Genus Oedura (subfamily Diplodactylinae)
There are currently fifteen ( two recently discovered) moderately small to large recognized Oedura species in Australia. A dorsally depressed species, with moderately long, slender and round tails, uniform scales, smooth and velvety in texture hence commonly called Velvet Geckos. Their distribution widespread throughout Australia from coastal areas to the arid interior except for Tasmania and Victoria. Both arboreal and rock-inhabiting geckos, sheltering under loose bark or rock slabs. Often striking and distinctive they come in a stunning variety colours and patterns. Properly housed velvet geckos make great facinating and hardy pets.
An enclosure 450mm x 300mm x300mm is adequate for a pair/trio, although we provide 600mm in height, a glass,timber or plastic tank is suitable, holes and gaps must be very small to avoid ascapees. Good ventilation is necessary with plenty of hides 2-3 for each animal, bark, hollow logs upturned pot saucers are a must and plenty of branches to climb on. A good clean substrate is important sand, bark, peatmoss and paper are all OK, (we prefer sand for easy cleaning) must be cleaned weekly. Although Velvet Geckos are nocturnal it is important to provide a day/night cycle 12-14 hours daylight to 10-12 hours night, although they do not need a basking light. Being cold blooded they require a heat cord placed underneath one end of the enclosure or a small heatpad under 50% of floor set at 30 degrees at the hot endconected to a probe thermostat.
Velvet Geckos feed on live insects and other invertibrates. Crickets and Woodies are the bulk of the diet for our geckos with the occasional mealworm and the odd bug as a treat from our garden. As a nocturnal species they are fed at the beginning of their night cycle all food should be dusted with a Calcium supplement every second or third feed. Spray water onto cage furnishings twice weekly as Velvets prefer to lick water from surfaces, do not spray while feeding.
Velvet Geckos usually reach breeding age around 12 months some individuals may take up to 18-24 months. One male can be housed with 1-3 females, a winter cooling period of at least 2 months as part of their breeding cycle this is necessary for the production of viable sperm in males. Females on average have 3-4 clutches of 2 eggs per clutch each season. A small plastic container with a 30mm hole cut in the lid, filled with moist sphagnum moss or sand for a nest box will need to be placed in the cage for egg deposition after mating. After eggs have been laid mark top of egg with texta being careful not to rotate eggs place in moist vermiculate mixture with mark to top as they were laid, place lid with few small holes on container and incubate. Incubation temperature of 27-28 degrees, incubation time should take 65 - 70 days as per most gecko's, but slight variations occur with different species. Hatchlings housed in a same setup, but much smaller in size to adults, feeding usually commences two or three days after hatching, we feed crickets to hatchies as their quick movement excites them into feeding, woodies are not as good as they tend not to move around as much.
Some may disagree with the information provided in this care sheet, but the information provided are the methods we have employed to successfully hatch, raise, and maintain Velvet geckos. Thank you for taking the time to read this care sheet and hope that it has been of some benefit.