Williams' Dwarf Gecko
This delightfully blue little gecko comes from the forests of Tanzania, reaches a max length of 6-10cm (2.5-4") and sexual maturity around 7 months of age. Caring for these gems is similar to other, more well known captive day gecko species. Deforestation of their very small habitat in Tanzania has made them available to hobbyists since ca. 2007, however no one is sure how long exportation of the species will last. Tanzania is making efforts to ban the exportation of this species. They are very rare both in the wild and in the hobby, and as a result, very little is really known about them. The following is a collection of information gathered by both myself and other hobbyists who have kept them. Here is what you will need for a setup:
- Vertical tank or Exoterra cage: As these guys are highly arboreal, they will appreciate the height of an enclosure moreso than the length. A 10 gallon tank turned vertically, or a 12"cubed Exoterra cage will fit a pair comfortably.
- Good lighting: As with many diurnal animals (those that are awake during the day), UVB lighting is going to be very important. Vita-Lites are a good option if they are feasible for you, however only the tube lighting is effecient for the purposes of the hobby. The CFL type lights don't produce the same amount of UVB (as in, little to none), and therefore aren't worth it. If you're looking for a screw-in type light, I would go with Sun-Glo. It has little to no risk of harming animals that are going to be so close to the light source. The drawback, on the other hand, is that the light is yellow-ish. So to truly show off the magnificent coloration of these animals, I suggest getting a second, cheap, white CFL from a hardware store :)
- Plants: This is an aspect you really shouldn't be frugal about. If you have live plants, all the better. These guys come from very dense forests, and would appreciate a lot of plants to hide in and around (think temperate forest setup).
- Branches/Bamboo: These guys need lots of places to bask, and the branches you put in will provide that for them. Place as many as you can both vertically and horizontally at varying heights. The bamboo provides them with both of these, as well as a place to hide (as it is hollow). Furthermore, the bamboo can also double as an egg laying site.
Feeding: These guys are VERY small (and babies are even SMALLER)! Having a culture of both melanogaster and hydei fruit flies on hand is essential. For variety, 1/8in crickets can also be provided. All insects should be dusted with a Calcium and D3 supplement (ESSENTIAL to younger specimens). Also, a Phelsuma Honey Mixture (or similar substance) should also be provided. I, personally, have deviated from this a bit as I now offer Repashy to my geckos. I was feeding my Crested Geckos the EXACT same thing I was feeding these guys (less the honey) so I have been experimenting with this instead. It is a more complete diet, and has a lot more nutritional value. The choice, however, is ultimately yours.
Temperature & humidity: 25-29°C/78-85°F and a dry, sunny place for basking. 50–80% RH (misting provides drinking water). I use an undertank heating pad (one made for hermit crabs) to keep the ambient temperature slightly higher than room temp at night.
Sexing: dominant males have a beautiful blue green color (azure), females are green and look almost gold dusted.
Young males or surpressed males will also be greenish like the females so the best way to sex them is to check for hemipenises bulges and femoral pores.
Males often will have a darker beard as well.
Males are territorial, so keep them separated or keep them in a large enclosure with lots of hiding places to minimize encounters.
It's important to check for mites with these species as most are wild caught. So put them in quarantine for a while and threat them with Mite-Off if necessary before introducing them to their enclosure.
Accepted scientific name: Lygodactylus williamsi LOVERIDGE 1952 (accepted name)
Common name: Williams' Dwarf Gecko
Classification: AnimaliaPhylum ChordataClass ReptiliaOrder Squamata Family
Gekkonidae Genus: Lygodactylus
Special thanks to Geckosunlimited.com for help on this care sheet :)