Nephrurus is a genus of nine species of gecko, commonly known as knob-tailed geckos.
They are easily distinguished by their short bodies, large heads, small legs, and short, carrot-shaped tails that often end in a small knob.
Scientific classification :
Nine described species, see article.
Th following nine species are recognized as being valid.
Nephrurus amyae Couper & Gregson, 1994 – Centralian rough knob-tailed gecko
Nephrurus asper Günther, 1876 – rough knob-tailed gecko
Nephrurus deleani Harvey, 1983 – Pernatty knob-tailed gecko
Nephrurus laevissimus Mertens, 1958 – smooth knob-tailed gecko
Nephrurus levis De Vis, 1886 - smooth knob-tailed gecko
Nephrurus levis levis De Vis, 1886 – common smooth knob-tailed gecko
Nephrurus levis occidentalis Storr, 1963 – western smooth knob-tailed gecko
Nephrurus levis pilbarensis Storr, 1963
In popular culture :
In the first episode of the TV series Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman Clark Kent applies for a job at the Daily Planetnewspaper, producing an article on knob-tailed geckos as proof of his writing skills.
Exemplars of Nephrurus amyae
Nephrurus sheai Couper & Gregson, 1994 – Kimberley rough knob-tailed gecko
Nephrurus stellatus Storr, 1968 – stellate knob-tailed gecko
Nephrurus vertebralis Storr, 1963 – midline knob-tailed gecko
Nephrurus wheeleri Loveridge, 1932 – banded knob-tailed gecko
Nephrurus wheeleri cinctus Storr, 1963
Nephrurus wheeleri wheeleri Loveridge, 1932
The former Nephrurus milii Bory de Saint-Vincent, 1823, is now Underwoodisaurus milii (Bory de Saint-Vincent, 1823) – barking gecko.
For the external links , refrences click here to read the full wikipedia article
Angry Male Rough Knob-Tailed Gecko (Nephrurus Amyae)
Care of knob-tailed geckos
1- Species :
courtesy to : www.theknobtail.com/nephrurus
Nephrurus is a genus of 11 species which are commonly referred to as knob-tailed geckos due to the "knob" like feature at the distal end of their tail. Nephrurus are a burrowing, nocturnal, terrestrial desert gecko. These geckos have a ton of personality and are a great addition to any enthusiasts' collection. Currently, we work with N. levis levis, N. levis pilbarensis, N. deleani, N. laevissimus, N. asper, N. amyae, N. wheeler cinctus N. vertebralis, and N. stellatus, with hopes of adding more species to the collection in the near future.
Nephrurus levis levis :
Commonly referred to as the Smooth Knob-tailed gecko, N. levis levis is the more common of the 3 subspecies of the N. levis complex in herpetoculture. This gecko is quite prolific and is a great introduction to anyone looking into keeping a knob-tailed gecko. Our N. levis levis collection typically displays bright red coloration.
Due to the vertebral stripe starting at the base of the head and running along the entire length of its body, N. vertebralis is commonly known as the Midline Knob-tailed gecko. Like N. levis levis, N. vertebralis is very prolific and are one of the less demanding Nephrurus. N. vertebralis is still uncommon in the hobby, due to its scarcity in collections, and is seldom seen offered for sale. Our N. vertebralis collection are typically high patterned animals which displays bright red coloration.
N. stellatus has a scattered, dotted pattern resembling a starry night and is dubbed the starred knob-tailed gecko. Having a natural distribution on the coast of Southern Australia, N. stellatus desire cooler temperatures compared to other Nephrurus. We're happy to be able to have these quite rare geckos in our collection. Our N. stellatus collection typically displays bright yellow coloration.
2- The Care and Breeding of the Smooth Knob-Tail Geckos (Nephrurus levis levis)
courtesy to : www.australianaddiction.com/knobcare.html
by Justin Julander
Knob-tail geckos are some of the most fascinating lizards in the world. Their large eyes, big heads, and small tails make
for an odd combination resulting in a comical appearance. They can be hardy and characterable captives if their needs are properly met. As they are nocturnal and fairly secretive, they may be come easily stressed from too much handling and are
not a suitable pet gecko, but are fun to watch and keep. There are few caresheets on the web, and so hopefully this page can be a help to anyone who wants to keep these awesome geckos. I have been keeping and breeding these awesome lizards for a year and a half, so I am by no means an expert, but with the help of some great friends (thanks Casey and Jim!) I have been fairly successful in keeping these geckos and am thoroughly addicted to these little gems. They aren't too hard to keep as long as you recognize the important elements of keeping them happy.
