gecko-care

Sarasinorum Gecko Care Sheet

July 08, 2021

correlophus sarasinorum

Sarasinorum geckos (Correlophus sarasinorum) are 12-16” long, nocturnal, arboreal lizards native to the southern forests of Grande Terre. This area has a mild, tropical climate, and the geckos spend most of their lives in the trees.

Sarasinorum geckos have a large triangular head, sticky toe pads, a muscular prehensile tail, and velvety smooth skin. Coloring is generally flat to mottled brown, although some individuals have white spots/blotches and a pointed “collar” marking behind the head.

Sarasinorum geckos are hardy and easy to care for, although they don’t tolerate handling as well as more popular New Caledonian species. With good care, they can be expected to live up to 20+ years.

Minimum terrarium size for sarasinorum geckos

As a rather large gecko, the minimum terrarium size for housing a single sarasinorum gecko is 24”L x 24”W x 48”H. Of course, larger is always better!

Housing multiple sarasinorum geckos in the same terrarium is not recommended, and may result in tragedy if attempted.

Do sarasinorum geckos need UVB?

Technically they can survive without it, but we still recommend providing appropriate UVB lighting for sarasinorum geckos. UVB lighting helps provide a clear day/night cycle, provides all of the vitamin D that your pet needs, strengthens the immune system, facilitates better digestion, and other benefits. 

The best UVB bulbs for sarasinorum geckos housed in an 24” x 24” x 48” terrarium are:

  • Zoo Med T8 ReptiSun 10.0, 24”
  • Zoo Med T5 HO Reptisun 5.0, 22”
  • Arcadia T5 HO Forest 6%, 22”

For best results, house the UVB bulbs in a reflective fixture by Arcadia or Vivarium Electronics. Position the lamp on the same side of the terrarium as the heat lamp. UVB is blocked by glass and plastic, so placing the terrarium in front of a window doesn’t count as “free UVB” — in fact it can make your terrarium too hot due to the greenhouse effect. Don’t forget to replace your bulb every 12 months!

Lights should be on for 11 hours/day during winter and 13.5 hours/day during summer to simulate seasonal changes in day length. All lamps should be turned off at night.

Best temperature for sarasinorum geckos

Despite the popular myth that sarasinorum geckos do best at room temperature, they do benefit from having a low-temperature basking area. After all, they’re still reptiles, and that means they need a range of temperatures in their enclosure that allow them to thermoregulate.

Sarasinorum geckos should have a moderate basking temperature around 88°F, as measured by a digital probe thermometer with the probe positioned in the basking area. The cool zone of the enclosure should stay between 70-80°F, and nighttime temps can drop as low as 65°F.

Provide heat for your gecko with a couple of low-wattage incandescent bulbs in a dual dome fixture. White heat bulbs are the best way to imitate the warmth of sunlight indoors, and considered to be a superior form of reptile heating by experts. Do not use ceramic heat emitters (CHEs), red bulbs, or blue bulbs, as these are not as effective. 

Best humidity levels for sarasinorum geckos

Sarasinorum geckos are a tropical species, so the humidity inside their enclosure should be fairly high: 60-80%. Humidity should be measured via digital probe hygrometer, with the probe placed in the middle of the terrarium.

Increase humidity by misting your gecko’s enclosure 1-2x/day with a spray bottle. Mist first thing in the morning and then again at night if needed. Aside from raising humidity, this also provides your gecko with an important source of drinking water!

Best substrate for sarasinorum geckos

Providing a layer of naturalistic substrate (“bedding”) will help maintain correct humidity levels and also helps make your enclosure more attractive! We recommend the following substrates for sarasinorum geckos:

Layering clean, chemical-free leaf litter on top of the substrate can also help with humidity.

Substrate should be at least 2” deep and completely replaced every 3-4 months. Remove poop and urates daily, along with contaminated substrate.

How to decorate a sarasinorum gecko terrarium

An empty terrarium makes for a bored gecko, reducing its quality of life. Keep your pet entertained and engaged with its environment with the strategic use of décor items that encourage it to exercise natural behaviors!

Since sarasinorum geckos are strictly arboreal, at bare minimum you will need a branch for your gecko to bask on and some live or artificial foliage for it to hide in. However, it’s best to include other items, such as:

What to feed to a sarasinorum gecko

Sarasinorum geckos are omnivores, which means that they need to eat both plant- and animal-based foods to get the right nutrition. In the wild, they primarily eat insects and fruit. As pets, it’s best to feed them high-quality, specially-formulated crested gecko diet (CGD) supplemented by live insect feeders.

How often sarasinorum geckos need to eat depends on age:

  • Hatchlings and Juveniles (0-12 months) — CGD daily, insects 1-2x/week
  • Adults (>12 months) — CGD every 2-3 days, insects 1x/week

Best crested gecko diets: Pangea, Repashy, Leapin’ Leachie, Zoo Med, Lugarti, Black Panther Zoological, Gecko Pro

Feeder insects for sarasinorum geckos: dubia roaches, discoid roaches, crickets, hornworms, silkworms, darkling beetles

The key to balanced nutrition is variety, so make sure to offer a rotation of as many different foods as possible.

Supplements

You will also need a calcium supplement. We recommend Repashy Supercal NoD, lightly dusted on all feeder insects. It’s okay to occasionally skip a dusting.

Water

Of course, don’t forget small food and water bowls and a feeding ledge! Since sarasinorum geckos are arboreal, they prefer to eat and drink up off the ground. Change the water daily and scrub the bowl with a reptile-safe disinfectant weekly, or whenever it becomes soiled.

How to handle your sarasinorum gecko

Reptiles generally don’t appreciate petting and handling in the same way that dogs and cats do. That being said, sarasinorum geckos don’t usually tolerate handling well unless you put in the effort to tame them and help them be comfortable around you. 

Here are some tips for success:

  • Bribe them with food.
  • Don’t grab the gecko from above. Instead, scoop from below.
  • Support its entire body and all four feet.
  • Start with short handling sessions at first, then gradually make them longer.
  • Put the gecko back in its enclosure only when it’s calm.

Your gecko may be a bit jumpy at first, so let it hop from one hand to the other until it has calmed down. Stay close to the ground, and pay attention — these geckos can be quite fast when they want to be!


*This care sheet contains only very basic information. Although it’s a good introduction, please further your research with high-quality sources. The more you know, the better you will be able to care for your pet!


Photo 40424064” by Lennart Hudel is marked with CC BY-NC 4.0.


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