Rhacodactylus trachyrhynchus trachycephalus, or Lesser Rough Snouted gecko is, together with the Greater Rough Snouted gecko (Rhacodactylus trachyrhynchus trachyrynchus), the most rare and sought after gecko in the Rhacodactylus genus (and probably in the world)
It is a very remarkable gecko and unique in it's kind kind.
Trachy's are live bearing geckos, meaning that they give birth to live babies.
The lesser rough snouted gecko is one of the larger geckos in the Rhacodactylus genus. They come right after the New-Caledonian Giant gecko (Rhacodactylus leachianus leachianus) which can reach a total lenght of 38 cm and the Greater Rough Snouted gecko ( Rhacodactylus trachyrhynchus trachyrhynchus) which can reach a total lenght of 30 cm, the trachycephalus can reach a total lenght of 27 cm.
With only a few of them left in the wild they are considered for a CITES classification as an endangered species.
We are very happy to be given the chance to work with such great animals!
They have an estimated livespan from over 30 years.
Sexing this species is a bit controversial. Some say they can be sexed by appearance (sexually dimorphic), males are said to have white spots on their body, which females lack. And some say they can be sexed by pores, just like the other Rhacodactylus.
Anyway, they can be accurately sexed at the age of 3 to 4 years old. Males show a very distinct (hemipenal) bulge.
It takes up to 5 years before they reach maturity. And they can give birth to 2 live babies once a year. However it's not unusual that they skip a year.
Keeping the Lesser Rough Snouted gecko
As well as the chahoua the trachycephalus have a prehensile tail, only the trachy´s use them as a 5th leg.
It´s also one of the few gecko species who like water and often will take a bath.
The trachycephalus is an aboreal gecko, which means they live mostly in trees.
They can be housed just like chahoua.
A vivarium with a size of 50x50x70 cm is fine for a pair.
They don't require special lighting (since they are nocturnal) and no high temperatures. We just keep them on room temperature (22-25 degrees centigrade daytime and 20-22 degrees centigrade at night) with a low wattage light bulb.
Just make sure they have plenty places to hide and lot's of climbing possibilities.
As substrate we use Jungle bark,this gives the vivarium a natural look. The humidity should be around 70%. You can reach this by misting the vivarium once or twice a day. We use artificial plants in most of our vivariums cause they are easy to clean, but you can also use real plants. Just make sure they are not poisonous.
They are the most social of all the Rhacodactylus, even males can be housed together without any problems.
They show no signs of cannibalism. And the mother takes care of her newborn babies.
Also they have the most painfull bite of all the Rhacodactylus. They have very long and sharp teeth and will draw blood when they bite, even at a young age.
Althoug they are very skittish they can get very docile when handled on a regular basis.
Trachycephalus eat basically the same as the other Rhacodactylus.
They eat fruit, insects and mice.
We give them Repashy MRP three times a week. One in a while we will mash up some fresh fruit like banana, kiwi or mango.
Every once in a while we give them crickets or roaches (Blaptica Dubia), so they will have something to hunt.