Viper Gecko - Teratolepis fasciata (Captive Bred)-


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  • Small desert species

  • Terrestrial

  • Nocturnal

  • Communal--can be kept in groups

  • Easy to keep and breed

  • Very unique patterns


Name: Teratolepis fasciata. Commonly known as the viper gecko because it has keeled scales like a viper, or as the turnip-tailed or carrot-tailed gecko, due to its conspicuously fat tail in which it stores fat.


Recommended Enclosure Size: A 8x8x8 glass enclosure will house an adult viper gecko or two. A 12x12x12 enclosure can house 3-5 animals, with larger enclosures housing more geckos. Because this species does not grow very large, upgrading adults to a larger enclosure is usually unnecessary. As a communal species, males and females can be kept together in groups. Sand works well as a substrate. Hides should be provided, for which many items can be repurposed: slate, cork flats, or even everyday items like overturned flower saucers work well. Low rocks, driftwood, manzanita branches, and cork barkcan be included as well. Viper geckos like to dig, so heavy items should be supported by the bottom of the enclosure and not by the substrate.


Temperature: Keep viper geckos 75-85 F. Use an undertank heater or basking bulb to provide a basking spot of 95 F. Mini halogen bulbs work well for small enclosures. Do not allow ambient temperatures to rise above 100 F. Temperature should be monitored with a digital thermometer, and hot spot can be checked with an infrared thermometer or temperature gun. Night temperatures can drop to 68 F.


Humidity: Keep viper geckos at 40-50% humidity. They should not experience prolonged humidity levels above 55%. A humid hide is recommended, which this species will use for shedding, laying eggs, and hydrating. Ambient humidity should be monitored with a digital hygrometer. Viper geckos should be misted two to three times a week to provide dew on enclosure walls and cage items from which they can drink, but enough ventilation should be provided to allow the enclosure to dry out within a few hours. A shallow water dish can be provided but is not necessary with regular misting.


Size: Viper geckos are at least an inch long when sold by Josh’s Frogs. Viper gecko adults reach around 3 to 3.5


Age: Viper geckos sold by Josh’s Frogs are at least 2 months old. Viper geckos can live up to 10-15 years in captivity.


Feeding: Viper geckos sold by Josh’s Frogs are fed ⅛-inch crickets. These juveniles can also be fed extra small black soldier fly larvae and bean beetles. Adults should be fed a staple of ¼-inch crickets or dubia roaches, with black soldier fly larvae and bean beetles making good treats. Small mealworms can be offered to full grown adults. All feeder insects should be gutloaded and dusted with vitamin/mineral supplements, and can be offered in a food dish.


Sexing: Juvenile viper geckos already start showing differences in femoral pore development. Adults can easily be sexed by the presence of strong femoral pores and a hemipenal bulge at the base of the tail in males. Individuals sold by Josh’s Frogs are sexed by their femoral pores, but sexing them at their juvenile stage does not allow us to guarantee sex.


Color/Pattern: Viper geckos exhibit a unique ladder pattern with black, grey, beige, and white colors. Their intricate patterning and keeled scales give them a very unique and beautiful look. Hatchlings do not differ much from adults.


Social Behavior: Viper geckos are a communal species: males and females can be housed together with no issues. However, breeding individuals can suffer from a prolonged breeding season. Females should be provided with plenty of calcium, and individuals experiencing weight loss should be removed from the breeding group to recover.


Breeding: A brumation period in the winter or longer days in the summer will help incite breeding. Females will lay pairs of eggs in the substrate (or a humid hide, if one is provided) every 2-3 weeks. Eggs hatch within 60-80 days.


Natural Range: Viper geckos live in the deserts of Pakistan, which contributes to their hardiness in captivity. They hide in rock crevices during the day, emerging at night to mate and hunt for insects.


History in the Hobby: Once very popular in the hobby, their prices dropped until they began to lose popularity, and they have since become rare in the hobby. At Josh’s Frogs, we are excited to help this charismatic desert species become regularly available!


Links of Interest:

Supreme Gecko Care Sheet - Supreme Gecko care sheet on viper geckos


Still not sure if viper geckos from Josh's Frogs are the right pet for you? Read the reviews below and see what other customers are saying!


Shipping for any number of animals is just $39.99. Frogs are shipped via FedEx Priority Overnight and are delivered by 12:00 pm to most locations, Tuesday through Friday. Josh's Frogs does not ship frogs internationally. Scheduling of frog order is dependant on your availability and weather.


Please respond to our Frog Shipping Email, to ensure you will be there to receive the animals when they arrive. We'll email back to confirm after checking your local weather conditions.


We can ship directly to your address, as long as your local overnight low temperature is above 39F the night of shipping, and your high temperature is below 91F at noon on the day of arrival. If your overnight lows are below 40F but above 29F, Josh's Frogs can ship to your closest FedEx Staff Location that accepts Hold for Pickup packages. If your high temperature is over 90F at the guarantee 'delivered by' time (typically 12pm), Josh's Frogs can ship to your closest FedEx Staff Location that accepts Hold for Pickup packages. If your overnight low is below 30F, Josh's Frogs retains the right to hold frog shipping until temperatures increase due to safety concerns. We will hold the frogs at our facility for any length of time necessary to ensure that the frogs you order are received in the best of health. This policy is designed with the best interests and health of our animals at heart!


To find your nearest appropriate FedEx location, click here and follow the instructions below:

  • Enter your zip code in the top search box.

  • Click the Filter button.

  • Check Staffed Location.

  • Expand Additional services, and check the Hold package at location for pickup box.

  • Close the filter box and search for locations.


FedEx's website will display the nearest locations where you may pick up your frogs. We'll look up the locations for you when you call to schedule frog shipping. You do not need to check your temperature before ordering frogs - Josh's Frogs will take care of this when contacted about scheduling shipment. Frog orders require contact from our customer prior to being shipped out, to ensure you will be there to receive the animals when they arrive, and to check your local weather conditions.


Shipping for any number of frogs is a flat rate $39.99. This includes postage, a box with 1" styrofoam insulation, gel packs, heat/ice packs and/or phase 22 panels if necessary. Josh's Frogs has been shipping frogs since 2004 and has shipped thousands of animals safely. We have a special contract with UPS to ship live animals directly to residential addresses and guarantee live arrival as long as our Live Arrival Conditions are met.

All gecko shipments are sent via FedEx Overnight Air or USPS Express mail (where available). Therefore, your geckos will arrive the next day before noon. Josh's Frogs offers a live arrival guarantee on all gecko shipments provided that:

  • temperatures during transit do not exceed 85 degrees
  • temperatures during transit do not drop below 40 degrees for delivery to address
  • temperatures during transit do not drop below 30 degrees for pickup at the nearest FedEx Customer Center
  • someone is there to accept the package when it is delivered