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Meet...aw crap, I don't know its name, another critter was dropped in my lap.

Discussion in 'Not So Spineless Wonders' started by Tim Benzedrine, Nov 7, 2017.

  1. Tim Benzedrine

    Tim Benzedrine Prankster Possum Old Timer

    Yeah, somebody unloaded this guy or gal onto a co-worker, who really didn't want it that much. The gecko would not eat and the owner (I was told) was going to RELEASE it! So the co-worker accepted it. There are not too many of the guys running around in the wild in these parts, "not too many meaning "none". So it was offered to me, a species I have never kept, and am absolutely starting from the ground floor. Will it survive under my care? I honestly do not know, but I'll give it a shot

    It came in a sterlite container, which will have to serve until I design something more appropriate, with additional height, etc. All I could do tonight, is devise a heating method, and I spritzed the silk leaves, the portion of the paper towel used for substrate, and a couple of the container walls. Plus there is a milk jug cap in there which i placed water into, but I believe they are mainly droplet lappers. The lid has written on it " Harley X Joker" which I presume is either the morph or the title of a new Batman universe
    movie" ("Harlequin" is a type of crestie that I've heard of.)

    I gotta do some research, pronto, but I can't do much tonight. As of this writing, I don't even know if they are nocturnal or diurnal so i don't know if they requre supplemental lighting or not, but that will be easy to find out.

    I gotta learn to just say "no" to critters. :D

    Have a look. Is it a healthy specimen or am I doomed to fail from the start?
    Note: One thing I've learned after a cursory bit of research is that they do not need particularly high temperatures, so I'm leaving it at room temperature for the night. It won't hit less than 70 to mid 70's.

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  2. schmiggle

    schmiggle Arachnoprince Active Member

    Looks healthy to me, although I have no experience with these. They're nocturnal, according to wikipedia (which makes sense, since most geckos are), so I'd guess supplemental lighting is unnecessary. Most places suggest going with a tall tank and crested gecko food mix, and they're otherwise pretty easy.
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  3. sdsnybny

    sdsnybny Arachnogeek Arachnosupporter

    Beautiful little Cresti Tim!
  4. Thistles

    Thistles Arachnobroad

    That's a beautiful crestie! Harlequins have a lot of creamy white patterning on the back, so I'm guessing that was the intended name based on whatever sex it happens to be. That said, I don't know much about morphs. It appears healthy, and when it gets bigger look for bulges between the back legs to indicate male. Females will stay smooth.

    Care is very easy. They're nocturnal and temperate, so I kept mine unheated and unlit except for a low-wattage bulb in the winter. I used planted vivaria with robust plants like Sansevieria, Pothos and Bromeliads, but they're good with just cork tubes, too. Feed them a crested gecko powdered diet, and if you end up with uneaten crickets after you've fed your spiders, just drop those in. Mist at night. Done. EZPZ. These are what I recommend to first-time lizard owners, over leos, beardies and anoles. You couldn't have a nicer, cuter, lower-maintenance lizard. Congrats!
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  5. Tim Benzedrine

    Tim Benzedrine Prankster Possum Old Timer

    Thanks for the tips!

    Here is what I did tonight. I offered baby food. I know this is not recommended, but I decided some caloric intake was better than nothing, which is what I had, nothing. So as a "quick" fix, i dropped by the grocery store and grabbed a jar of banana baby- food and a jar of apple. Totally shooting in the dark, of course. I offered some of the banana, initially placing a smear of it in the gecko's nose. He licked it off. i next offered it on the end of a matchstick (for lack of anything more suitable) and he readily lapped it up.

    Tomorrow, I am gonna order Repashy on Amazon. But, in the interim my plan is to make a babyfood/cricket paste and offer that. Until the Repashy arrives, it's kind of my only option, I don't even have a blender to pulverize real fruit at the moment. I will dust the crickets in supplements and make them the majority of the paste, using only enough of the banana baby food in an attempt to make the mess as palatable as possible.* If this is a bad plan, post your objections, I will not be offended. All I ask is that you remember that this was not an ill-advised "impulse buy" wherein no consideration was given. I had to make the decision then and there and decided to roll the dice.

    *This will be, without a doubt, the most disgusting exercise I've ever embarked upon for a critter. :D
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2017
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  6. TyjTheMighty

    TyjTheMighty Arachnosquire

    That's definitely NOT a harlequin. I have 7 crested geckos. Harley x Joker are the parents - lineage is important to a lot of crestie keepers. Everything you're doing sounds alright. Babyfood isn't the best, but if that's all you can do then I understand. Get multiple flavors of food, they like variety. Mine prefer pangea to rapashy - all of them. Which sucks cause I still have a ton of rapashy left. Change its food at least once every 2 days. Room temp is fine... hmm i don't think I'm forgetting anything too important.
    Oh, and dust insects in calcium powder before feeding.

    To help you with morphs
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  7. TyjTheMighty

    TyjTheMighty Arachnosquire

    Oh, and male cresties have very visible balls once they're like 15-20 grams... hope that helps
  8. Tim Benzedrine

    Tim Benzedrine Prankster Possum Old Timer

    I'm sure it will help! It's good to know that my first faltering steps (mainly by way of intuition) are on the right track. This is probably the my first "flying blind" critter I've undertook since I was a kid, I'm not a fan of taking on animals of which that I have ZERO knowledge.

    Do you have any idea what morph it might be, if any? I'm really not that concerned, I just like to know what I have, I don't care if it is the most common example in existence, it is still terrific in my eyes. The writing on the lid may be meaningless, the original owner may have slapped the mist convenient one they had.
  9. CWilson1351

    CWilson1351 Arachnobaron

    Looks like a regular patternless to me. Adorable regardless. It sounds like everyone has already given you the info you need so I can't really add anything further. Best of luck to both of you though!
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  10. silverhaze269

    silverhaze269 Arachnopeon

    I would say it looks like a regular patternless crestie to me, but a nice little one just the same! Harley x Joker would have totally been the parents :p Harlequins have patterns on their sides. Its colours will come out a bit more once it gets bigger, and it will get a darker colour when it "fires up", if you haven't noticed that already. If you haven't see that yet, you can usually get them to "fire up" by spraying them - it's totally harmless. From what I've read, no one really knows why they do it...some people think it's stress, but I think it's just a mood response in general - if they're excited, or curious for example - not necessarily if they're stressed per se, just if they're doing anything other than hanging out.

    How big is it? It's kind of hard to tell in the photo.

    You don't want to keep it in an enclosure that's too big, or they can have trouble fining their food. When they're small, I use the the lid from a pop, juice, or milk container - they really don't eat or drink much, so don't be alarmed if you don't noice them eat or drink. I kept mine on paper towel while in critter keepers for ease of cleaning while they're little. Room temperature is fine for them, and a daily misting is fine too - you want them to mostly dry out once a day, but then keep it moist. A powdered crested gecko diet worked best for me, supplemented with crickets every now and again. They also don't need any special lighting.

    They're also pretty handleable, but can be fast and jumpy when they're small. They can also drop their tails, and they won't grow back if that happens. Any questions let me know! I've currently got 2, but I bred my female so I have plenty of experience with hatchlings :p
  11. Tim Benzedrine

    Tim Benzedrine Prankster Possum Old Timer

    Thanks. It is maybe 3 or four inches long, but I am a terrible estimator. I'm trying not to bother it anymore than necessary to start with, limiting interaction to feeding and a nightly misting but once I feel it is getting well-established, I'll measure it.

    It ate another round of baby food just a bit ago, this time with a small dusted cricket mashed into it. i don't think I got the cricket into small enough pieces, but it was licking the food off of it and pulled a piece of the cricket out and licked it off, so at least i know it does have an appetite. I am getting ready to order a small pouch of Pangea in just a little while, so I hopefully will not have to rely on the baby-food route long enough to cause any harm. Since he is eating banana baby-food right now, I am ordering the banana-apricot formula. I'm a bit pumped about this critter, they seem to have few environmental considerations to worry over, even fewer than leopard geckos, which are not all that demanding themselves.
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  12. Tim Benzedrine

    Tim Benzedrine Prankster Possum Old Timer

    Time for an update. I'm still hand-feeding it Pangea CGD...but, it has finally started to eat baby crickets.

