Uroplatus Phantasticus Care Sheet
The Satanic Leaf Tailed Gecko
Phantasticus are native to the North East Coast of Madagascar. They were described in 1888.
Phantasticus are found a few meters off the ground in low-lying shrubs. This species mimics a dead leaf and are truly masters of mimicry. As of January 2005 all uroplatus are listed under CITES ll, making their import/export very tricky if allowed at all. This not only adds to the value of the animals in general, but makes Captive Bred animals even more valuable due to the rareness, health and quality.
20 gallon glass enclosure can house 3 full-grown phants. When picking and enclosure, always aim for tall instead of long. Phants are arboreal. Young phants can be kept in large critter keepers. I offer all my phantasticus live plants kept in soil safe (peat mos/tropical soil mix from petsore) pots in case the gecko ingests some. Some live plants I use are: Pothos, ficus benjamina, philodendron and tropical palm plants. I provide lots of horizontal and vertical climbing branches such as weeping willow branches, bendy vines from a petstore or small cork rounds. For the substrate I use peat moss packed down, small amounts of sphagnum moss on top, and clumps of dead leaves (oak leaves/ficues benjamina leaves). I use cork flats for their background.
When designing your phants enclosure be sure there is enough space for them to socialize, hide, hunt and rest.
UVB lighting is not required for this species but is recommended if plants/ breeding females are in the enclosure.
Phantasticus will thrive in cooler temperatures and decline in warm temperatures. It is extremely important to never let your phants go above 85°F (29°C) or they will die within hours of being exposed to these temps.
Summer temps should be around: 72°F-78°F (22°C-26°C) during the day with a slight temperature drop at night. It is okay for the temps for raise up to 82°F (28°C) but is not recommended for this to be a regular temp range.
Winter temps should range from 65°F (18°C) at night to 70°F (21°C) during the day.
Extreme ranges are: 55°F-85°F (13°C-29°C). Try to avoid these temps.
Humidity is one of the most problematic things when keeping phants. Humidity should range from 75%-100%. To achieve this, you may have to mist the enclosure several times a day. Misting at night is essential as that is your geckos water source. They will not drink from a bowl, they will lick water droplets off leaves and glass.
Phantasticus are insectivores and can have: crickets, dubias, isopods (pill bugs, wood bugs), small snails and or phoenix worms (black soldier fly larvae). You can offer 2-3 appropriately sized bugs every other night.
As always, all insects should be gut loaded with leafy greens as high protein content diets can lead to fatty liver disease.
I supplement all my phants with Calcium with D3 + herp vitamin twice a month AND supplement with calcium WITHOUT D3 + herp vitamin twice a month if they have UVB lighting. They get supplements once a week, twice a month they get D3. For phants not being kept on UVB lighting I use calcium with D3 every supplementing.
I offer hatchlings and gravid females higher calcium content diets (supplementing more calcium or feeding more high calcium meals such as small snails or phoenix worms).