Gargoyle Geckos (Rhacodactylus auriculatus)
Right up there with crested geckos as ideal reptile pets are gargoyle geckos. They get about as large but are more heavy-bodied, particularly females, which can weigh up to 75 grams. The raised knobs on the back of head give this species its unique character. They are as easy to keep as cresteds but are less social.
Gargoyle geckos make nice displays in planted tanks, and adults can be kept with adult crested geckos in larger enclosures. Some will rest and bask on the sides of the tank as well as on thin branches, like cresteds. Others may stay hidden most of the day and only come out at night. They take longer to mature than crested geckos (18-24 months). Few males are produced in captivity and unlike what we find with most other gecko species, males are at a premium and can cost twice or more the price of females. Gargoyle females can be kept together but can be aggressive toward males. It is common for males to lose their tails when kept with females. Ideally males should always be at least as large (SVL) as females or they may eventually die as result of stress and the aggressive behavior of females. If in doubt, remove males and only introduce them for a few days at a time alternated with periods of extended separation. Gargoyles are slower to mature than cresteds so will always be more expensive. There are several nice morphs of gargoyle geckos, including striped, mottled, as well as forms with bright red patterns and reddish background color. They’re characters and among the top geckos in the hobby.
For loads of information on gargoyle geckos, read: Rhacodactylus: A complete Guide to their Selection and Care by de Vosjoli, Fast, and Repashy. See Books for more information.