Knob Tailed Gecko Care Sheet
Cage Size: I recommend housing Knob Tailed Geckos in a rack system in an opaque or semi opaque tub. Hatchlings should be housed in something appx 20” long x 6” wide by 5” tall. Adults something appx 30 quarts or larger, with only up to 6” being vertical space.
Substrate: Play sand, do not use calci-sand, bark or aspen.
Hide Boxes: Keep 2 hide boxes in each cage, one on the warm end and one on the cool end. I use black plastic hides, which are partially buried in the sand. The sand is kept moist under the hide.
House each gecko individually.
Temperatures: 72-80F ambient with a hot spot of appx 90-92F.
These geckos are nocturnal and do not need or benefit from UV, or over head head/lighting.
Feeding: feed 2-3 prey items (crickets or dubia) appx 75% the size of the animals head every other day.
Spot clean and re-moisten under the hides every other day.
Boiga are rear fanged venomous snakes. This genus has proven to be an advanced genus historically, and although captive bred specimens eliminate (or reduce) some of the inherent obstacles of wild caught specimens this genus is not for new, inexperienced or undetermined keepers.
Why are Boiga difficult? They are not difficult, but can be - it depends on the specific animal, its origins and the keeper. I will outline some of the reasons below.
Wild caught. These are animals captured in their native habitat and exported for the pet trade. Historically due to a complexity of issues (from country of origin lacking economic stability, the expense of importing and the tedious care required to properly establish this genus as wild caught, among others....) this genus has traditionally fallen into the category of cheap disposable import snakes. It is a hard truth, but a truth nonetheless. The commonly imported species would be Boiga dendrophila dendrophila, Boiga dendrophila melanota, Boiga cynodon, Boiga drapiezii & Boiga nigriceps. While historically the Malaysian species (all but dendrophila dendrophila) tend to come to the states in better condition, all offer challenges. These include heavy parasite loads (exacerbated by stress, dehydration and cramped oft subpar conditions), as well as the genera's thin build and lack of large fat reserves and muscle that frequently imported boids would have... lends this species to crash hard and fast when imported. Couple these factors with their relatively inexpensive cost and you have a group of animals which will require an extensive understanding of parasitic, fungal and bacterial infections (or access to a good veterinarian) but a lack of financial incentive for the average buyer to jump through these hoops to properly establish the specimens. I strongly urge those interested in this genus to NOT buy wild caught specimens unless you have two prerequisites: 1.) A good understanding of the aforementioned topics 2.) an actual need for the specimens to establish foundation stock for the species in captivity or to expand bloodlines for the species in captivity. If you want a pet snake - buy a captive bred animal. The bush should in my opinion not be the source for the end buyer pet owner.
Feeding many Boiga species and will not readily eat normal food items like rodents, either due to a predisposition for frogs, lizards, birds, or simply due to the incredibly small size some species hatch out at (i.e. ceylonensis, multomaculata, drapiezii etc...). Boiga have low fat and muscle reserves, especially as neonates. "Waiting them out" to encourage them to get hungry enough to eat the item you have easier access to is not an option for any species in the genus. They simply are not built to withstand going weeks without food, if your animal (whether established or not) is not voluntarily taking the food items it should be offered, force feeding is often required. Put simply, if a juvenile snake refuses a feeding it should be force fed until it resumes to feeding. Waiting even a few weeks can be a death sentence. With that said, use logic. If your snake has an affinity for uncommon fare, don't simply force feed because it is inconvenient to source such food items. Don't buy a snake if you can't provide it what it needs. Force feeding is a last resort, but unfortunately it something which must be done with many species. Here is a link going over the how to of this: