Mediterranean house geckos are commonly found in countries that border the Mediterranean Sea such as Cyprus, Turkey, and Spain.
This Gecko was first found in America in 1915 and has since become an invasive species.
They are small with gray, brown, or pinkish skin covered with dark spots or mottle.
This species looks very similar to a Common Gecko, but you can tell the difference by a Mediterranean’s bumpy skin and translucent underbelly.
Hardy and adaptable they make a great first pet reptile.
Want to learn more about this cute reptile? Keep reading to learn about their diet, habitat, and how they behave…
Table of Contents
- Mediterranean House Gecko Overview
- Are Mediterranean Geckos Good Pets?
- Species Appearance
- Mediterranean House Gecko Care Guide
- Mediterranean House Gecko Habitat
- Typical Behavior
- Mediterranean House Gecko Baby
Mediterranean House Gecko Overview
This Gecko originated from tropical and subtropical areas surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. They quickly spread into the surrounding countries of Cyprus, Turkey, and Spain.
They help control wild insect populations in Eastern Mediterranean countries so it is considered taboo to hurt them.
Eventually this species made their way to the United States and was first found in the Florida Keys in 1915.
They are a highly adaptable reptile and have become an invasive species in the states of Florida and Texas.
It is easy to identify a Mediterranean House Gecko.
They are either gray or brown, with pink or purple undertones and dark mottling. Their skin is always bumpy and their eyes are lidless! When fully grown they will measure four to five inches.
This species of Gecko also has a translucent underbelly. With the correct lighting you can see their beating heart or an egg! They are also known for the tail and sticky toes:
- Using their tails as defense mechanisms by detaching them when stressed or threatened.
- Their sticky toes which they use to climb on almost any surface.
Males are territorial so should not live together, but females will happily co-exist provided there is enough space.
Where Do Mediterranean House Geckos Live?
They are commonly found in Eastern Mediterranean countries such as Cyprus, Turkey, and Spain. They are also an invasive species in Texas and Florida.
They enjoy warm temperatures and high humidity.
Environments with plenty of places to climb and hide in are their favorite.
Are Mediterranean Geckos Good Pets?
Yes. Their adaptable nature makes them hardy. They also have a sweet and docile temperament that makes them beginner friendly.
The “house” part of their name refers to the fact they often live in human homes and adapt well to man-made habitats.
- They are very hardy and do not suffer from many health problems.
- This species is tiny and cute!
- They are very easy to care for and cost $5 – $20.
- They are nimble and move very fast so can easily escape.
- Their droppings can stain fabrics.
- They are very easily stressed so require careful handling.
The Mediterranean House Gecko is a very small reptile that has a rounded snout and cylindrical body.
Once fully grown they measure just four to five inches (10 to 13 cm) from snout to tail.
Males have a slightly wider head and are heavier than females. They might also have pores on their back legs, used for chemical signals and markers.
It can be hard to tell the difference between sexes. Both sexes are usually the same color.
Mediterranean Geckos are usually white, light gray or purple to tan in coloration.
Their skin is bumpy with darker spots and matching stripes on their tails. The skin on their stomach is usually translucent.
Their eyes are large and lidless with vertical pupils.
Hatchlings are born tiny and measure just .04 inches (0.1 cm) long. Juveniles grow at a rate of 0.1 inches per month until they reach maturity at one year.
As adults these geckos will be between four to five inches.
Mediterranean House Gecko Care Guide
What Do Mediterranean Geckos Eat?
Mediterranean House Geckos are insectivores. They eat a variety of different insects.
In the wild this reptile hunts by slowly creeping up to their prey before pouncing and jabbing their head forward to catch the insect. They mostly hunt around porch lights or man-made light structures.
Your gecko can eat crickets, roaches, and worms.
Feed your lizard five to six times each week. For each feeding session feed four to five crickets.
Make sure you feed insects that are no bigger than the size of your Gecko’s head. Provided the insects are correctly sized you can keep a consistent feeding schedule of almost daily.
Dust the insects with a vitamin and mineral supplement before feeding. For adults do this once a week and for a growing gecko do this three times a week. Use a supplement that includes calcium but not phosphorus.
You can also gut load the insects a few days before feeding for extra nutrients.
Leave food out for a couple of hours before removing it from their cage.
Provide a water bowl for your reptile, however, this species normally prefers to drink from water droplets. Mist their cage every day to keep the humidity high and provide water droplets for drinking.
Lifespan and Health
Mediterranean House Geckos live for between three to nine years.
They are a very hardy reptile but can suffer from some health problems if their husbandry and care routine isn’t followed:
Impaction can occur when they eat something they cannot digest. The most common source is substrate. It can be fatal if untreated, but is easily avoided by feeding an insect-only diet and using the correct substrate (e.g. paper towels or newspapers).
Parasites can infect your Mediterranean House Gecko through contact with bad food. Your gecko will seem lethargic or will vomit frequently.
Respiratory infections can sometimes occur because of incorrect temperature or humidity in their enclosure. This is characterized by lethargy, loss of appetite, or open-mouth breathing.
Shedding issues can be caused by low humidity levels. If excess skin seems to be clinging to your gecko you need to increase the humidity in their cage.
Metabolic bone disease can cause curved limbs, instability and difficulty standing. Make sure you feed your lizard a healthy amount of supplements to keep their bones strong.
Do Mediterranean House Geckos Tails Grow Back?
Yes, it grows back. The Mediterranean gecko will drop its tail if it feels threatened. Their tail holds important fat reserves though, so try not to stress your Gecko. If your pet does drop their tail make sure they have lots of food and are comfortable as it grows back.
