Slow, silent and stealthy, it makes its way through the jungle leaves along the branches. Large black eyes pierce through the darkness of the night. It's long slinky body almost invisible as retractable claws grip the bark of the tree. Its tails wisps slowly back and forth as it hunts its prey. Suddenly it stops, motionless, like a statue. Muscles tense, and then it pounces, grabs, and devours its meal. A panther? A leopard? No...it's Aeluroscalabotes felinus!!! The Malaysian Cat Gecko. And this is what I love about the species...a mini panther in the form of a gecko.
Not so many years ago, this species was considered nearly impossible to keep in captivity due to the poor quality of imports and the lack of knowledge of the species in general. This is a big part of why it is so underrated. However, due to the dedication of a few hobbyists, in fairly recent years many of the mysteries of keeping and breeding this species have come to light. The quality of the imports also increased, and now, captive bred specimens are available at reasonable prices. While still not what I consider a "beginner" species, it makes for a great intermediate level captive when proper husbandry techniques are followed. Although shy, the natural behaviors of this animal are a joy to watch and they do particularly well in a naturalistic vivarium setting. And in my opinion, it's cat like motions, slinky body and tail, and beautiful coloration and patterns make it a "must have" gecko species.
Ethan M. Allen