Important Natural History :
Smooth knobs live in sandy areas and spend much of their lives in burrows. They will make use of burrows made by
insects or small mammals. They are also great excavators and can dig an appropriate burrow quickly. Moisture is retained by spending the hot hours of the day inside their burrows. This is important to keep in mind when designing an appropriate cage for your geckos. They are also nocturnal in habit and will forage at night for insects and other geckos. They are ravenous preditors and track and attack prey with vigor. They may also wave their knob in anticipation of a meal. Little is known about their natural history and much of what we know about these lizards is from their behavior in captivity.
Knob-tails can be kept in many different styles of cages, as long as specific needs are met. These needs are appropriate thermal gradient, proper moisture retention, and recognizable substrate. Provide a thermal gradient from mid 70's on the cool end to high 80's on the warm end, which is easily accomplished with apporpriately placed heat tape or a heating pad. A digital thermometer or infrared temp gun can be used to monitor temperature to make sure that it is not too hot for the geckos when setting up the enclosure. I place a heating pad or strip of heat tape on the dry end of the cage and the cool end is also the moist end. This prevents the moist side from drying out too quickly. A thermal gradient functions in giving the geckos usable temperatures for jobs they need to do. I have observed my gravid females as they spend time on the hot end while their eggs are developing. In nature they will emerge from their burrows at night and will warm themselves on the sand that has been heated during the day, so this form of heat will need to be duplicated in captivity. If they have proper heat then they can attain natural life events. It is imperative when keeping reptiles to provide a proper thermal gradient to suit their needs for different natural tasks the animals must perform. Failing to do this or providing an overall ambient temp is just trying to tell your animals what to use without taking into consideration that they need many different temps at different times to perform different biological processes.
The second important need to be met is appropriate humidty. This is fairly easy to provide by moistening slightly the sand at one end of the cage. Fine sand is used with great results. I would also reccommend the use of natural sand as opposed to processed sand made from crushed rock. Natural sand is smooth and free of jagged edges, where processed sand is like walking on glass shards. I am luck to live in Utah and have some access to the nice red sand of southern Utah to use in the gecko cages. The sand on the moist end must be moist enough that it will clump when squeezed in the hand and which will hold a burrow. You may also provide an inverted potting dish with a hole cut in the side or rocks SECURELY stacked over the moist area. If the sand is deep enough, the geckos will make their own burrows. The entrance of the burrows or the opening provided in the inverted container or terra cotta plant drainers will be plugged with sand to retain the moisture in the burrow. If knob-tails aren't allowed to burrow and close themselves in in this manner, they will soon dehydrate with unfortunate results.
As mentioned above these geckos need a natural recognizable substrate. Natural fine sand works wonderfully. Don't keep these geckos on something they don't recognize. If kept on newspaper, leaf litter, or other substrate, they will not know what to do with it. It would be like us living in our swimming pools; we could live there, but it wouldn't be that great. I like to provide my females with an extra deep layer of substrate (4-6 inches) so they can prepare for nesting. I have used sand from nature with no problems. Once these simple needs are met and maintained, they are easy to keep.
Knob-tails in captivity will eat a variety of insects including crickets, mealworms, superworms, locusts, cockroaches and other appropraitely sized bugs. I dust the food items with an appropriate calcium or multivitamin powder. They can eat fairly large meals when compared with other geckos of similar size, but care must be taken not to feed them too large of food items. They hunt at night and emerge from their burrows early in the evening, so they should be fed at that time. Don't throw insects in the cage during the day or during the day when they are sleeping or they will lose their dusting and can cause other problems. Crickets will lay eggs in the moist end sand which will hatch in the warmth and you'll have baby crickets everywhere. The baby crickets will annoy and stress the geckos out alot, so it is a good practice to pinch the ovipositors of the female crickets to make sure no eggs are laid before feeding. If you notice baby crickets in the cage, replace the substrate immediately to remove all the baby crickets. Mist the cage once every couple of days in the summer warm months and less frequently during the winter cool. If the geckos are out, mist them as well and so they can drink, licking the droplets off their face.
