Eurydactylodes Care Info

Eurydactylodes Gecko Care

Eurydactylodes are quite literally the favorite here at HSCG. They are small, absolutely adorable, yet they are so handleable and personable. It still baffles me that I really don’t know how they can be so trusting, being so small. Their care is similar to other New Cal species, but different enough that a lot of their care is specific to them due to their size. They vary in size as adults from 4g (males are much smaller) up to sometimes even 13g (females get 3x the weight of males).

There are 4 different types/locales of Eurydactylodes; Agricolae, Vieillardi, Occidentalis, and Symmetricus. They all vary slightly in size and scale pattern. They can be housed in groups, but it is still suggested to keep only one male in a habitat at a time to prevent fighting.

Being that Eurydactylodes are so small, you may be wondering how they should be housed? Different breeders have different thoughts on habitats for these little ones. There are two main routes you could go.

Basic Requirements and Tub vs Bioactive Habitats

These critters can be housed in both tub setups and bioactive setups. Some breeders swear by bioactive and say they thrive in that type of setup. Others have successfully converted them to be able to thrive in tub setups. Both options are right if done properly, but both options come with risks.
Temperatures to aim for are room temperature, between 65F and 78F. The sweet spot is around 74F.

What you need to keep in mind regardless of what options you choose; These are very long, slender animals. They feel safest and have the most grip when they have multiple places to climb that are long and thin like them. Think bare raw bamboo sticks, or thin decorative natural wood. They will roll themselves over the edge of their branch to hide their bodies behind it if they need to. The sticks added to the habitat should be the same width or slightly wider than the widest part of your Eury’s body. The same goes for the plant decorations. You can have some bushy-type plants in your habitat, but you should also look for longer, flat leaves as well.
UVB is not required but is suggested if you have a habitat that can utilize it. In larger habitats, a very low wattage basing bulb can be offered during the day. You can use smaller heat pads attached to the side of your habitat as well. This should be done mainly if you do not have screen on your habitat to allow for a high temperature lamp. Place it near a pre-existing basking branch or a plant hanging down over the side of the habitat. For any heat source… Keep the thermostat set to 78F to allow for a 5-degree variation up or down.
Each habitat should have a source of water and a food dish. They DO drink from water dishes!

Tub Habitats

As babies, you will have to be very careful with oversaturating your habitat. Good ventilation is key. If you use a small tub, ensure your plastic tubs have multiple screen vents or many vent holes melted in the plastic. They prefer tall habitats over long ones, but as hatchlings you can get away with a habitat that is a little shorter. Here at HSCG we grow our babies up in tub setups, so these are the habitats we are most familiar with. You can use large takeout soup containers with vent holes melted in them, or a screen put in the lid of the container. Use long thin sticks, fake leaves, and ensure you have a small piece of cork in the habitat. The only amount of cork that most hatchlings need is a piece the size of a deck of cards (or even smaller depending on the size of the tub you’re offering them), so this is a good way to utilize your cork scraps leftover from larger pieces. Multiple layers of Paper Towel is suggested for substrate when using a habitat this small. Keep in a warm area that does not exceed 78F. With habitats this small, do not use an outside heat source like a heat mat or light. They will overheat and dehydrate quickly because they are so small.
As Juveniles or Adults, a 10qt plastic tub with adequate ventilation would be perfect for one gecko (male or female). If you plan to house multiple together in a pair or trio, please keep in mind that each gecko should get at least 5 gallons worth of space. You can house pairs in a modified 10 gallon habitat placed on edge to make it vertical. Depending on how well the trio gets along together (no fighting and complete symmetry), sometimes you can make a 10gal work for 3 but it isn’t suggested. Use multiple layers and types of wood in your habitat, and ensure you offer multiple different hiding spots (especially with groups). Paper Towel is also suggested.
The risks associated with tub habitats is mainly issues surrounding ventilation. Tub habitats are better at holding humidity, but with how small these critters are… Their lungs are small and sensitive. They can very quickly come down with a respiratory illness or have major shedding issues if kept too wet. It is imperative you let the habitats completely dry out before misting again. Keep a close eye on your gecko’s shedding habits and ensure to remove any bits of stuck shed as you find them.

Bioactive Habitats

You can very easily set up a mini-bioactive habitat for baby eurys. You can use the same large soup container with a screen in the top… you will just be adding in about an inch and a half of substrate with a thin layer of pearlite at the bottom to catch any additional water and hold onto some humidity. At this size it is optional to use real plants in your habitat, as it’ll be more difficult to keep a plant alive in a small enclosure. But if you know enough about plants, anything can be done! It will still be easier to maintain a smaller habitat with artificial plants, though.
Adult habitats can be the same sizes as mentioned above, or a 12x12x18″ Exoterra. Just ensure you use a habitat with enough room at the bottom for a thick layer of substrate, in order to keep your plants happy. Keep in mind you will need a light source to keep your plants alive. Use LED lights or lights that do not have a high heat output, especially for the smaller babies. Use springtails to keep your substrate and the container clean. You will need to elevate your food dish off the ground to keep your springtails from eating their powdered diet mix. Use artificial plants to fill-in the habitat as your live plants grow.
Do research on setting up your bioactive habitat before you do. There are a lot of moving parts in that type of setup, and they all need to be operating together to truly work.
The risks associated with bioactive habitats is the risk of your geckos accidentally ingesting substrate (which if they are healthy, eating a small amount won’t be harmful), your geckos eating your clean-up crew/isopods, and not being able to easily find eggs. Your females will lay where they want to, and it’s not promised they will use a lay box if they have loose substrate to dig in. So keep an eye out for baby eurys in your habitat and remove them as you find them… or check for eggs often.

