can be dangerous and painful for your gecko.

All you can do is make sure that the humidity level of the tank is high enough—lower humidity makes it difficult for geckos to shed their skin. You can maintain a high humidity level by spraying water in the tank or placing plants so that the gecko can get rid of the old skin on its own. You can also place a humid hide in your gecko tank—the humidity level in the humid hide is quite high.  

During molting, a new layer of skin will grow in the gecko, separating the old skin from the new one, and a liquid will form between them. If the gecko is having a hard time shedding skin from its toes, tail, or head, you can sprinkle water on the tank and gently massage the skin until it comes off on its own.

Mediterranean House Geckos Tail Loss

Mediterranean House gecko will drop its tail if it feels threatened. Tail loss in geckos may also happen when they become over-stressed. But don’t worry, it will grow back; you will just have to make sure that your gecko eats lots of food and is comfortable as it grows back. Since the tail holds an important fat reserve, your gecko may come to eat its detached tail when he is feeling comfortable and safe.

Mediterranean House Gecko Care

  • Some of the caring and maintenance tips that we would like to give you before you bring home this adorable pet:
  • Wash your hands before and after picking up the gecko, as geckos may carry Salmonella bacteria, which can also transfer through bites
  • Do not hold your gecko its tail or underbelly, as it can get scared and try to bite you, drop its tail, and escape from your hands. Grab the gecko from its upper body and wrap it securely before removing it from the tank
  • If you get a baby gecko, try not to pick it too much, as young ones do not like being picked up
  • Never keep the basking light on throughout the night

Mediterranean House Gecko Diet

Food chain  Insectivores
Nutrients  Mainly proteins, calcium supplement that is fortified with vitamin D3 2-3 times a week  
Food  Crickets, flour beetles, wax worm, and silkworm larvae,  
Feeding schedule  3 to 4 times a week  
Water  Place fresh water in a shallow bowl in the tank daily  
Length of insects  should not exceed the width of the gecko’s head  

Mediterranean House Geckos Feeding Tips

  • Do not feed the gecko with insects caught outdoors, as they can transmit diseases.
  • If there are uneaten insects in the tank, they should be removed immediately, or else they may bite the gecko’s skin or eyes.
  • Around 24 hours before feeding the insects to your gecko, feed them a nutritious meal.
  • Never feed fruits to geckos. They only eat insects.
  • Never feed wild-caught insects, i.e., moths, fireflies, etc., to your gecko.

Mediterranean House Gecko Breeding

Mediterranean geckos reach puberty at the age of 5 – 6 months and will reproduce all year round. The male will approach the female and touch her with his snout or bite her neck. There may also be some vocalization before and after mating.

Female Mediterranean geckos can lay multiple clutches each summer. There are 2 eggs in a clutch, and they dig holes to lay eggs. Most of the eggs will hatch in 45 to 60 days. To restore her strength, the female gecko takes a break from breeding for 1 – 2 months.

To breed female geckos, you should provide calcium supplements to provide for the calcium that is being expended in developing eggs.

Mediterranean House Geckos Health Issues

Some of the most common health concerns in Mediterranean house geckos are discussed below.

  • Impaction can occur due to indigestion. The most common source is a substrate like sand. It can be fatal if untreated but is easily avoided by feeding an insect-only diet and using safe substrates.
  • Respiratory infections can sometimes occur because of temperature or humidity in their tank. Symptoms include lethargy, loss of appetite, or open-mouth breathing.
  • Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD): Primarily, in MBD, calcium metabolism is disrupted, causing a host of problems. The signs and symptoms include soft jawbone, deformed arms, curved limbs, lethargy, and lack of appetite, to name a few. To avoid this disease in your gecko, make sure to give them calcium supplements in their diet.
  • Parasites can infect your Mediterranean house gecko through contact with bad food and contaminated food, and your gecko will experience lethargy and vomiting.

Some other signs of the sickness include gecko drooping its head or mouth, visible lumps or swelling, loss of appetite, or discharge from mouth or nose. If you observe these signs in your gecko, you should get your gecko examined.

Some other signs of the sickness include gecko drooping its head or mouth, visible lumps or swelling, loss of appetite, or discharge from mouth or nose. If you observe these signs in your gecko, you should get your gecko examined.

Are Mediterranean House Geckos Good Pets?

To answer this question, we would like to present some of the pros and cons of keeping Mediterranean House gecko as a pet:

Pros

  • This species is tiny and cute, which will always make your heart flutter
  • They are hardy and do not suffer from many health issues
  • They are easy-to-care-for
  • Inexpensive—their costs range from $5 – $20
  • Cons

  • They move fast so they can easily escape in a blink of an eye
  • Their droppings can stain fabrics
  • They are easily stressed, so they must be handled very carefully
  • Over-stressed gecko may bite the handler
  • After analyzing these pros and cons, it can be said that Mediterranean geckos make good pets because of their adaptable nature, which makes them hardy and a good choice for beginner reptile keepers. They have a sweet and docile temperament. The “house” part in the name suggests that they can easily adapt to man-made habitats.

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