Mediterranean Gecko Housing and Care

Essentials of Mediterranean Gecko Housing and Care

The Mediterranean Gecko, known for its charming appearance and unique characteristics, is a delightful addition to any reptile enthusiast’s collection. Native to the Mediterranean region, these geckos have become popular pets due to their manageable size, relatively simple care requirements, and engaging behavior. This comprehensive guide will walk you through everything you need to know about housing and caring for a Mediterranean Gecko, ensuring your pet lives a healthy and happy life.

Understanding the Mediterranean Gecko

Before diving into the specifics of housing and care, it’s essential to understand the nature and needs of Mediterranean Geckos. These small lizards are typically nocturnal, meaning they are most active during the night. They are insectivorous, feeding primarily on a diet of insects. Their natural habitat ranges from rocky outcrops to urban areas, indicating their adaptability and resilience.

Setting Up the Perfect Habitat

1. Choosing the Right Enclosure

Selecting the appropriate enclosure is crucial for the well-being of your Mediterranean Gecko. An ideal tank should be spacious enough to allow your gecko to move around freely. A 10-gallon tank is suitable for a single gecko, but a larger tank is always better to provide more room for enrichment and exploration.

2. Substrate Selection

The substrate is the material that lines the bottom of the tank. For Mediterranean Geckos, substrates like reptile carpets, paper towels, or coconut fiber are excellent choices. These options are easy to clean and reduce the risk of impaction, a condition where geckos ingest substrate material, leading to digestive blockages.

3. Temperature and Humidity

Maintaining the correct temperature and humidity levels is vital for the health of your gecko. Mediterranean Geckos thrive in temperatures between 75°F and 85°F during the day, with a slight drop at night. A heat source, such as an under-tank heater or a heat lamp, can help maintain these temperatures. Humidity levels should be kept between 40% and 60%. Using a hygrometer to monitor humidity levels and misting the tank occasionally will help achieve this balance.

4. Lighting Requirements

While Mediterranean Geckos are nocturnal and do not require UVB lighting as some reptiles do, providing a day-night cycle is still beneficial. Use a low-wattage bulb to mimic natural light cycles, ensuring the gecko has a regular day and night pattern.

5. Hides and Climbing Structures

Geckos need places to hide and feel secure. Provide at least two hides: one on the warm side and one on the cooler side of the tank. Additionally, include climbing structures such as branches, rocks, and artificial plants to encourage natural behavior and exercise.

Feeding Your Mediterranean Gecko

1. Diet

Mediterranean Geckos are insectivores, thriving on a diet of live insects. Common choices include crickets, mealworms, and dubia roaches. Ensure the insects are appropriately sized for your gecko – generally, the prey should be no larger than the space between the gecko’s eyes.

2. Supplementation

To prevent nutritional deficiencies, dust the insects with a calcium supplement every feeding and a multivitamin supplement once or twice a week. This practice ensures your gecko receives essential nutrients for bone health and overall well-being.

3. Feeding Schedule

Young geckos should be fed daily, while adults can be fed every other day. Always remove any uneaten insects from the enclosure to prevent them from bothering or potentially injuring your gecko.

Water and Hydration

Provide a shallow water dish in the enclosure at all times. Ensure the water is clean and changed daily. Misting the enclosure lightly a few times a week can also help maintain proper humidity levels and provide additional hydration for your gecko.

Handling and Interaction

1. Building Trust

Mediterranean Geckos can be skittish, especially when first introduced to a new environment. Begin handling them slowly and gently, allowing them to become accustomed to your presence. Start with short handling sessions and gradually increase the duration as the gecko becomes more comfortable.

2. Safe Handling Techniques

Always handle your gecko with care. Support its body and avoid grabbing it by the tail, as geckos can drop their tails as a defense mechanism. While the tail will regrow, it’s a stressful experience for the gecko.

Health and Wellness

1. Regular Check-ups

Monitor your gecko for signs of good health, such as clear eyes, a healthy appetite, and regular shedding. Schedule annual veterinary check-ups with a reptile veterinarian to ensure your gecko remains in optimal health.

