Hainan cave gecko, Goniurosaurus hainanensis

Hainan cave geckos are small, unique and make great pets

At a glance...
  • Hainan cave geckos are an interesting alternative species
  • Unique looking geckos that make rewarding pets
  • Can be a little skittish but will usually tolerate handling
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Do Hainan cave geckos make good pets?

Hainan cave geckos are a terrestrial gecko species endemic to China, specifically the islands of Cat Ba and Hainan. They are similar in looks and size to the more common Leopard gecko, but have black bodies with yellow bands and dark red/burgundy eyes making them a really interesting alternative to this usual hobbyists favourite.

At Swell Reptiles, all of the Hainan cave geckos for sale were captive bred in the UK, meaning you can rest assured your new gecko came from a reliable source, with minimal negative impacts on the environment.

What size enclosure does a Hainan cave gecko need?

Although they are nocturnal and unlikely to be very active during the day, your Hainan cave gecko should still be provided with plenty of space for them to come and explore during their nighttime waking hours. They only require relatively cool temperatures compared with most reptiles, so wood, PVC or glass enclosures are all suitable.

We recommend a minimum enclosure size of 90 x 60 x 60cm (3 x 2 x 2ft) for Hainan cave geckos, which makes wooden vivariums a great option, alternatively, the Exo Terra Glass Terrarium 90x45x45cm is also not a bad choice.

Do Hainan cave geckos need to be heated?

In extremely warm homes or during the summer months, your Hainan cave gecko may not need an additional heat source, but it is always worth having one hooked up to a thermostat that will monitor the temperatures and switch off the heating equipment if it is not needed, whilst keeping it on to maintain the set temperature if required.

The required warm end or basking temperature for Hainan cave geckos is 26°C (79°F), with the cool end dropping to 20-22°C (68-71°F). The basking temperature should be achieved using an overhead heating system such as a basking lamp or ceramic heater, set to 26°C/79°F on the relevant thermostat, so a dimming thermostat for a basking lamp or pulse thermostat for a ceramic heater.

Do Hainan cave geckos need UV?

Despite their nocturnal habits, Hainan cave geckos would still often be exposed to sunlight in nature and can benefit significantly from this, as it will assist them in metabolising vitamin D3 and properly utilising the calcium provided in their diet. They are best kept with a UVI between 1-2, which can be achieved using an Arcadia ShadeDweller ProT5 Kit placed 25-40cm (10-15”) above the basking area, or an Arcadia ProT5 Kit - Forest 6% if this distance will be between 40-45cm (15-18”).

How do I decorate a Hainan cave gecko’s vivarium?

The first thing to consider when decorating a Hainan cave geckos enclosure is the substrate, we recommend using a soil mix here to help keep the humidity at a suitable level. Something like coco soil is a great option, or if you want to add live plants, a more textured and less dense planting substrate such as ProRep Bio Life Forest or Arcadia EarthMix will be better.

Hainan cave geckos are often found in rock crevices and caves, so to provide adequate enrichment and security, their captive environments should replicate this as closely as possible. Lots of cover in the form of rocks, logs, cork bark and hiding caves should be provided, along with the cover from foliage such as real or artificial plants.

What do Hainan cave geckos eat?

Hainan cave geckos are insectivorous, and should be fed on a varied diet of livefoods such as crickets, locusts, cockroaches and so on. All livefood should be supplemented according to a feeding schedule to ensure all of the required nutrients are provided. For this we recommend a calcium-rich multivitamin on every feed, such as Arcadia EarthPro-A, a calcium plus magnesium supplement on every fourth feed, such as Arcadia CalciumPro Mg and finally, a vitamin D3 supplement on every eighth feed such as Arcadia EarthPro RevitaliseD3.

How do I buy a Hainan cave gecko?

To ensure any livestock sold by us only goes to the best homes possible, we will be required to perform a short interview and also to see some images of a suitable set-up that is completely ready for the animal to go into.

We do not ship livestock, so if you would like to purchase one of our UK captive bred Hainan cave geckos, please come in and see us, bringing your photos along with you. We reserve the right to refuse adoption to anyone we feel is unprepared to adopt.

For more detailed husbandry information, please refer to our dedicated Hainan Cave Gecko Care Sheet. However, if you're looking for an alternative to the Hainan Cave Gecko, you can check out our Chinese water dragon care sheet.

Common names Hainan cave gecko, Chinese cave gecko
Scientific name Goniurosaurus hainanensis
Country China
Captive-bred Yes
Adult size 20cm (8")
Natural habitat Terrestrial rock crevices
Housing 90 x 60 x 60cm (3 x 2 x 2ft)
Ideal temperature 26°C (78°F) (warm end); 20°C (68°F) (cool end)
UVI 1-2
Ideal humidity 60-70%
Diet Insectivorous
Average lifespan 10-15 years
Personality Skittish
Ease of handling Easy
Cohabitable No
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  1. Hainan cave gecko, Goniurosaurus hainanensis, care sheet
    Categories: Care sheetsLizards

    Hainan cave gecko, Goniurosaurus hainanensis, care sheet

    Hainan cave gecko, Goniurosaurus hainanensis, husbandry guide from the experts at Swell Reptiles, covering housing, heating, lighting and more.