Leachianus gecko, Rhacodactylus leachianus

Leachianus are the worlds largest gecko and make great, docile pets

At a glance...
  • Leachianus geckos are the largest gecko in the world
  • Make a highly interesting and rewarding pet
  • Perfect candidates for a large display enclosure
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Do Leachianus geckos make good pets?

Leachianus geckos, affectionately referred to as Leachies, are the largest gecko species in the world, and originate from New Caledonia, just like Crested geckos. Despite their large size, they are usually quite docile and will tolerate handling, although they do require a bit of taming to get to this point and younger individuals are often jumpy.

Leachies are highly territorial and should not be kept with other individuals, although if you do have more than one Leachianus gecko (in separate enclosures), you may well hear them communicating during their nighttime waking hours. At Swell Reptiles, our Leachies are all captive bred in the UK, causing minimal impact to the environment and reducing the risk of health issues.

What size enclosure does a Leachie need?

Wooden vivariums should be avoided for Leachianus geckos, as they have high humidity requirements so the wood is likely to warp and swell over time in the consistent moisture. Glass or PVC enclosures tend to work best as they hold humidity well, and do not run the risk of becoming water damaged.

Due to their large size and arboreal habits, Leachianus geckos should be provided with a large, tall enclosure. We recommend a minimum adult enclosure size of 90 x 45 x 90cm (36 x 18 x 36”), so the Exo Terra Paludarium Lge/X-Tall 90x45x90cm is great, although if you have the space to go larger, your Leachie will certainly thank you.

Do Leachianus geckos need to be heated?

Leachies should be heated from above, to provide them with a thermogradient that runs from warm near the top to cool near the bottom. This will ensure they are able to properly regulate their own body temperature, so that they can properly digest their food and remain healthy. The ideal basking temperature for a Leachianus gecko is 28°C (82°F), dropping down to around 20-25°C (68-77°F).

This should be done using either a basking lamp or a ceramic heater suspended over the mesh top of the terrarium. It is important that whichever you choose, you hook the heating equipment up to the compatible thermostat. For a basking lamp, a dimming thermostat is required, whereas for a ceramic heater, you will require a pulse thermostat.

Do Leachies need UV?

Despite not being very active during the day, Leachianus geckos would still be exposed to sunlight in nature, and should be provided with a low-level UVB in captivity, giving them a UVI between 2-3. This will allow them to metabolise vitamin D3, which in turn enables them to properly utilise the calcium provided in their diet and prevent health conditions such as metabolic bone disease which can prove fatal.

The percentage of UVB required depends on the distance between the Leachies highest basking point and the light fixture itself. You can use a Solarmeter to test different percentages in your set-up, or you can follow a general rule of thumb. If the distance between the highest basking point and the light will be between 25-40cm (10-15”), an Arcadia ShadeDweller ProT5 Kit will give you this UVI, whereas if the distance will be between 40-45cm (15-18”), you would be better with an Arcadia ProT5 Kit - Forest 6%.

How do I decorate a Leachianus gecko’s vivarium?

When decorating your Leachies enclosure you start with two options, bioactive, or non-bioactive. If you want to add live plants and build a bioactive enclosure, your foundations will come in the form of a drainage layer of Hydro rocks, topped with a layer of Hydro Matting, with a good quality planting substrate such as Arcadia EarthMix or ProRep Bio Life Forest.

If you do not want to go bioactive, a deep layer of any soil-based moisture retaining substrate such as coco soil, or other rainforest mixes will do the job. Plenty of cover should then be provided in all areas of the enclosure using artificial plants (this will be provided by the live plants in a bioactive set-up). You then need to add branches and vines, to enable your Leachianus gecko to utilise all of the vertical space in the terrarium.

Leachies will often not drink from standing water, rather they prefer to drink the water that collects on plant leaves, or moving water from a small stream. This gives you the opportunity to add a decorative reptile waterfall that will also be functional, but you can just use a regular handheld spray bottle, a rain system or a dripper to provide hydration if a waterfall is not your thing.

What do Leachianus geckos eat?

Leachies are omnivorous, so should be fed a mixed diet of complete gecko formula, livefood and fruits. The formula should be specific to omnivorous geckos and be highly nutritious, with good examples being Pangea and Repashy.

Along with this, your Leachianus gecko should be offered livefoods such as crickets, locusts and cockroaches on a regular basis. Other livefoods such as waxworms or grubs can also be offered occasionally, but these examples are quite fatty so should be fed in moderation.

All livefood and some formulated diets (depending on their ingredients) offered to a Leachie should be supplemented to ensure they get all of the nutrients they require to be healthy. The most reputable, complete diets do not require supplementation, but some do.

For your supplementation cycle we recommend using 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 Leachianus gecko?

To ensure that all of our livestock only goes to suitable homes, they must be collected from our physical superstore, where we will ask you a few quick questions and also to see some images of a suitable set-up, already with the right temperature and humidity requirements and with adequate lighting.

If you would like to purchase one of our UK captive bred Leachianus geckos, then please come in and see us, bringing your photos. We reserve the right to refuse adoption to anyone we feel is unprepared to adopt.

For more detailed husbandry information, please see our dedicated Leachianus Gecko Care Sheet.

Common names Leachianus gecko, Leachie
Scientific name Rhacodactylus leachianus
Country New Caledonia
Captive-bred Yes
Adult size 38cm (15”)
Natural habitat Forest habitats favouring dense vegetation
Housing 90 x 45 x 90cm (36 x 18 x 36”)
Ideal temperature 28°C (82°F) (warm end); 20-25°C (68-77°F) (cool end)
UVI 2-3
Ideal humidity 60-80%
Diet Omnivorous
Average lifespan 15-20 years
Personality Docile, can be a little jumpy
Ease of handling Easy
Cohabitable No
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  1. Leachianus gecko, Rhacodactylus leachianus, care sheet
    Categories: Care sheetsLizards

    Leachianus gecko, Rhacodactylus leachianus, care sheet

    Leachianus gecko, Rhacodactylus leachianus, husbandry guide from the experts at Swell Reptiles, covering housing, heating, lighting and more.