Tie - coe – zoon
is the species
of Flying Gecko
the UK. They
average 8 inches
in total length.
browns to grays.
can be very
is wavy bands
of dark brown
a tan background.
A lighter tan
on some specimens.
A flap of skin
frills at the
sides of the
is an extraordinary
are hardy captives.
There are six species within the genus Ptychozoon
but only one other, P. lionotum is ever imported
and its care is identical to that described here.
from the Malayan Peninsula, through Sumatra and Java
to Borneo and adjacent islands. At one point in the
recent past it was said that nearly all the P. kuhli
exported to the US came from one region in central
Java. These animals were taken from plantations.
can fly have
the human imagination.
While true flight,
the ability to
self powered completely at will, is restricted to
birds, bats and insects, a few animals have perfected
the ability to glide impressive distances. We all
know about flying squirrels, and flying fish, but
few know about this remarkable gecko. Many geckos
have developed camouflage patterns, tail dropping
and superior climbing abilities as methods of self-preservation.
Geckos of the genus Ptychozoon have taken the art
of escape to the air. While roosting in trees a Ptychozoon
can leap and glide. Landing can be on a nearby tree
or they can parachute safely to the ground. Their
colors blend well with tree bark, enabling these
geckos to remain hidden upon landing. The gliding
flaps also break up the animal’s outline, to
aid in the blending.
Housing in Captivity:
can be an aquarium with a screen lid. The minimum
size should be a 90 litre, taller than wide aquarium
for a breeding pair or trio as these geckos are very
active. Screen cages work very well, provided care
is taken to ensure humidity levels are kept high
enough. Commercially manufactured plastic cages are
also good. The track channels for the sliding glass
can offer good hiding places for these geckos. You
will need to inspect these areas before opening the
Live plants help
and allow for
of cork bark glued to the back and side walls will
give adequate roosting sites and the geckos will
feel secure. Full spectrum lighting may be beneficial
as Ptychozoon kuhli rest during the day on the bark
in the open. In the wild they would receive some
direct sun and may benefit from the UVB exposure.
Sterile soil mixed with equal parts of peat moss
and sand makes a suitable substrate. Plants may be
directly placed in this soil mix. Pothos, Monstera,
small ferns and Sansevieria all make excellent additions.
Placing the terrarium in an area with adequate ventilation
is important, as in a “stagnant” humid
environment fungus and bacteria can proliferate.
Temperatures should be in the 27-30C range. during
the day with a night time drop to the low 20's C.
Misting the plant leaves and terrarium sides in the
evenings will provide water for drinking and for
Food and Feeding:
and will accept
and other suitably
insects. Sufficient quantities that can be eaten
speedily can be let loose in the tank to be hunted
down. Dusting the insects with a proprietary calcium/vitamin
mixture is recommended. Fruit baby food will also
Imports are frequently
red mites. The
skin flaps that
make this gecko
unique also allows mites to congregate in large numbers.
When inspecting a prospective purchase, carefully
lift all flaps of skin looking for tiny red specks.
These mites must be removed before introduction to
a terrarium. They can be safely removed using a cotton
swab dipped in vegetable oil dabbed directly onto
the mite. This suffocates the mite, allowing them
to be wiped off easily. Soapy warm water can be used
to wash away any oil residue. Quarantine all geckos
for several weeks to watch for fresh outbreaks. Small
mites can be missed and several may use the ear opening
as a hiding place. When handling for inspection and
for mite removal be very careful, as these small
geckos can be easily injured. Hold gently, but firmly,
as they will readily bite when handled. The bites
are inconsequential and rarely break the skin.
Other things to look for in imported animals are
injuries, such as to the mouth area and also respiratory
infections. A fecal examination by a vet is recommended
as internal parasites are common. Proper treatment
to counter these can be the key to acclimating imports
to captivity. Regrown tails are common with wild
caught animals. The re-grown tail will have a continuous
flap around the entire re-growth, rather than the
small, serrated flaps of the original tail. A re-grown
tail is reminiscent of a Uroplatus tail, resembling
a slender leaf.
only occur when
It is common
for these geckos
to lay eggs when newly imported, but to stop breeding
soon afterwards. Breeding can be stimulated by removing
the male from the group and reintroducing him several
days later. Eggs are usually glued to the terrarium
walls under shelter. Beneath a cluster of leaf cover
is a common site, as is under cork bark.
Incubation time can range from 60-120 days. Hatchlings
are perfect replicas of the adults and should be
reared individually in a small terrarium. Plastic
gallon jars modified with screen lids work well.
In each jar place a substrate of soil with a small
Pothos sprig and a piece of cork bark angled at 90
degrees. Juveniles can be kept this way until they
can be sexed. These geckos mature at about one year
of age and males can be identified by the presence
of a hemipenal bulge at the tail base and the enlarged
femoral pores. Only keep one male per terrarium,
as they will fight.
2 – Some Previous Gecko-Keeping Experience
Ferner, J.W. & A.C. Diesmos. 1997.
Definition of the Philippine Parachute Gecko, Ptychozoon
intermedium Taylor 1915 (Reptilia: Squamata: Gekkonidae):
Redescription, Designation of a Neotype, and Comparisons
with Related Species. Herpetologica, 53(3), 1997,
Coborn, J. 1995. Breeding and Keeping Geckos. T.F.H.
Publications, Neptune City, NJ, USA