Viper Gecko

Hemidactylus imbricatus

Viper geckos are mainly found in and around pakistan. They are most known for their cat-like eyes that seem quite large for such a tiny gecko. These glorious geckos can be kept in small groups of around 2-3 in the size housing recommended below, or just the one if you’d prefer. They are a very small secretive gecko but will come out to do some natural basking and exploring.


They are classed as crepuscular which means they are most active at dawn and dusk and this is the time they are most likely to come out and hunt for their food. Being crepuscular also means they will cryptic bask in the sunlight so just simply placing a toe out in the sun’s natural UV rays or even the tip of the tail to avoid the view of predators. 


If they are provided with a more natural enclosure they will use all of it to their full advantage creating their own burrows and digging away to make themselves at home. Although they do spend most of their time in burrows they do come out to hunt and explore so providing things for them to climb on will be great enrichment.


Their diet is broad, although they are insectivores. Anything that moves is fair game, although in captivity they are mostly fed on fruit flies, calci worms, crickets and locusts. Waxworms can be offered as a treat, but just like us they can get fixated on food that isn’t terribly good for them long term. Always use a good quality calcium and multivitamin/multimineral supplement to dust on to the bugs.


When it comes to housing, we suggest a minimal size of 86.5 x 49 x 50cm (36 x 18 x 18”) when using a wooden vivarium, as wood retains heat well and the extra space is needed to obtain a suitable temperature gradient. If using a glass terrarium, then 45 x 45 x 45cm (18 x 18 x 18”) is absolutely fine – both of these can be for up to 3 viper geckos. 


Viper geckos belong to Ferguson zone 1 on the Ferguson scale so should be provided with low levels of UVB exposure; this can be achieved with a range of UVB kits. UVB helps to provide them with natural vitamins such as D3 and calcium which is essential to maintaining a happy healthy gecko. 


Temperature in the basking spot should be 32ºC- 35ºC, dropping to 22ºC-25ºC at the cool end, and at night it should be between 18ºC and 20ºC. Night time heating may need to be provided if you have a particularly cold house.


A water bowl should be offered with fresh water daily, they don’t drink a huge amount and will most likely drink during the night. Cleaning your new pet out is essential to ensure nasty bacterias don’t grow inside the vivarium. We recommend doing a complete clean out every 6-8 weeks providing fresh substrate and giving all of the decor a good scrub down with a reptile safe disinfectant. In the periods between cleanouts regular spot cleans should be carried out to remove any fecal matter.

Animal Information

  • Scientific Name: Hemidactylus imbricatus (formerly Teratolepis fasciata)
  • Location: Pakistan
  • Habitat (wild): Arid woodland edge, scrub, rocky desert
  • Captive environment: Tropical desert vivarium
  • Preferred temperature range: Basking spot – 32ºc – 35ºc, Ambient – 28-30ºc, Cool end – 22-25ºc, Night – 18ºc  
  • Ferguson Zone: Zone 1
  • UVB Lighting: UVI of 0.7 to 1.1 for 12 -14 hours a day 
  • Substrate: soil/sand 
  • Lifespan: 10-15 years