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Care Sheet: Sphaerodactylus elegans

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

Basic information:

  • TL: 2.75″ (70 mm)
  • POTZ: 75°F – 82°F (24°C – 28°C)
  • RH: 50% – 70%
  • Egg gluer: no
  • Frugivory: yes
  • Flock breeding: maybe (male-male aggression is possible)
  • Harem breeding: maybe (female-female aggression is possible)


Basic care for these small geckos is simple: they are diurnal, terrestrial, and omnivorous. They are not sexually dichromatic. Males can be identified by their escutcheon patch; a series of modified pre-anal and femoral scales.

A tank of at least 5 gallons is recommended for a 1.2 group, and horizontal 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. While these geckos have adhesive lamellae and are good climbers, they make extensive use of cover objects and will often bury themselves. Provide substrate that facilitates this behavior, such as sandy loam or coco chips covered with leaf litter.

A 12-hour photoperiod is recommended. A seasonal reduction in photoperiod will encourage breeding.

The tank should be misted regularly to maintain humidity, but allowed to dry partially in the interval. The geckos will drink the accumulated mist from the surface of cage furniture, and will also drink from dishes of water. Dehydration can quickly overcome very small geckos.

The recommended staple diet is small live foods (such as fruit flies, crickets, and wax worms) and fruit (such as banana puree or powdered gecko diet). Offer food at least twice per week, and dust all live foods with vitamin and mineral supplements. The geckos will also take powdered calcium carbonate from a small dish.

Clutch size is 1 egg, which the female hides under a cover object. Eggs 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 may be raised in small groups and are very small. They may require springtails as a first food. Sexual maturity is reached in less than 1 year.

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