    But here is a story. I had noticed that the lizard was walking with halting, shaky steps, sometimes practically staggering. I found this worrisome naturally, and began to try to determine the cause. Since I'd been feeding it Pangea which is supposed to be nutritionally complete, I didn't think it was MBD, and it was showing no physical appearances of that. I did notice that it hadn't seemed to shed since I got it, and upon examination I noticed that it had a good bit of stuck skin in various areas. That led me to giving it a bath with a little bit of Shed Ease added. I then worked gently with a Q-tip to try to work some of it off, with limited success. My reasoning had been that it was possible that since I'd never witnessed it shedding, there might have been more than one layer needing to be removed.
    I got some off, and placed him back in his enclosure. Later in the week, I noticed that it had gotten the old skin off. More on this in a bit.
    Anyway, I gave him a second soak and repeated the treatment. This time, the gecko apparently decided it had enough. it whirled and bit me! Entirely painless, of course, but I was startled because it had never reacted this way before and I flinched. Down to the carpeted floor the gecko fell. Luckily I was sitting and it was not a very high drop. Plus given their arboreal nature, a drop is probably not as big of a consequence when they have a soft landing spot.
    It took me a second, but I spotted his tail poking out from beneath an old printer that was setting close by. He gave himself away by moving his tail. So I gingerly lifted the printer and found- a wiggling tail, with no gecko attached. Yep, I had fallen for the oldest gecko trick in the book, the detached, wiggling tail gambit. (you had to see that coming as soon as I mentioned "moving his tail").
    Glumly, I set about looking for the rest of the gecko. There is a good bit of bric-a-brac in the room besides the printer, and I knew it was gonna be a challenge. And it was. An unsuccessful one.
    I searched for a long period, finally gave it up, then decided to try some more for another long period of time with no luck. And hour later I couldn't stand it and searched a third time. Still nothing. I finally realized that the gecko would probably be a goner in a matter of time and I might never even find the tiny critter's remains. :(
    So, feeling defeated and forlorn I began rearranging the items I moved in the search, and in the process lifted a box that I had looked under THREE times, and there it was. Stumpier, and perhaps wiser for the experience and realizing that free-range living might not be all it is cracked up to be.

    Now I will return to the problem it was experiencing. I suspect that while I had been misting the enclosure, I may have not done so aggressively enough and upped the amount. but while it still had good body tone (less a tail) and it's appendages showed no sign of MBD, it was still wobbly. And then a few days ago, I noticed the symptoms had vanished. He was walking and scurrying normally. And when I picked him up for a closer inspection, he leaped back onto his fake foliage, something he had ceased to do, along with climbing on the foliage) And now, as I mentioned, as of last night, he has started to chase down and consume crickets.
    I'm wondering if perhaps he was not receiving enough hydration from the twice-daily misting. I probably made a mistake in thinking that all the droplets each time were sufficient water sources and didn't include a standing water source, which was admittedly very foolish of me, given that while I'm very new to this species, I know the importance of a water supply. This of course has been corrected, he now has a standing source along with the twice-daily mist.
    I think another thing that made me think he was getting enough fluid was the fact that his CGD contains a good bit of water when mixed. Again, a very foolish assumption.
    I also wonder if he had had problems with previous sheds and if there might have been an additional layer from before I got it. I'm still not sure if his circumstances before he ended up with me.

    Lastly, I at last got a shot if him that did not suffer too badly from poor depth-of-field. This will be the ONLY such shot, I had to resort to standing far beck and using the zoom and a small aperture to achieve the depth of field, which required a flash (the intensity of which I tried to alleviate with distance), something I am not going to use again given the nature of their ocular system. But all attempts without a flash were fruitless. Post-production tweaking yielded satisfactory results, at least by my standards.

