Discover The Mossy Prehensile-Tailed Gecko

Mniarogekko chahoua, (formerly Rhacodactylus chahoua) also known as Mossy Prehensile-Tailed Gecko or quite commonly referred to simply as Chahoua,  is one of the most personable geckos of the genus. Add their aggressive eating habits, beautiful color and pattern, and you have one of the most amazing display animals for any terrarium.

Distribution
New Caledonia (Grande Terre), and Isle of Pines. This species is arboreal and found in tropical forests near bodies of water. Being arboreal they will reach heights of 12 – 30 feet high in the canopy.

Description
Chahoua reach an average size of 5.7 inches from snout to vent and a total length of 10 inches. There are two forms, distinctly different, and designated by distribution – “Mainland” for Grande Terre and “Isle of Pines” for Ile des Pins.

Sexing
Males will have a hemipenile bulge, enlarged cloacal spurs, and preanal pores. Sex can be determined at roughly 3 inches (snout to vent length) using a 10x loupe often used by jewelers and photographers.

Longevity
Potentially long-lived, much like all Rhacodactylus, reaching an estimated thirty years.

Temperature
Much the same as other geckos of the genus a temperature range of 70F to 80F is adequate. Never allow the temperature to fall below 65F or above 85F as prolong exposure to extreme temperatures can lead to death.

Humidity
Humidity should be between 60-80% with a proper humidity cycle. Allow the enclosure to dry out for a period during the day. Depending on the ventilation of the enclosure you may need to mist up to twice a day. With our partial screen enclosures we mist in the morning and once at night. In a rack system misting once a day is adequate. Also, the amount of misting is varied for geographic region. If you live in a region with low humidity then you will need to mist the enclosure more frequently than in a Mediterranean climate.

Diet
M. Chahoua is a frugivorous species – feeding on fruit and live prey. Fruit based meal replacement offered 3 times a week and left in the enclosure for two days and 1 to 2 feedings of live prey such as crickets or roaches makes for a balanced diet. When feeding a complete meal replacement be sure not to offer live prey when the diet is available. All live prey should be dusted with a Calcium+D3/Multivitamin supplement before being offered to the gecko. Baby food is not a staple diet and leads to Metabolic Bone Disease. I highly recommend against feeding babyfood to any frugivorous species and instead using a formulated meal replacement such as Repashy Superfoods Crested Gecko Diet. Chahoua is one of the most arboreal species of all Rhacodactylus. Spending the majority of their time high in the forests of their natural habitat you will want to design your enclosure around a vertically positioned terrarium that features thick branches, cork bark placed vertically and dense foliage for climbing and hiding. Hollow cork bark is also a favorite of these geckos much like their larger counter parts the New Caledonian Giant Gecko. It is recommended to house one male to one female and never place two males in one enclosure or in visual sight of each other. Some breeders have success with a pairing of one male to two females but I find that two females together will often develop a status quo and one female will begin to show signs of domination.

Breeding
We recommend reading Rhacodactylus: The Complete Guide to their Selection and Care.

Juvenile Care
I have raised all of my Chahoua, much like R. leachianus, with varying cage sizes for the three stages of growth. From hatchling to Juvenile I keep my Chahoua in 5-10 gallon enclosures with thick branches and a good amount of foliage. For the substrate I use paper towel since Chahoua can be quite aggressive hunters of live prey and I want to avoid the mouth full of coco-fiber or dirt. I keep the same routine for feeding and cleaning but limit the amount of food to a serving that is more appropriate for their size. Once they reach 20 grams I move them from the 10 gallon enclosure up to an adult enclosure.

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