Southern Leaf-Tailed Gecko (Phyllurus platurus)
by Graham Bruce, UK,
Creator of Geckoworld.

General Information

The Southern Leaf-tailed Gecko (Phyllurus platurus) is a large, common, arboreal gecko found within Sydney. In suburban human settlements, this gecko is often found during the late afternoon and night on brick walls and structures. They shelter during the day in caves and crevices in the surrounding sandstone and come out at night to forage for food on the rock faces. Their camouflage is ideal for the sandstone they inhabit. They are hardy, but handling should be kept to a minimum.

An adult pair of Southern Leaf-tailed Geckos will need a vivarium at least 40cm long x 40cm high. These geckos are arboreal, and need plenty of objects to climb on. I suggest using firmly bedded flat rocks stacked on top of each other. Also by using bamboo, branches and corkbark, these should provide the vivarium with some decoration, and help towards a naturalistic environment, as well as places for the geckos to hide in. There should be hiding spots in the warmer parts of the cage aswell as the cooler parts.

Temperature, Heating, and Lighting
To heat and light the cage, a blue or red spotlamp can be placed at one end of the vivarium. This will provide a gradient temperature from one end to the other. If the cage is placed in a dark position during the day, a second light such as a UV light can be setup to copy a day time environment.
Temperatures should not exceed 30C and a temperature of 24 - 28C should be maintained throughout the vivarium is sufficient.

Food should be given every 2 - 3 days. Southern Leaf-tailed Geckos are insectivorous and will readily accept insects such as mealworms, crickets, locusts, moths and cockroaches. But a staple diet of crickets is recommended.

A cooling down period is required like most reptiles before breeding occurs. During the winter months, the temperature should be allowed to drop around 4 - 6C, and feeding should also be cut down. After 2 months, slowly increase the temperature and begin feeding your geckos. Mating should soon follow, and a typical clutch of 2 eggs are laid.