2. Common Health Issues

Be aware of common health issues such as metabolic bone disease, respiratory infections, and parasites. See veterinary care promptly if you notice any signs of illness, such as lethargy, weight loss, or unusual feces.

Cleaning and Maintenance

1. Routine Cleaning

Regular cleaning of the enclosure is essential to prevent the build-up of harmful bacteria and parasites. Spot clean daily by removing feces and uneaten food. Perform a more thorough cleaning of the entire tank, including substrate replacement and disinfection, at least once a month.

2. Safe Cleaning Products

When cleaning the tank, use reptile-safe disinfectants or a diluted bleach solution (1 part bleach to 10 parts water). Ensure the tank is thoroughly rinsed and dried before reintroducing your gecko to avoid any harmful chemical exposure.

Breeding Mediterranean Geckos

1. Breeding Environment

To breed Mediterranean Geckos, set up a separate breeding tank with optimal conditions. Ensure both males and females are healthy and of breeding age (typically around one year old).

2. Egg Laying and Incubation

Provide a moist laying box filled with a substrate like vermiculite for the female to lay her eggs. Once the eggs are laid, carefully transfer them to an incubator set to a temperature of around 80°F. Incubation typically takes 45-60 days.

3. Caring for Hatchlings

Hatchlings can be kept in a small, separate enclosure with similar conditions to adults. Feed them appropriately sized insects and ensure they have access to clean water and proper humidity levels.


Caring for a Mediterranean Gecko can be a rewarding experience for reptile enthusiasts of all levels. By providing the right environment, diet, and care, you can ensure your gecko lives a healthy and fulfilling life. Regular monitoring and maintenance, combined with a little patience and love, will go a long way in building a strong bond with your scaly friend.

Additional Tips for a Happy Gecko

  • Environmental Enrichment: Rotate climbing structures and hides regularly to keep your gecko stimulated and engaged.
  • Hydration: Offer occasional fruit purees or commercial gecko hydration products to provide variety in hydration sources.
  • Observation: Spend time observing your gecko’s behavior to better understand its needs and preferences.

By following this comprehensive guide, you can confidently provide a safe and nurturing environment for your Mediterranean Gecko, ensuring a happy and healthy life for your pet.


1. What size tank is suitable for a Mediterranean Gecko?

A 10-gallon tank is typically sufficient for one Mediterranean Gecko. For multiple geckos, increase the size accordingly to provide enough space for each gecko to have its territory.

2. What type of substrate should I use?

Use a substrate that retains moisture and allows for burrowing, such as a mixture of sand and soil or coconut fiber. Avoid using loose substrates like pure sand, as they can cause impaction if ingested.

3. What temperature and humidity levels are required?

Maintain a temperature gradient of 75-85°F (24-29°C) during the day, with a basking spot around 90°F (32°C). At night, temperatures can drop to 65-70°F (18-21°C). Humidity should be kept between 40-60%.

4. Do Mediterranean Geckos need UVB lighting?

While not strictly necessary, providing UVB lighting can benefit your gecko’s overall health by aiding in calcium absorption and promoting natural behaviors.

5. What should I feed my Mediterranean Gecko?

Offer a diet primarily consisting of small insects such as crickets, mealworms, and waxworms. Ensure the insects are appropriately sized and gut-loaded with nutritious foods before feeding.

6. How often should I feed my gecko?

Young geckos should be fed daily, while adults can be fed every other day. Always remove uneaten food to prevent spoilage and maintain cleanliness.

7. How can I provide water for my gecko?

Provide a shallow water dish that is refreshed daily. Additionally, misting the enclosure lightly a few times a week can help maintain proper humidity levels.

8. What type of enclosure setup is ideal?

Include hiding spots, climbing branches, and rocks to create a naturalistic environment. Ensure there are multiple hiding places at different temperature zones within the enclosure.

9. How often should I clean the tank?

Spot clean daily to remove waste and uneaten food. Perform a more thorough cleaning of the tank and replace the substrate every 4-6 weeks.

10. Can I handle my Mediterranean Gecko?

Mediterranean Geckos can be handled, but it’s important to be gentle and avoid stressing the animal. Limit handling sessions to a few minutes and avoid handling newly acquired or young geckos until they have acclimated to their environment.

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