The Leaf-Tailed Gecko Terrarium Sizing Guide

A leaf-tailed gecko terrarium can be made of either a glass or screen, depending on the ambient humidity where you live. Both have their own pros and cons, but both are excellent options. (An exception to this is U. phantasticus, which is particularly susceptible to dehydration, and should never be kept in a screen enclosure.)

Glass Enclosures

Glass enclosures are recommended for keepers in dry climates (less than 60% ambient humidity) — for example, the ambient humidity where I live is between 20-30% on average, so I used glass. Glass is easy to clean, and water droplets form on the walls where Uroplatus can drink them. However, glass can collect ugly mineral deposits over time from misting. These deposits will have to be periodically removed with vinegar or lemon juice.

Screen Enclosures

Screen enclosures are recommended for keepers in humid climates (more than 60% ambient humidity). These are inexpensive and lightweight compared to their glass counterparts, but harder to clean. Water doesn’t cling to the walls well, but feeder insects can climb the walls, increasing usable hunting space for the gecko.

Uroplatus sikorae, mossy leaf-tailed gecko terrarium

18x18x18 terrarium being used for a U. sikorae

Different Sizes for Different Species

A leaf-tailed gecko terrarium can measure from 12”x12”x18” to 24”x24”x48”, depending on the species and how many geckos you intend to house. Hatchlings and juveniles can typically be kept in Kritter Keepers or very small terrariums like the Exo Terra Nano until they are large enough to move about confidently in their habitat.

12x12x18 (30x30x45 cm) recommended for:

  • alluaudi (single)
  • pietschmanni (single)

18x18x24 (45x45x60 cm) recommended for:

  • guentheri (single)
  • sameiti (single)
  • sikorae (single)
  • aff. sikorae (single)
  • pietschmanni (pair or trio)
  • alluaudi (pair or trio)

18x18x36 (45x45x90 cm) recommended for:

  • fimbriatus (single)
  • giganteus (single)
  • henkeli (single)
  • aff. henkeli (single)
  • lineatus (single)
  • guentheri (pair or trio)
  • sameiti (pair or trio)
  • sikorae (pair or trio)
  • aff. sikorae (pair or trio)

24x24x48 (60x60x120 cm) recommended for:

  • fimbriatus (pair or trio)
  • giganteus (pair or trio)
  • henkeli (pair or trio)
  • aff. henkeli (pair or trio)
  • lineatus (pair or trio)

**No data available for U. malahelo, U. fotsivava, or U. kelirambo, although I imagine they would do well in a 12x12x18 or 18x18x24, depending on size, activity level, and number of individuals.**

Long-style terrariums are recommended for members of the Ebenaui group (excepting the two members mentioned above), as their natural habitat is actually shrubs and they spend their lives closer to the group (thus why they have evolved to look like dead leaves). A 10 gallon (20″x11”x13” or 51x28x33 cm) is sufficient to keep one member of the species, and a 15-20 long is better for breeding pairs/trios.


Next: Safe substrates for leaf-tailed geckos