There are two types of R. Chahoua. PI chahoua are found on small island off New Caledonia and are the rarer more sought after species and slightly larger more vibrant of the two. Next there is the Mainland Chahoua found on New Caledonia which is typically smaller than the PI. Chahoua can reach up to 10″ total length and weigh 45-75 grams.
Like their cousin the crested gecko, Chahoua are semi arboreal and prefer to spend most their time in the trees. You will need a taller enclosure rather than long. An adult male will need a 18″x18″x18″ minimum exo terra enclosure (or a 20 gallon tall) and a lone female should have the same size. I setup a 18x18x24 exo terra enclosure for one pair. It is said you can house two females together but of course you cannot house two males together. Even with a male and female pair you should always watch for any aggression when introducing house mates. The chahoua’s enclosure should have lots of cork bark for climbing, branches, exo terra jungle vines, leaf foliage, hiding spots and a humid hide. Setup should be similar to your crested gecko, gargoyles or Leachianus enclosures.
Chahoua are nocturnal and do not require UVB although It may be beneficial to egg laying females and live plants in the enclosure. Some chahoua enjoy a basking spot even though they’re nocturnal they enjoy a basking spot of 80°F-84°F (26°C-28°). But when providing a basking spot it is essential you have a cool gradient side for you chahoua to cool off from. The ambient tank temp should range from 70°F-84°F (20°C-28°C) in the summer and 66°F-72°F (18°C-22°C) during the winter.
Humidity and water:
Humidity is essential in this tropical species like so many others. Humidity should range within 55%-80%. A humid hide is also beneficial when shedding time comes around. A water bowl is beneficial as long as it’s not too deep (shouldn’t be deeper than the geckos ventral to dorsal measurement) and should be change when it becomes dirty essentially almost every day. Use water that has been exposed to open air for over 24 hours to evaporate any chlorine.
MRP stands for Meal Replacement Powder. This is an easy choice for most frugivorous gecko owners as all you have to do is add water to the meal replacement powder and offer it to your geckos. This also makes it easier to ensure your gecko is getting essential nutrients it needs. You can also make fruit smoothies for them. However these are typically very high in sugar and vitamins and nutrients deteriorate fast as the smoothie ages. Commercial MRP’s make feeding much easier and ensure your gecko is getting what it needs if you are feeding the right MRP.
There’s a lot of Meal Replacement Powder meals in the market, and a lot of them have less than nutritional ingredients. I look carefully at the ingredients of every
commercial MRP product as I’ve seen lots with fish meal, chicken meal, and corn as the main ingredients. I trust Pangea’s crested gecko diet as they have years of experience and their ingredients are made with 50% real fruit and have kept my geckos healthy and happy for years. Plus my geckos love the taste! They lick their bowls clean almost every feeding.
Chahoua geckos should be offered more insects than other Rhacodactylus species. They should be offered insects twice a week. The following insects are best for your gecko (in order): Black soldier fly larvae, silk worms, horn worms, crickets, freshly molted meal worms, and isopods.
Chahoua geckos (especially females) require much more calcium than the crested gecko. They should receive calcium supplement weekly and herp vitamins twice a month. Too much or too little vitamin D3 can cause MBD so pay close attention to your supplementing routine.
Females should be at least 2 years old and males should be 18 months old at the youngest. Carefully watch your pair when first introduced as chahoua can be aggressive towards each other (even after being bonded for several months or years) so keep a watchful eye on your pairs. Chahoua geckos are more difficult to breed, hatch out and raise up. After breeding the female will take 30-35 days to lay her eggs usually on-top of the soil or under leaf litter. The egg shells are much thicker than other rhacodactylus species. This makes it harder on the laying female and the baby trying to hatch out. Females will lay 2 eggs (a clutch) every few months as females store sperm from one pairing. They can lay 3-6 clutches per season.
Incubation medium should hold proper humidity and be reptile baby safe. Once you have your incubator ready, gently lift the eggs and very carefully mark the top of the egg and place it in the incubation medium without rolling the eggs. Because chahoua eggs are so thick it is difficult to examine or view how the embryo is doing. Incubation temperature should range from 74°F-80°F (23°C-26°C) and will take roughly 70-200 days to hatch. The cooler the temps makes for a longer incubation period however also makes for a stronger healthier baby.