These geckos are quite prolific and give the chance will even lay themselves to death. This must be kept in mind when preparing to breed. Breeding and egg production tapers off and stops as the temperatures are reduced and as cage conditions become drier. Knob-tails, like many geckos will produce clutches of two eggs and can multiclutch, laying many clutches a season. Six clutches are about as many as you want to get from any one female, and that only if they are healthy. If they are cooled in the winter months and returned to warmer conditions in the spring it is hard to stop these geckos from breeding. When introducing pairs, I have noticed important signals which indicated weather the female is receptive or not. If a male and female are placed together and the female begins to raise her tail, wave the knobbed end around, and thrust her cloaca in the face of the male, then she is NOT ready. Non-receptive females will also vocalize and avoid males when not receptive. I have noticed that when a female increases food intake that she may be putting on weight for egg production and may be more receptive to a male. Receptive females are very easy to discern from non-receptive females. They will lie still as the male approaches with their tail down and quiet and submissive in behavior. A male will generally immediately show interest and will begin by grasping the female by the nape the tail and eventially moving up to the nape of the neck. The female will sometimes move her tail over the tail of the male. He will begin breeding the female and breeding will last several minutes. The geckos are in a semi-trance state and are not easily disturbed. I once had a female that was not in proper breeding condition that I placed in a males cage for a couple minutes for a cage cleaning. I came back to remove the female, but the male was firmly attached and wouldn't let go for the world. I even picked the pair up and he still refused to let go. They sure are exhibitionists.
incubation chamber. Don't overwater, as less moisture is less harmfull than too much. Monitor the eggs occasionally to make sure they appear healthy and that they have not died during incubation. Healthy eggs will generally not mold, and I have even had moldy eggs hatch into healthy babies. They will take around 60 to 70 days to hatch. The babies are kept individually as the adults and are fed on small insects that are dusted. This is a rewarding and fascinating species to keep. Have fun, and get addicted!
I keep pairs together until the female is noticably gravid, at which time I remove the male to another cage. The female will begin to dig and will really rearrange the sand. Many times you will know when the female has laid by the amount of sand that has been kicked around the cage. If the substrate is not deep enough or the female does not find a spot to her liking, she may retain the eggs longer and this may lead to problems. Make sure that you have sufficiently deep (around 3-6 inches), slightly moistened, sandy substrate. My females generally dig down to the bottom of the container and lay the eggs on the surface of the rubbermaid container. They will sometimes leave air around the eggs if the substrate is too moist. They do a good job of placing the eggs in the best environment available. Carefully dig up the eggs and incubate them around 82-85 degrees. Incubate on slightly moistened vermiculite. There should be a bit of condensation on the sides of the
3- Knob-Tailed Gecko Care Sheet
BY STEVE SYKES
Nephrurus amyae knob-tailed geckos, normal and hypo for comparison
Knob-Tailed Geckos ( Nephrurus species)
Knob-tailed geckos are rapidly gaining popularity among reptilekeepers around the world. Native to Australia, these distinctive geckos are named for the small knob at the tip of their tail, and they’re known for their rasping bark. There are 14 species and subspecies of knob-tailed geckos, and most are available in the reptile trade. Eleven species are in the Nephrurus genus, with two of those species broken down into subspecies. N. levis has three subspecies, and N. wheeleri has two subspecies.
Knob-Tailed Gecko Availability
Several species and subspecies of knob-tailed geckos (namely Nephrurus amyae, N. wheeleri, N. levis and N. milii) have been in captivity for years, and they can regularly be found from gecko breeders specializing in these species. Knob-tailed geckos are rarely, if ever, found in common pet stores; however, certain reptile specialty shops may carry some Nephrurus species on occasion. Prices vary from $150 to $250 for the more common species to thousands of dollars for rarer species.
Knob-Tailed Gecko Size
Knob-tailed geckos are measured based on their snout-to-vent length. Smaller species of knob-tailed geckos, including Nephrurus wheeleri, N. levis and N. deleani, have a SVL of approximately 4 inches. The largest of the knob-tailed geckos, Nephrurus amyae, has a SVL of approximately 5 to 5.5 inches.Tail sizes also vary among knob-tailed gecko species. Nephrurus amyae has a relatively short, narrow tail, but N. levisand N. wheeleri have longer, broader tails.
Nephrurus levis knob-tailed gecko
Knob-Tailed Gecko Life Span
How long a knob-tailed gecko can be expected to live in captivity is currently unknown, mostly due to the relatively short amount of time this species has been within the reptile trade. Although these geckos don’t appear to have as long of a life span as other geckos, such as the leopard gecko, knob-tailed geckos have been known to live past 10 years of age.
Knob-Tailed Gecko Caging
Knob-tailed geckos are best kept individually. A 10-gallon aquarium or terrarium appropriately houses one adult knob-tailed gecko of any species. However, because many keepers of knob-tailed geckos intend to breed their animals, commercial rack systems are commonly used. My wife, Debra, and I use plastic boxes 16.5 inches long, 10.5 inches wide and 6 inches tall in rack systems.
