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Care Sheet: Lygodactylus kimhowelli

The following is adapted from Zwerggeckos, an excellent German-language site.

Basic information:

  • TL: 3.5″ (90 mm)
  • POTZ: 75°F – 82°F (24°C – 28°C)
  • RH: 50% – 70%
  • Egg gluer: no
  • Frugivory: yes (supplemental)
  • Flock breeding: no (male-male aggression)

Details:

Much of the care for these small geckos can be modeled on that of Phelsuma sp.: they are diurnal, arboreal, thermophilic, territorial, and omnivorous. They are colorful, but not necessarily sexually dichromatic. Males can be identified by their preano-femoral pores.

A tank of at least 10 gallons is recommended for a 1.1 group, and vertical orientation is preferable. Branches, cork bark, and plants should be arranged in a way that creates environmental heterogeneity: thermal and moisture gradients, hiding places, basking sites, egg-laying sites, and feeding stations.

A 12-hour photoperiod is recommended. If florescent lighting is used to provide daylight, then a second light (such as a 75w spot bulb) should be used to provide a basking spot of 85°F – 95°F for at least 4 hours per day.

The tank should be misted regularly to maintain humidity. The geckos will drink the accumulated mist from the surface of cage furniture, and will also drink from dishes of water.

The recommended staple diet is small live foods (such as fruit flies, crickets, and wax worms) and fruit (such as banana puree, peach baby food, or powdered gecko diet). Offer food at least twice per week, and dust all live foods should with calcium.

Clutch size is typically 2 eggs. They can be removed for incubation on damp vermiculite or similar media. The eggs should be kept humid but protected from contact with water (for instance by elevating them above the incubation media with a plastic mesh). Hatchlings should be raised individually due to aggression. Sexual maturity is reached within 1 year. Longevity is unknown (to this author) but anecdotally greater than 7 year.

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