Naultinus Grayii (Northland New Zealand Gecko)
Native to New Zealand, the Naultinus Grayii prefer cool temperatures and do not tolerate high temperatures for long. Naultinus Grayii are typically found no less than 2 meters high in trees/shrubs. They require a significant temperature drop at night. In the wild Grayii’s natural predators are birds and small mammals (that were introduced to New Zealand). Because of this they are very alert and even skittish until they get used to you. Although they can shed their tail, Grayii tend to use this as a last resort as they use their tail as a fifth limb. Another fun fact about Grayii, they have well adapted vocal chords and can chirp, bark and even click with their mouth. An adult reaches the total length of 8″ snout to tail. And an average lifespan of 20-30 years.
Grayii white spots will become dim and even brown towards the time they are due to complete a shed. They usually will consume their shed but not always as I have found entire shed in the enclosure multiple times. Provide lots of shed ‘aiding’ furnishings with hard scratchy surfaces like the Exo Terra jungle vine is perfect for aiding in shed or even cork bark. Shedding takes place every few months.
Grayii are a very intelligent species of geckos and it’s debated that they can recognize their care taker. I don’t handle my Grayii often to reduce stress, usually only when offering special treats or examining the animal (of course snagging a few pictures in the process) all adding up to once or twice a month for short periods at a time. During handling sessions, Grayii are a fast species and usually only stop moving if you hold a delicious mango or treat in front of them.
A screen enclosure that is 18″W x 18″L x 36″T is best for one adult pair. Screen enclosure is essential for Grayii. They will enjoy green foliage to hide in, as well as dense hanging bush, cork flats, cork rounds, hibiscus, manuka, kanuka, mingimigi plants as well as reptile safe vines. I use peat moss as a base substrate with heavy sphagnum moss on top of for optimal humidity. You can also use, wood chips, eucalyptus mulch, eucalyptus leaves then sphagnum moss (damp not dry nor wet) in that order. I have not heard of many Naultinus keepers using live plants in their enclosures. Live plants are a must for my reptiles. And my Grayii love their live plants! Provide cooling hides on the substrate full of damp sphagnum moss for your Grayii to retire from heat.
UVB is absolutely essential for this species. A minimum of 12 hours of lighting per day is best. It is recommended to change your bulb every 6 months for optimal UVB output.
Temperatures should never rise above 80°F (26°C) in the summer. Average summer temps: 70°F-78°F (21°C-25°C). A temperature drop at night is essential for this species.
Winter temps should not reach below 40°F (4°C). This species is said to need a brumation period in order to successfully conceive.
New Zealand’s weather:
Provide a heavy misting in the morning, and allow the enclosure to dry out until night-time/lights out. Humidity should range from 60%-85%. Be sure to mist their enclosure twice a day during the rainy season (winter in the Northern climate).
Typically Grayii eat every other day. Due to cooler climate Grayii are opportunity hunters and are not active hunters. They will literally wait for the prey to come to them. They eat mainly insects and fruits. You can offer them: crickets, waxworms, waxmoths, silkworms, dubias, butterworms, hornworms and black soldier fly larvae. Be sure all live food items are appropriately sized, the bug should be the length of the distance of your geckos neck. You can also offer Pangea gecko diet mixed with Manuka honey. My Grayii are not too keen on their insects and prefer fruits offered instead. They enjoy banana, mango, kiwi (without any seeds), strawberry (without any seeds) and even pears. They will accept almost anything covered in Manuka honey! For optimal nutrition offer your Grayii Meal Replacement Powders (Pangea is highly recommended and is the only MRP we will feed our naultinus) at least twice a week along with bugs every other day.
I supplement calcium with D3 once a month and calcium WITHOUT D3 once a month. I offer supplements every other week unless offering fruits (I’ll sprinkle supplements into fruits so it’s not just sugar) or less nutritional insects like crickets.
Breeding typically takes place after a brumation period during early spring. The female has the ability to store the male’s sperm for an extended period of time before using it.
Females also have the capability to reproduce via parthenogenesis (reproduce without a male). She will retain the eggs until they are ready to hatch, then she gives live birth to two offspring once per year. Babies are typically born in April or late summer-end of fall.
Males can be sexed at 6 months old by an obvious bulge.