tokay ate its tail

Discussion in 'Tokay Geckos' started by buckslayer9184, Dec 17, 2010.

  1. my tokay juat ate its tail :p does anyone know why he might have done this?? he was shedding if that helps :)
     
  2. LittleLeopard

    LittleLeopard New Member

    I don't know if tokays shoot their tails.

    If they do then your gecko might of shot it (prehaps when shedding) then looked at it and thought ahh its a rival then attacked it and eaten it? its only a guess though.
     
  3. JEFFREH

    JEFFREH Administrator Staff Member

    Generally tail dropping (caudal autotomy) occurs as a defensive behavior - it's pretty unusual that a gecko would do this without being provoked unless it's a species that is known to exist without tails for no apparent reason. For example, a male crested gecko of mine just recently dropped his tail alone in his enclosure for no reason whatsoever; he's been in the same enclosure for a couple of years, no changes, and I woke up to find him tailess. In the wild, every individual found was tailless, suggesting that this behavior is natural and they simply don't have a need for them so they opt to geck rid of it (R. ciliatus will not regenerate its tail once dropped).

    There are other species that have higher protein needs and are known to munch on the tails of fellow geckos, R. auriculatus is a known tail biter although I don't think they will eat their own tail just to get a little protein boost - it requires a lot of energy to regenerate a tail and when weighing out the odds, it really wouldn't be worth it for the gecko.

    To my understanding, Tokay Geckos will regenerate their tail. You can expect the regrown tail to look slightly different than the original but probably nothing extreme. As for the reason he did this - I really don't know. It's possible that while shedding he might have harmed himself pulling his skin off or it might have wrapped around the tail to prevent circulation to the point that he opted to drop it and then eat it. It may be a defensive mechanism for some species to consume the tail after dropping to sort of "cover their tracks" so a predator cannot use evidence to know the gecko was in the area (this is a hypothesis as to why they eat their skin as well).
     
  4. i talked to the guys at the pet store and they suggested the protein thing. they told me to start giving him pinkys. the only problem is they didnt have any live ones and i had to get frozen ones. i can't get him to eat one. any ideas? ive tried the classic dandling it in front of him. he licks it and turns away. i'm worried about the little guy. what can i do?? i will post a pic in a little while. it was really weird
     
  5. JEFFREH

    JEFFREH Administrator Staff Member

    A pinky is actually a relatively poor protein source, much greater fat:protein ratio than just about any insect you'll encounter and a lot harder to digest. Regretfully, most pet store employees are relatively misinformed when it comes to properly caring for herps and their suggestions for husbandry should typically be taken with a grain of salt unless it a well known or trusted source - not the employees fault, they are simply told what to say and how to care for an animal; but pet stores are simply looking for cheap and efficient ways to keep an animal alive to move it quickly which generally means sub par care. Meh. I'll stop the rant there.

    I'd continue to stick with insects - you could try offering a pinkie but I wouldn't go overboard and I'm quite confident this wont solve the "problem." I'd say it was likely a freak accident or some kind of mistake, we may never know seeing as we can't read the gecko's mind, but comsuming his own tail is not a symptom of illness or even a problem for that matter.

    If you do opt to feed a pinky, place it in a ziplock baggie and thaw it in lukewarm water until it's completely thawed and warm to the touch. Then just use a feeding utensil to offer it to him or place it in a dish and see if he shows any interest (depends on his feeding response). But keep in mind that insects are actually a phenominal source of protein : if you have the same weight in insects as that of a mouse your looking at a significantly higher protein to fat ratio. I don't think it's so much a protein deficiency because like I said, it requires a lot of energy to regrow a tail and heal the wound at the break point and it simply would not be worth it to the animal to consume it for its own dietary needs.
     
  6. Shanna66

    Shanna66 Well-Known Member

    some lizards just dont like pinkies. as jeff siad, pinkies are mostly fat and woudnt really help with any protien issues. they can make a nice treat for your animal every once in a while but other than that arent really good for much
     
  7. ok, thanks guys! one more important question. they also told me to put neosporin on his tail. is that ok? i do not trust these people anymore lol. i think im just going to ask you guys from now on
     

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  8. JEFFREH

    JEFFREH Administrator Staff Member

    Neosporin will be just fine to put on his tail = )
     
  9. tokaygirl55

    tokaygirl55 New Member

    I have no idea why his tail would've fallen off for no reason. But like Jeff said, put neosporin on it and he should be good. When I got my male the tip of his tail was gone and it's completely grown back in a few months.
     

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