Owning a gecko can be a lot of responsibility as they can live anywhere between 6 to 20+ years. Some owners would like to handle the gecko as much as possible, while others are more interested in simply observing it in its enclosure.
Today, we will talk about two geckos that are ideal for people that don’t necessarily want a gecko that loves being handles. The Tokay Gecko and the Giant Day Gecko are some of the most beautiful geckos in the world. One is active during the night and the other during the day. This will help you get the one that fits your daily schedule as well.
Tokay Gecko: A Tokay Gecko is often referred to as “The Devil’s Gecko” by owners that just don’t seem to get along with it. This is because while they are incredibly mesmerizing to observe, they can be very aggressive when you try to handle them. They can grow up to 16 inches long and live around 10 years, depending on how you take care of them. It’s the second-largest gecko in the world, it’s quite fast, and it can climb walls very easily as it’s an arboreal creature.
Giant Day Gecko: A Giant Day Gecko is easier to handle than a Tokay but you should never pick it up. You should only hold your palm open and let it come by itself. They grow up to 10 inches long and have a lifespan of around 15 years in captivity. You can find them in the wilderness in eastern Madagascar and they’re quite friendly if you take the time to form a bond with them. They’re terrestrial and they are very beautiful as well.
Tokay Gecko vs Giant Day Gecko – Which One Is The Better Pet?
Tokay Geckos are excellent for keepers that love challenging and active geckos. They are very territorial and their bite can be quite painful, even for an adult. But the reason why they are so popular is their extremely beautiful patterns. They are very colorful and can be found in a very wide range of morphs. These creatures are ideal if you’re looking for a pet you can look at but not touch. You won’t have to spend a lot of time taking care of them as they’re quite easy to maintain.
Giant Day Geckos are also great pets, especially if you have a packed daily schedule, and feeding a gecko at night is inconvenient. Males are known to be quite territorial as well, but they generally accept being handled. If you pick up a Giant Day Gecko, you will notice that its green skin remained on your hand. This is because it naturally lets the skin slough when it’s scratched so the predator will have a hard time catching it.
Temperament and Habits Comparison
Besides being known as feisty, these beautiful creatures are also solitary. They are best kept alone in an enclosure as they will start to pick a fight with any other gecko that’s inside their cage. You should be careful when you place a female inside the same vivarium as well. This is because Tokays only encounter the opposite sex when it’s time to breed. Otherwise, they will protect their territory and chase away or kill and intruders. This will lead to less competition for food.
Giant Day Geckos are diurnal, and unlike Tokays, they are both arboreal and terrestrial. They spend a lot of time both in treats and on the ground. These geckos are green with various red spots on their backs, this helps them camouflage from predators. They’re nowhere near as aggressive and dangerous as the Tokay. More than that, they accept being softly handled and they don’t bite. The right way to handle a Giant Day Gecko is by letting it walk in your palm and never touching its back skin.
Can Tokay Geckos and Giant Day Geckos live together?
A Tokay Gecko and a Giant Day Gecko should never be housed together, regardless if they’re males or females. This is because they will simply just not accept geckos from other species and it will always end in a very bloody fight. Since the Tokay Gecko is a lot more aggressive, it’s more likely for it to kill the Giant Day Gecko. Whatever you do, don’t place them in the same cage, even if it’s an emergency. By the time you come back, there will only be one gecko alive.
Tokay Geckos should be kept alone and you should keep a close eye on them even when you’re introducing them to a female Tokay. If they accept one another, you should make sure they’re always staying together as it’s a very low chance you’ll ever find another mate for your Tokay. On the other hand, Giant Day Geckos prefer being with someone in the enclosure, but it should never be another male as they’re very territorial as well.
Few geckos eat as aggressively as the Tokay Gecko. They get very excited when they see prey in their enclosure and their natural hunting instinct won’t give the insect even the smallest chance. Their typical diet includes a very wide range of insects as they are not pretentious at all. This includes crickets, superworms, waxworms, mealworms, cockroaches, grasshoppers, etc. More than that, adult Tokay Geckos might even be able to enjoy pinky mice as well. You need to make sure that all food is smaller in width than the space between the gecko’s eyes. This is important when feeding any gecko.
Giant Day Geckos are omnivorous creatures, which means they require a stable diet of vegetation, live insects, and fruits to lead a happy and healthy life. Brown crickets are highly recommended for these geckos as they’re small enough for them to chew and they contain most of the nutrients the gecko needs. Thin slices of carrots, potatoes, and other vegetables are great as well. And when it comes to fruits, the best are the exotic ones. This includes bananas, mango, peaches, etc.
Comparison – Cage Requirements (size, substrate, heat level, humidity)
Tokay Geckos are arboreal creatures and they need as much vertical space as possible. If you don’t have space, a 10-gallon tank could be enough, but it’s highly recommended to get one that’s between 15 to 20 gallons. They appreciate the space and they can actually turn their cage upside down if it’s too small and they feel trapped. Cypress mulch is a great substrate and you should avoid materials that might stick to the gecko when they get wet. You should maintain the heat during the day between 80 and 90F, and 70 to 80 during the night. And the humidity should always remain at around 70% and never below 50%.
Giant Day Geckos live in pairs or groups, which is why it’s best to offer them a 30-gallon tank with lots of space both vertically and horizontally. This will allow you to offer the best places to climb while also giving space to all the geckos to have their own hiding spots. Orchid bark, moss, cypress mulch, and even coarse coconut chips are great as substrate. The temperature should be maintained between 80 to 88F during the day along with a 90-95F basking spot. And at night the temperature can be just under 80F. Always keep the humidity level between 55% and 65%.