When I was asked to write a new contribution for the most underrated gecko series I did not
hesitate and said yes. I almost directly thought to write one about Geckonia/Tarentola chaziliae for sure a very underrated gecko!
I still remember the first time I saw them. It was in a reptile zoo at the Belgian coast (Serpentarium Blankenberge). They had a temporary special exhibit dedicated to gecko sp. In one of these enclosures I saw a small(4cm) gecko sitting in a corner. It looked kind of strange with the helmet shaped head, plump body and thin legs. I read the sign and it said helmet gecko. At that time I didn't keep any reptiles yet so they slipped my mind. A few years later that changed and I became a gecko addict.
On my ocasional visits to a reptile importer (I bought my crickets there) the owner said he had something that I would be interested in for sure. I was a bit sceptical at first because most salesmen tell you this ;). But this time he wasn't kidding. He showed me and enclosure filled with over 100 small gecko's. I emidiately recognized them as the gecko I saw al those years ago: Geckonia chazilae. I also noticed that the animals had al kinds of pattern: striped, patternless, blotched or an combination of blotches and stripes. I did not hesitate and took 1.3 home.
This was a decission that I never regretted as they are just great little gecko's. They are ,as I already said, not too big so don't need a big enclosure and what they lack in colours they compensate with having such a great personality. They are not shy at all and you will see them basking or just sleeping even during daytime.
After a year or so they were adult and they started breeding. Tey really breed like rabbits and I got over 50 hatchlings in 1 year. The fun thing about them is you can leave the eggs with the parents and just take out the hatchlings when hatched. The key to breed the succesfully is Uv light and lots of food.
At the moment I don't keep them anymore as I switched over to Australian gecko's, but I will keep them again in the future for sure! Unfortunately they are slowly disapearing from the hobby again as not manny people manage to breed them. If you see them buy them and give them a chance. You won't be dissapointed and maybe it won't be an Underrated gecko anymore!
Rob D’heu- Rdgeckos.be
all photos by the author