Underwoodisaurus (Nephrurus) milli
Australian thick-tailed gecko or Australian barking Gecko
Nephrurus milli, until recently were classified as Underwoodisaurus milli. The name change is quite recent, so many resources still refer to this gecko by the previous name. The reclassification into the Nephrurus genus places this gecko with the group commonly known as the "knobtail geckos" such as Nephrurus levis, Nephrurus wheeleri, and Nephrurus amyae. The milli may lack the short "knob tail" of these others, but is very similar in many other ways. Nephrurus milli make an excellent starter level gecko for those who wish to work with Australian knobtails. They are a very attractive species with an easy going attitude that tolerate some handling. Their base color ranges from a dark purplish black to a very light tannish brown, with creamy or white raised scales forming a collar around the neck as well as thinner, broken bands across the back.
Nephrurus milli are fairly common in a wide variety of habitats in a band covering much of Southern Australia. While they may be found in the sorts of arid habitats common to other members of the Nephrurus group, they can also be found in habitats that are more moist. They take shelter during the day in rock crevices, under loose bark, or other debris that affords them shelter and seclusion.
Nephrurus milli are medium sized terrestrial geckos, so floor space is more important than vertical height in your caging setup. However, these geckos do like to actively explore their environment, and if some rough surfaced rocks or branches are placed in the enclosure, these geckos can often be seen climbing and exploring the vertical elements of their cage setup. I use a tank with a floor area of 18" x 14" for a single pair of adult milli, and use a mixture of sand and peat moss for a substrate. The peat helps to retain moisture a bit better than pure sand. An undertank heater (UTH) is used to create a warm end with a temperature of 80º - 85º. The cool end remains at room temperature which ranges from 70º - 78º. Nighttime temperatures are allowed to drop by approximately 5º. Hides are available on both the warm and cool ends of the tank. Hatchling / juvenile milli are raised in a "shoebox" setup that meets the same requirements as described above.
I have never witnessed my animals drinking from a water dish, but I often see them lapping drops from the tank walls and furnishings after misting. I mist the tank lightly several times a week, and occasionally will give a heavier misting to simulate rainfall. I also provide a hide containing a moistened mixture of sand and peat moss. While this was originally provided as a nesting box, I noticed that both the female and male geckos seem to make use of the container quite often. This is where I find most of the sheds (milli don't eat their shed the way many geckos do), so I speculate that the extra humidity helps to facilitate the shedding process.
I feed my milli crickets, roaches and occasionally mealworms. My adult pair has a noticeable preference for crickets. This perhaps has something to do with what they were raised on. The juveniles I am raising up seem to enjoy roach nymphs and mealworms as well as crickets.