Breeding & keeping info

Paroedura masobe keeping and breeding at BION Terrarium Center

by Anna Ivanuna & Lilja Krivosheeva

Paroedura masobe is a  interesting ground gecko species. It was described just in 1994, and it remains a jewel in herp collections to present day.

Par masobi  пара  1 IMG 1387

P. masobe is endemic to Madagascar. It`s known from low elevation sites from 300 tom above sea level.

madagascarrah1The extent of occurrence is currently 410 km2, but it probably accounts only 100 km2, according with masobe`s ecological needs. This geckos inhabit low elevation humid primary forests, where prefer height of 1-4 m above the ground.  So, surviving in agricultural land is impossible for them.

P. masobe is a biggest species of the genus Paroedura, maximum total length of individuals attains cm. Animals have unusual external view, with white-spotted dark skin and big eyes. No one subspecies of P. masobe  is known.

They are nocturnal. Their natural diet includes insects and snails.

For October 2014, BION breeding group of masobe includes 6 adult males and 6 females, and we have clutches. We have got an experience of breeding of this species in 2012, 2013 and 2014. So, we are waiting for 2015 season with great hope.

The keeping conditions

We use the vertical glass terrarium not less than 600x400x400 mm for a group of 1 male with 1-2 adult females. Except mating season, we keep individuals separately.

Substrate: soil; recommended depth of layer is 2-4 cm.

Paroedure masobe  juv самцы  3007

Decorations: tree branches, live and plastic plants, bamboo and bark shelters; water bowl, manger with Calcium.

Illumination: full spectrum lamp, 10 hours a day.

Temperature and heating: 23-26° C in day time, 20-23° C at night. The spot lamp is needed in winter (we use 40 W lamp 1-5 hours a day to provide a warm local spot of 25-26° C (not more than 27° C!)).

Humidity: the soil should be moist. Humidity at the enclosure is 70-80 %. We provide spraying twice a day.

Diet: adult animals receive crickets (1,5 cm, 3 ones 3 times per week), Shefordella tartara (3 subadults once per week), snails (1 cm, 1 snail once per week) and wood-louses (1-2 once per week).

Mineral supplements: we give Calcium and vitamins with every feeding, and the dish with Calcium powder is usually at the enclosure.

Hibernation: according to our experience, it`s possible to obtain positive breeding results without any wintering. However, our animals have a delicate winter period during the year cycle.


Paroedura masobe individuals become sexually mature at the age of 1,5-2 years. We keep adult animals in pairs or in groups of 1 male with 2 females during all breeding season. One female makes 1-2 clutches during a season, with 1-2 eggs in each clutch. It usually lay eggs on the ground or bury into a soil.

IMG 7668 - копия

The first clutches we observed in November, after 50-60 days of gravidity.

Temperature of incubation: 23-25° C in day time, 18-20° C at night.

We incubate eggs in laboratory conditions, at the dish with vermiculate. Humidity should be 60-80 % (a drop of water should appear on the surface of substrate after pressing it).

Hatchling occurs after 4,5-5 month.

IMG 3286


We use the plastic boxes of useful size, with a substrate of paper towels, for each juvenile.

2 times a day spraying, water bowl, different shelters and plastic plants are necessary.

Ration includes crickets (0,5-0,7 cm, 5 ones 5 times per week) and Shefordella tartara larvae (3 ones 2 times per week).

For youngs, we use calcium powder with every feeding and calcium gluconate with water every day (2-3 drops into a water bowl or water for spraying).


The main problem for P. masobe is decalcination. That`s why we provide our animals with a high dose of mineral supplements and UV light. Moreover, youngs are very delicate. So, you should keep and take them maximum carefully to avoid causing stress.

Useful sources

 - Frank Glaw - Miguel Vences. 2007: Field Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Madagascar. Vences & Glaw Verlag GbR 3rd Edition. 496 pp. Germany,467$pid2,59$pid3,195/animals.html