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Red Ackie Monitor Care

This document is for guidance only and should not be used as the sole source of information. New information is being developed regularly. It is recommend to  multiple sources of information before buying a pet. 

CARE OVERVIEW

Common Name: Red Ackie Monitor              

Difficulty Level: Intermediate 

Scientific Name: Varanus acanthurus

Native to: Northern Australia 

Size: 8 to 9 inches

Life span: 10 to 15 years

General appearance: Ackie monitors are long, slender monitors with a snakelike tongue, sharply tapered snout, somewhat rounded body, relatively short legs, and a whiplike tail. The body is typically red, brown, or black-brown with yellow, cream, or red spotting. The head typically features three pale stripes running from the face to the neck. The tail is long and covered in heavily keeled scales in a pattern of alternating light and dark rings, giving it a spiny appearance and function. The underside is typically pale and patternless.

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Enclosure:

Hatchlings to adult leopard geckos can be kept in a ten gallon tank. A twenty gallon would be more ideal for an adult or a pair. Each side of the cage should have a hiding spot and maybe a few plastic plants throughout the cage for more hiding spots. Setup for enclosure is really easy as they lizards do not climb and do not burrow.

Heating and Lighting:

Leopard geckos require a hot spot around 88 to 93 degrees. This is usually achieved with a small heat pad and low watt heat lamp (both on the same side of the tank).  The cool side should be around 75 degrees. If the nighttime temperature gets below 75 a nighttime heat source (usually a heat pad) should be provided. Leopard geckos are mostly nocturnal and do not need UVB provided.

 

Substrate:

We use newspaper and paper towels for our leopard geckos and do maintenance every other day. Liners can be used but be careful of threads tangling with your gecko’s claws. DO NOT USE ANY CALCIUM SAND or CEDAR. If you want to use substrate we recommend Sani-Chips from T-Rex.

 

Humidity:

Leopard geckos are a desert species and thus need a humidity 40% or lower. A humid hide (a hiding spot packed with wet paper towels or moss on the warm side) can be used during shedding.

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Handling:

Leopard geckos are extremely popular as they max out at 8 to 9 inches (slightly larger for Giants) and are slow and easy to handle. Hatchlings tend to be more skittish and defensive (gecko scream!) but calm down with proper handling. These guys tend to be clumsy climbers (will literally just walk off your hand and fall off) and thus should be handled while sitting down until you are use to handling them.

 

Diet:

We feed our hatchlings to adults mostly mealworms. Our hatchlings and juveniles are bowl feed 10 to 15 mealworms every other day while our breeders are bowl fed mealworms and dubia roaches. We occasionally feed crickets but found it easier to bowl feed mealworms and dubias as we could keep track of each leopard geckos’ intake of food.  We dust our insects with calcium (3 times a weeks) and a multivitamin (once a week) powder.

Last Thoughts:

Leopard geckos are great beginner reptiles as they require small caging and little maintenance compared to other lizards. These lizards come in an array of different colors and patterns. We at Curious Creatures LLC have started with a few different morphs, mainly consisting of tangerines, tremper sunglows and bold stripes.

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