Just like with most New Caledonian species, a powdered mix diet like Pangea or Repashy is perfect for these guys. We use Pangea here as we have seen a better feeding response with it. You will want to mix it a little looser than you would for a larger New Cal species, since they are so small. You want to make sure they stay hydrated and it’s easy to eat for their tiny mouths.
For babies and juveniles, a small baby food cup (people commonly use bottle caps) will suffice. For babies, a small drop in the center of the bottle cap is plenty of food for them. As they grow, you can add more food to the cap. For an adult, you can use a 0.5oz cup with a thin layer of food at the bottom. For pairs or trios, you will want to use a 1.5oz cup or multiple 0.5oz cups spread out around the habitat.
It’s suggested to use a food ledge to elevate the food off the ground, as they prefer to be higher-up. But most will be content with eating off the floor.
As mentioned previously, ensure you have a water dish in your habitat. They will drink from them!

There are a few common health issues I’ve seen with Eurydactylodes. Many of them are environment-based and can be prevented.

Upper Respiratory Infection
These little guys are just that. Little. Their lungs are also little, and very sensitive. Try to avoid misting your gecko’s head directly and ensure their habitat dries out fully before misting again. If you suspect your Eury has a URI, you will notice a drop in weight, lack of appetite, very heavy breathing, or a slight wheezing sound (likely only to be heard coming from adults).
This will likely not resolve itself and will need medical intervention if you catch it fast enough. They are prey animals so they are not likely to show illness easily. You will need to take a visit to your local exotics vet, they will likely prescribe antibiotics either in edible form (a liquid that you can mix into your powdered diet), or injections (likely to be administered by your vet only to prevent puncturing any organs). We suggest finding an exotics vet that feels comfortable treating Crested or Gargoyle geckos. They have very similar care to Eurys just on a larger scale. Any medications given will be dosed based on their weight.

Tail Loss
Eurydactylodes will drop their tails and re-grow them. They can separate the tail at any point, and may not drop the entire tail if (for example) only the tip gets stuck or grabbed. The new growth will look very different from the original tail and will not have the same line sections the original tail had. The regenerated tails often end up shorter and stubbier than the originals, and are commonly darker in color. If your gecko drops it’s tail, they are designed to heal themselves and close-up around any exposed spine. You do not need to apply any antiseptic or cream to this wound. There may be a small drop of blood, this is normal. If your gecko does not completely drop their tail or tail section (meaning it is still connected in some spots), medical intervention may be needed to finish the drop. You can also hold onto the partially dropped section of tail and let you gecko walk away from you. It should seperate and pop off naturally. Placing them in a hospital habitat until it is healed is optional. If you already use paper towel for your substrate, a hospital habitat is unnecessary. You want to prevent any debris from getting attached to the open wound as much as possible to prevent infection. You will notice a new tail nub growing within a week or two.

Metabolic Bone Disease (AKA: “MBD”)
MBD is a lack of calcium in the body. The body needs calcium to function, and it’s only source is through diet. In order to process the calcium, your gecko also needs Vitamin D3 which is sourced from UVB light or also through their diet. If your gecko does not get enough calcium, or does not have enough D3 to process the calcium, the body will metabolize the calcium in your animal’s bones. This makes the bones weak, fragile, and can very easily break. This causes deformities and a long and painful life. Even if MBD is fixed, some cases are so bad euthanasia is suggested due to the high level of pain it causes. To prevent this, ensure to use a high quality calcium dust with D3 added when feeding insects. Offer UVB if you have the means, but as long as you are using the proper calcium dust, you should be fine. If your gecko has had MBD already and it’s deformities are minor and not painful, UVB is highly suggested (dare I say required) to prevent any more deficiencies from happening again. Common signs of MBD are a wavy tail, swollen limbs, soft jaw bone, spine kinks or waves, etc.

Stuck or Retained Shed
Eurydactylodes like other New Caledonian species shed their entire bodies in one piece, like a perfectly fitting onesie. In order to do this efficiently every time, they need that variation in humidity throughout the day. If the habitat is kept too dry, the shed skin will tear and will not come off in one piece. This will leave behind long wispy stringy bits on the body. If the habitat is kept too wet, the skin won’t come off and will remain stuck in place. Without removal of both of these types of stuck shed, it can cause a plethora of issues. The most common is loss of blood flow to an extremity, like a tail, toe, or even limb. It will become stuck in place and will not tear without intervention. This eventually cuts off blood flow to that area of the body. This is the most common issue with stuck shed for these little guys… especially around the toes since they are so small. It can also cause skin infections and sores, as the skin can’t breathe and if kept too wet makes a perfect environment for bacteria to thrive. Shed can also get stuck on eyes, which can limit sight… as well as in nostrils limiting oxygen and breathing. To prevent this, keep an eye on your humidity. If you notice stuck shed, you can gently remove it using a damp q-tip or very gently removing it with a pair of tweezers. Because these guys are so small and fragile, you will need to remove it immediately once it’s noticed. If you cannot get it off yourself or don’t feel comfortable handling such a small animal, a vet visit is suggested.