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  13. Tim Benzedrine

    Tim Benzedrine Prankster Possum Old Timer

    Today has been update day. (updated the status of my baby scorpion in the related sub-forum before starting this one here.)

    Since my past post, I had a revelation. I mentioned the odd behavior and have come to the conclusion that the problem may have been that the gecko was getting too warm and was starting to "crash". They are not high-temperature reptiles. I've since paid more attention to the upper temps and when I notice it is getting close to the 80 degree mark, take measures to cool it down. This is not that difficult now, but it is going to take some thought when the hot weather returns.

    I'm considering trying a drip system, dropping a few ice cubes into the water in the dispenser. Then I will have a container below the drip to catch the cooled water. Upon implementing this, I will monitor the temperatures carefully to make sure the drop is not TOO drastic (or not drastic enough). I haven't worked out the details yet, though.

    She is doing well and growing, though I still have to "spoon feed" her crested gecko diet. But she goes after baby crickets with a vengeance, be it on her own or taking them from my fingers. Hopefully she will start feeding herself the diet, but if I must hand-feed her for the duration, I'm okay with that. But I may have to first try some "tough-love" in the future to see if she can be induced to eat on her own and let her skip a few meals.

    I thought I read somewhere early on that as babies, they eat more insects than they do as adults, but I'm unsure how credible the source was, or where I even found the info.

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  14. Tim Benzedrine

    Tim Benzedrine Prankster Possum Old Timer

    Weird. I got a notification that I'd received a disagree" in this thread. Not sure what for exactly, but it doesn't matter, I just popped back in to see what was up. No big deal, agreed? :D
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  15. Dave Jay

    Dave Jay Arachnoknight Active Member

    This is the post with a disagree, it's not really a agree or disagree type of post so I would assume it was a "mis-finger". It was a member called animalnewbie who was active a couple of hours ago if you wanted to ask them.
  16. Tim Benzedrine

    Tim Benzedrine Prankster Possum Old Timer

    Eh, it isn't a problem. I sort of figure it is a mis-click. Like you said, the post contains nothing like an opinion or suggestion to disagree with, really. It was just me explaining what I intended to do on a temporary basis while I awaited proper food. Thanks for pointing it out though, I missed it when I came to investigate.

    I ended up ordering a pouch of Pangea, by the way. I also have a pouch of Zoo-Med CGD, purchased after a breeder did a review of it with the opinion that when they reformulated it, they vastly improved it, changing his opinion on it being garbage. He originally literally threw it and a few others in a trash can to illustrate his point.
    The same fellow, just for fun also tried a bunch of the major brands. Not on the geckos, he mixed them up and tasted them himself. It was amusing. Black soldier-fly larvae (AKA calci-worms), one of the ingredients in several CGDs, are apparently not very palatable to humans. :D

    I Have to admit that the Zoo-Med smells delicious and I have an urge to sample it myself. I think I will resist that urge. For one thing-yuck. For another thing, some of the ones he sampled he fell short of his expectations.

    I tracked the video down again. Check it out if you are interested in learning what Crested Gecko Diet might be right for YOU! :D

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  17. MrsHaas

    MrsHaas Arachnodemon

    My darling possum, what a find!! Absolutely gorgeous...
    And “say no” to critters? I haven’t ever known you to ever say no! :kiss:;)
  18. AnimalNewbie

    AnimalNewbie Arachnobaron

    Oh sorry!!!
    Yeah it was a misclick I was on a phone at that time.
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  19. Tim Benzedrine

    Tim Benzedrine Prankster Possum Old Timer

    No problem, it happens a lot here.
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  20. Tim Benzedrine

    Tim Benzedrine Prankster Possum Old Timer

    Photographic progress report. I've relaxed my stance against flash photography a bit, choosing instead to shoot at an angle that will not fire the flash directly into its eyes. So far, it doesn't seem to be affected.

    More gecko. Sadly, less tail.

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