The gargoyle gecko is a species of reptile that is only found in the southern end of the island of New Caledonia. It is also known as the New Caledonian bumpy gecko.
It is now becoming a popular choice for reptile owners due to its docile demeanour and let’s be honest, awesomely cute looks! However does the gargoyle gecko bite and does it hurt? That is what this article is going to look at, we will also be giving you some awesome tips on handling and safety to make sure that you and your pet get on great.
Do gargoyle geckos bite?
lets get straight into the nitty gritty and answer the main question you more than likely have.
You are thinking about getting yourself a gargoyle gecko as a pet and you want to know if they bite? The quick answer to this is yes they are capable of giving you a bite on the end of your finger. They do have lots of tiny sharp teeth which can give you a nip. However it is worth noting that they are quite small and as such do not have a huge biting force so bites are very, very rarely serious.
So there you have it gargoyle geckos can and will bite. Read on to find out ways that you can avoid getting bitten by your gecko with safe handling techniques.
Does a gargoyle geckos bite hurt?
As mentioned above a gargoyle gecko is more than able to bite you but with its small mouth and biting pressure it will struggle to cause you harm.
There is a really small chance that it could cause a puncture wound to a small child as their skin is much softer than an adults. This could also be the case with the elderly. In general though there should not be any bleeding from the bite spot.
Even though a gargoyle geckos bite is not to uncomfortable we do not want it to happen in the first place. Bites can be almost completely avoided by following a few simple steps and techniques which will provide your gecko with stress free handling.
These are the reasons why a gargoyle gecko may bite.
There are several reasons why a gargoyle gecko may lash out and bite but the first thing that you need to know is that they are not malicious animals. By this I mean that they will not just attack for no reason (unlike my pet cat!) and this is a good thing as it means we can adapt to not upset our geckos.
Below I am going to list some of the various reasons for why your gargoyle gecko may decide to bite you:
- A common reason for a bite can be when your gecko is new and not used to its surroundings.
- Poor handling techniques.
- Rough handling, usually by a child that has not learnt safe handling techniques.
- During or straight after feeding time.
- If your gecko feels stressed, threatened or scared. This can happen when your gecko is introduced to a new gecko. This article explains all.
How to handle a gargoyle gecko without getting bitten.
Gargoyle geckos are pretty relaxed pets to be honest and once they get used to their owners they are great for handling. Unlike other small lizards that can get very stressed out by being handled gargoyles actually seem to enjoy and find some comfort in it.
With all that being said, you still need to know how to handle your gecko correctly or there is always going to be the chance that you get bitten. So below i am going to go through some safe handling techniques.
New pet gargoyle gecko.
When you get your new pet gecko it may be a little shy and wary of its new surrouundingd and enviroment. This can cause fear and the chances are that if you go to grab it then it may bite in defence. When you get a new pet it is best to let it get used to its new home before pressuring it into any handling. Usually a day or two will be perfectly fine.
Poor handling techniques.
There are certain ways that you can handle your gargoyle gecko that will not cause a fear reaction. These are as follows:
- When going to pick up your gecko make sure that you do it front on so that it can see you approaching, do not grab from behind.
- Always allow your gecko to climb onto your open palm from below, you can guide it with your other hand from behind. In the wild a gargoyle geckos natural predators will always grab it from above, if you try to take hold of your gecko like that it may bite in defence or even drop its tail!
- Teach children from the start that the gecko is delicate and show them how to gently and safely handle it so as not to stress the gecko or get bitten.
Avoid handling at feeding time.
Just like me and you a gargoyle gecko will not appreciate being handled whilst it is trying to eat its meal. When it comes to feeding time let your gecko get on with eating as they can get a bit protective over their food.
Also make sure to wash your hands thoroughly after feeding your gargoyle gecko. It is not unknown for them to bite a finger after mistaking it for prey do to the smell of their food being on your fingertips.
What to do if you get bitten by a gargoyle gecko.
As mentioned earlier in the article gargoyle gecko bites are rarely serious and will not usually puncture the skin. It is however better to be safe than sorry, so with that in mind below are the steps you should take if you get bit.
- After the bite carefully place your gecko back into its tank. Gargoyle geckos do not latch on and will let go after it has bitten.
- Check the bite area and look to see if the skin has been punctured.
- If there is no puncture wound wash the effected area with soap and water and get on with your day.
- If there is blood wash with antibacterial soap and warm water and apply a little alcohol cleansing gel, gargoyle geckos are pretty clean but it is best to take precautions.
- You should be fine after taking the above steps but if you do notice any swelling or puss get checked out at your closest ER or doctors surgery.
Gargoyle geckos are great reptiles for beginners, they are easy to look after and generally do not mind being handled. There will always be the chance that one may lash out but in all honesty it is not sally to big of a deal so do not be put off handling your gecko if it does happen. Take things slow and allow your gargoyle to become accustomed to you and your new pet should get along just fine.
My gargoyle gecko seems stressed and bites frequently, what can I do? This could be because your gecko is just not settled in yet and needs more time. I always find that it is best when introducing a new gecko to a tank to make sure that there are plenty of sheltered hiding places. Places such as branches and rock caves are perfect for your gecko to hide in when it feels scared or stressed.
My gargoyle geckos tail fell off what now? This happens when your gecko is scared as if may feel as though it is being attacked by a predator, stress can also case it as well. The tail in time will grow back but in the meantime it may be best to brush up on your handling techniques.
Are gargoyle geckos friendly? Yes to be honest gargoyle geckos are very friendly. Out of all the reptiles I have handled they are the ones that seem most inquisitive and relaxed.
For more gargoyle gecko guides please use this link to read our other articles.