Egg Binding (Females Only)
Without a place to lay their eggs, females may sometimes hold onto their eggs in the hopes they will get reabsorbed. This does happen, but occasionally the eggs stay inside the body and can cause an infection. It is also possible for the eggs to burst inside the body, which will also cause an infection. Typical signs of this are noticeable strain when trying to lay, continuous digging but no eggs for over a week, lethargy, not eating or drinking, and swelling in the abdomen area. If you suspect your female is egg-bound, medical intervention is necessary. Your vet may try to inject her with hormones to help her lay. Due to the size of these geckos, surgery to remove the eggs will likely never be suggested as the prognosis will not likely be a positive one. To prevent this from happening, ensure your female stays hydrated and has a lay box available or a large enough area of substrate to lay (most use eco earth, sphagnum moss, or a mix of both).

What type of maintenance are you looking at, you ask?

Daily Tasks
Misting and monitoring humidity/temperatures. The humidity should remain around 50%, but increase to 90-100% for a few hours per day, gradually dropping back down to 40-50% before misting again. Ensure the habitat dries out completely before misting again. This may be a daily task, a twice daily task, or an every other day task. It all depends on how quickly your habitat looses humidity. As mentioned above, the preferred temperatures are between 65F and 78F. The sweet spot is around 74F.

Every 2-3 days
Feeding, spot cleaning poop, refilling/cleaning water dish. If you have loose coco fiber substrate, you can spot clean every few days to remove any moldy bits, poop, debris, etc. from the habitat and toss it along with a small amount of substrate around that item that was removed. If you have a bioactive setup functioning as it should, you shouldn’t have to spot clean much. Your gecko’s dish should be rinsed out and replaced with fresh water at the same time you feed. Yes, they DO drink from water dishes as well as off of leaves!

Every Week
If you have a food ledge, you may want to wash this weekly to prevent a buildup of poop and food. It is also suggested to clean the glass of your gecko’s habitat (a wet paper towel will suffice). If using paper towel as a substrate, you will want to replace this weekly.

Every Month
If using eco-earth and you do not have a bioactive habitat, it is suggested to clean out the substrate of your gecko’s habitat entirely every month to a month and a half. Replace sooner if your substrate is continuously saturated (and mist less often), as this can harbor a decent amount of bacteria. You may also want to remove all the decorations of your habitat at this time and wash them as well. If you are using re-usable food cups or water dishes, it is suggested to sanitize these by letting them soak in water that is near boiling. Put your dishes into a heat-safe bowl or container after washing with soap and water, and pour the hot water over them. Let them soak for 10-15 minutes while you clean the rest of your habitat.

Get Stinked
Eurydactylodes can secrete a sticky, smelly substance from their tail when spooked/scared. Prevent handling your gecko rough in any way. If you need to remove stuck shed, you may get “stinked.” Wash your hands with soap and a dish washing detergent to help get rid of the secretion.

Want to hold your gecko?
Just remember, these are room temperature animals. Your skin temperature hovers around 86F, this can be too warm for them after a long period of time. They are also small and fairly fragile. Eurydactylodes are not pets that you cuddle, hold close to you for long periods of time, let be exposed to temperatures outside of their comfort range, and it is preferred they are not handled for more than 5 minutes at a time to prevent the chance of overheating. Due to their long bodies and little feet, they don’t really “jump” but rather “flop.” They don’t grip to skin well, so ensure to hold them gently and keep a second hand beneath them in case they fall.

Should you get a female or a male as a pet?
Honestly, both come with their plusses and minuses. Females always have a risk of reproductive issues, however they are larger and easier to handle. Males are smaller; both are very calm and aren’t very quick. Keep in mind that these traits aren’t always promised. Both make great pets. What’s important is purchasing from a reputable breeder that can verify the health of their animals, and handles the babies often enough. Each animal also has their own individual personalities.

What about cohabbing?
Eurydactylodes are one of the more communal of the New Cal geckos. They, like any other reptile, will always thrive when kept alone. However in a large enough habitat a pair or a trio will be okay to keep together year-round. Do not put your Eurys together as babies or juveniles, they should be introduced once already full grown. This will help prevent bickering and food/resource protecting. Larger females will sometimes bicker and bully the smaller geckos (male or female) in the habitat while they are all growing and maturing. This can cause the others to not get access to food sources. Putting a male and a female together too young can also cause stress on the female and effect her growth, since she will be bred much earlier than she should be.

This care sheet was last updated on 3/20/2023 at 11:40pm EST.