Signs They Are Healthy
- Even skin and consistent texture.
- Regular eating and defecation.
- Full, rounded body.
- Clear eyes.
- Drooping head or mouth.
- Lumps or swelling.
- Discharge, from nose, eyes, or mouth.
- Weakness, loss of appetite, and lethargy.
Mediterranean House Gecko Habitat
This species of Gecko often lives adjacent to humans. They live on, in, and below houses. They can often be found hiding under roof shingles, behind fridges and climbing walls.
They are hardy so can live in tropical and subtropical environments from the Mediterranean all the way east to India.
- Tank Type: glass aquarium.
- Tank Size: 10 gallon.
- Lighting: UVB.
- Substrate: paper towels or newspapers.
Cage Set Up
These Geckos are small but they enjoy living in large spaces.
A glass 10-gallon aquarium with a screen lid will work, but a “tall” 20-gallon enclosure is much better. Juvenile and Hatchling tanks can be slightly smaller at 5 gallons.
Add an additional 5 gallons per female gecko if you are housing more than three in a 20-gallon tank. It is not recommended to house other reptiles apart from Common house geckos with this species.
Place branches and foliage in their tank. Make sure that there are at least two hides per gecko too.
A UVB bulb is recommended. They do not need full spectrum lighting, but make sure they have a 12hr day and night cycle.
Setting up a designated basking spot will help to create a heat gradient and provides a warm spot for a sleeping gecko. Geckos thermoregulate so having a hot and cool side of the tank is essential.
To heat their enclosure use a heating pad or an incandescent bulb. The temperature inside the tank should be 75° – 90°F in the morning and 65° – 75°F at night. Place heating elements only in one half the tank – this will help to create a heat gradient.
Humidity should be between 60 – 75% at all times.
To keep the humidity high mist down their cage with a spray bottle every day – aim for the walls not your lizard. You can also introduce live plants to increase the humidity or move their water dish closer to the basking spot.
Reptile carpet can be used as a substrate, but will need to be changed frequently because it can harbor bacteria. The best choice is either paper towels or newspapers.
Paper-based substrates should be changed three times a week.
Their tank should be cleaned once a month with soap (or a 10% bleach solution) and water .
When you clean the tank make sure to look at your gecko’s droppings!
Their feces should be long and light brown in color with white tips. They should hold their shape. Runny or crumbly droppings are often a sign of illness.
Mediterranean House Geckos mainly communicate through visual signals. This is similar to an African Fat-Tailed Gecko that often waves.
A submissive gecko will retreat or freeze, while an aggressor will snap its mouth, lunge or bite. In displays of dominance, two geckos will face off and squeak – this is common in males.
In captivity this lizard has a docile temperament.
Females can cohabit, but males can be territorial.
Common behaviors in captivity include flicking out their tongue and tapping their nose to the substrate to sense their surroundings.
They are commonly found in their hides during the day and are most active in the evening.
This Gecko brumates in the cooler months, but it is not necessary in captivity.
Brumation can be dangerous and it is not recommended for first time owners or juvenile geckos.
Is The Mediterranean House Gecko Poisonous?
This Gecko is not poisonous and is completely harmless to humans! Unlike some reptiles they are completely harmless and rarely bite.
Handling Advice and Tips
This reptile will tolerate handling, but it is very fast and can escape in the blink of an eye.
You should only handle adults after they have had a chance to get used to you.
When handling don’t hold or grab them by their tail or underbelly. This may cause them to drop their tail in panic or cause stress. Instead, get a firm grip from the top and support their underbelly gently.
Always wash your hands before and after handling your reptile.
Mediterranean House Gecko Baby
Males court females through aggressive behaviors and vocalizations.
He will approach the female and touch her with his snout or bite her neck. He will also vocalize before and after mating. Courtship is very short and the female will leave soon after to build a nest in burrowing substrate. Most of the eggs will hatch after 45 – 60 days.
The reproductive season occurs in April to August.
Females have small broods of one to three eggs twice each season.
The incubation temperature can affect the sex of the hatchlings, with higher temperatures more likely to hatch females.
Mediterranean House Geckos are very affordable. They are normally $5 – $20 depending on size and age.
The cage, light and substrate should cost $50.
Recurring costs (e.g. food and vitamins) will be around $150 annually.
Despite being widely available in the wild it is much better to buy captive bred from a breeder or pet store.
When buying a Mediterranean House Gecko make sure their eyes are clear and they have a healthy appetite.
Avoid hatchlings with dry patches of skin, missing digits or a dropped tail. If the tail it disproportionate to their body size it is a sign they have dropped it recently.
Treat hatchlings much like you would an adult and make sure they are getting nutrients from gut loaded insects.
|Mediterranean House Gecko Facts|
|Common Name||Mediterranean House Gecko|
|Scientific Name||Hemidactylus turcicus|
|Size||4 – 5 inches (males are slightly bigger)|
|Lifespan||3 – 9 years|
|Diet||Crickets, roaches, and various worms|
|Tank Size||10 or 20-gallon tall tank|
|Humidity & Temperature||Temperature: 65° – 90°F
Humidity: 60 – 75%
|Popular Alternatives||Tokay Gecko
African Fat-Tailed Gecko
Geckos are a popular pet reptile.
The Mediterranean House Gecko is very adaptable, docile and hardy – they are great for first-time owners.
They can be handled, provided they are not too young and are familiar with you. However, they can still be skittish and escape.
Always make sure your Mediterranean gecko feels secure and you will form a strong bond very quickly.
Tempter to adopt this lizard? Let us know below.