African Fat Tailed Gecko

Hemitheconyx caudicinctus

African Fat Tailed Gecko Care

The African Fat Tailed gecko (Hemitheconyx caudicinctus) is a medium sized terrestrial gecko found across West Africa, from Senegal to Cameroon. Their colouration reflects their savannah and forest edge homes; they are light brown to tan, banded with dark brown with a lovely velvety sheen to their skin. Some individuals have a thin white line that runs from between their large, dark eyes to the end of their tail. Popular within the pet trade, there are now several variations available including hypo, albino, and patternless.


They are renowned for their calm, even temperaments, and their willingness to be handled. They do make an excellent pet, and are easy to care for well. Males can reach up to 20cm, with females being slightly smaller, with a more slender head and less obvious femoral and pre-anal pores. Like their cousins the leopard gecko, they have true eyelids and can blink to keep their eyes hydrated – they don’t have to lick them like many other gecko species!



The ideal humidity for an African fat-tailed gecko depends on creating a balance between a wet season and a dry season within their habitat. Here are the recommended humidity levels:

  1. Wet Season (April-October):
    • Daytime: Maintain humidity at 70-80%.
    • Nighttime: Keep humidity around 100%.
  2. Dry Season (November-March):
    • Daytime: Aim for 50% humidity.
    • Nighttime: Maintain humidity between 70-75%.

To achieve these levels, consider using the right substrate and providing hiding places with damp substrate. Ensuring proper humidity is crucial for the health and well-being of your African fat-tailed gecko


Daytime Temperature: Maintain a warm side of the enclosure at 26-32°C. This gradient allows your gecko to find the temperature it wants in side the terrarium, ensuring it stays content and active.

Nighttime Temperature: Allow the temperature to drop slightly during the night. Aim for around 21.1-25°C

Temperatures can be maintained with the use of a deep heat projector  or a basking spot connected to a suitable thermostat. A good quality digital thermometer is a must, ideally you will check the temperature everyday.


Often described as nocturnal, like many other geckos the fat tail is crepuscular – active at dawn and dusk. They are considered a Ferguson Zone 2 species, so a provide 1.1 to 3.0 UVI.  Any captive habitat must include an appropriate UVB light. UVB lighting allows the gecko to metabolise the calcium in their diet. Remember to replace UVB lamps Every 6-12 months. (depending on the type and quality of lamp).


 They are insectivorous, and will cheerfully consume any of the regularly available live foods of locusts, crickets, mealworms, waxworms, etc… All food should be gut loaded and dusted before it is offered to the gecko, and the larger variety you can offer the better. Like all lizards, they benefit from the use of a good multivitamin/multimineral supplement twice weekly, and a plain calcium supplement every day.


Generally they prefer to live alone, although if you want to keep more than one in a vivarium then you should aim for a group of one male to two or three females. A glass vivarium of 60 x 45 x 45cm is fine for a single animal, although bigger is always better. For a group, the minimum should be 90 x 45 x 45cm, with multiple basking spots and hiding places.


 These charming lizards have bags of personality and are easy to keep – what more could you ask for?

Leopard Gecko

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Animal Information

  • Common name: African Fat Tail
  • Scientific Name: Hemitheconyx caudicinctus
  • Location: West Africa
  • Habitat (wild): Dry savannah/woodland edge
  • Preferred temperature range: daytime hot spot of 32ºC under the basking light, background ambient of 30ºC, cool end of 25ºC. Temperature can drop to 20ºC at night.
  • Humidity: Wet Season (April-October):
    • Daytime: Maintain humidity at 70-80%.
    • Nighttime: Keep humidity around 100%.
  • Dry Season (November-March):
    • Daytime: Aim for 50% humidity.
    • Nighttime: Maintain humidity between 70-75%.
  • UVB Lighting: Provide a UVI of 1.1 to 3
  • Ferguson Zone: Zone 2
  • Substrate: Soil/coir based
  • Lifespan: 15 to 20 years