Baby knob-tailed geckos should also be housed individually. We house babies in plastic boxes 14 inches long, 7.5 inches wide and 4.5 inches tall.
One to two hide boxes should also be included within the cage to provide shelter and security for the gecko. Hide boxes should err on the small and dark side rather than the large and open side, and they should have only one entrance-exit hole. We use 8-inch-diameter plant saucers for adults and 6-inch saucers for hatchlings.
Knob-Tailed Gecko Lighting and Temperature :
Knob-tailed geckos are nocturnal, so they do not need overhead lighting or basking lights. In fact, this type of lighting can stress the gecko.
Heating is best applied by a heating element. An undertank heater works well with an aquarium or terrarium. Flexwatt heat tape or heat cables work well with rack systems. Place the heating element on one side of the cage, so a temperature gradient results. The hot side should be kept around 87 to 89 degrees Fahrenheit.
Knob-Tailed Gecko Substrate
A fine-grain sand is the best substrate option for knob-tailed geckos. Some species, especially Nephrurus levis and N. deleani, are known for digging, and they create small burrows and tunnels in their substrate. Slightly moist sand within the cage provides the right conditions for these knob-tailed geckos to dig their burrows. Other species, such as N. wheeleri and N. amyae, create enclosed environments inside their hide boxes by plugging up the entrance with moist sand.
Knob-Tailed Gecko Food
In the wild, knob-tailed geckos eat a highly varied diet of ants, spiders, cockroaches, crickets, scorpions, caterpillars, beetles, and even smaller geckos and skinks. Most keepers feed their captive knob-tailed geckos crickets or cockroaches four to five times a week. Some keepers have also fed mealworms with success. However, knob-tailed geckos cue in on the movement of prey items, and mealworms are not as visually stimulating as some insects, so they might not induce a feeding response.
Before being fed to hungry geckos, all prey items should be gut-loaded with fresh vegetables or a commercial gut load in order to provide the most nutrients. Furthermore, it is important to dust feeder insects with a vitamin-mineral supplement containing calcium and vitamin D3 right before feeding time.
Knob-Tailed Gecko Water
Water dishes are not necessary for a knob-tailed gecko’s cage, but water is an important requirement. Spraying the cage twice a week is the best way to give a gecko the proper amount of water.
How you water your knob-tailed gecko depends on what species you have. For rough-skinned species, such as Nephrurus amyae and N. wheeleri, spraying the top of the hide box with enough water to last for one to two days is appropriate. These knob-tailed geckos prefer a slightly drier environment, and they don’t require humidity. They lick water from the sides of the cage or hide box, or they absorb water through their skin.
For smooth-skinned species, including Nephrurus levis, N. l. pilbarensis and N. deleani, a more humid environment is preferred. The best way to create more humidity is to directly spray the sand underneath (or inside) the hide box. Humidity will be contained within the hide box and provide enough moisture to render additional misting on top of the hide box unnecessary. Moist sand also provides the appropriate substrate for digging burrows, which is further discussed under the substrate section of this care sheet.
Knob-Tailed Gecko Handling and Temperament
Knob-tailed geckos are tolerant of handling, but they are not as tolerant as other gecko species, such as leopard geckos or crested geckos. Allowing a knob-tailed gecko to walk from hand to hand for short periods of time is OK, but it is not recommended to keep the gecko from its cage for prolonged periods of time. Some species, such as Nephrurus levis and N. wheeleri, might drop their tails if they’re really stressed, but they will regrow them. Other species, such as N. amyae, cannot drop their tails. When they feel threatened, they often growl and bark in order to defend themselves. Although it is fun to handle your pets, knob-tailed geckos are best viewed from the other side of the glass.
Steve Sykes is the source for Knob-Tailed Gecko information and breeding. Please visit his site at www.GeckosEtc.com .
Other & Recommended websites :
Knob-tailed Gecko Care Video
Gecko Rack System - Amyae, Asper, Knob Tails, Thick Tails, Wheeleri
Here comes the Aussie geckos
Knobtail gecko update and basic setup
how to care for a knob tail gecko and update
Knob Tailed Gecko Update
How to Breed Smooth Knob-tailed Geckos
Knob-tail Gecko Nephrurus levis, pilbarensis, wheeleri, amyae - albino - patternless
Smooth Knob tailed Gecko Breeding
A little morphs are available in the market and this species is still new in the market ..
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