Island least geckos (Sphaerodactylus sputator) have a pretty straightforward name: they’re small, and they’re found on islands!
Juvenile island least geckos are gray-brown in color with a red to orange bright tail. They exhibit brown markings on their body. Adults are lighter in color, with a beige background but dark brown to black markings. Whereas both males and females have yellow tails, male island least geckos also have a bright yellow head.
A pair of island least gecko adults can be housed in an 8x8x12 enclosure or a 12x12x12 enclosure. As with other micro geckos, they are best kept solo or as a male/female pair. Sphaerodactylus micro geckos are equipped with toe pads and can climb smooth surfaces like glass; because hatchlings and juveniles are very small, any accessible escape routes must be secured!
Substrates like DigIt, Coco Select, and other coco-fiber based substrates work well. Sand-soil mixtures can also be used. A bioactive substrate can be made using BioBedding with springtails and isopods, offering your geckos additional food sources and reducing the need to spot clean. The substrate should be kept moist.
Island least geckos are crepuscular and terrestrial. They should be provided with plenty of hiding places. A layer of leaf litter over the substrate is recommended, but additional hides should also be provided; cork bark and similar items can be used as hides. Live plants are always a welcome addition to the island least gecko’s enclosure.
Though they are primarily terrestrial, island least geckos are often found climbing and hanging out in elevated areas in their enclosure. Climbing material, like rocks, driftwood, cork bark, and manzanita branches, are recommended. While this species has not been observed digging, they’re small and at risk of being crushed. For this reason, we strongly recommend ensuring that any heavy enclosure items be securely placed and supported by the bottom of the enclosure instead of the substrate.
During the day, island least geckos should be kept at temperatures ranging from 75 to 80 F. A heat source is not necessary if stable temperatures are maintained. If a heat source is provided, use a low wattage heat pad or bulb to prevent overheating. Despite being a diurnal species, UV lighting for this species is a matter of debate. If UV light is used, a 2.0 or 5.0 bulb should be used, and plenty of shaded areas should be provided in the enclosure. Temperatures should not fall below 65 F at night.
Island least geckos enjoy a humidity of around 55-65%. This species should be misted daily or every other day to maintain an elevated humidity and to provide water droplets on the enclosure walls, leaf litter, and other cage items from which the geckos can drink. High ventilation is strongly recommended. The enclosure should have enough ventilation that it dries out after several hours. A shallow water dish can be provided but is not necessary with consistent misting. In addition, live plants will help create humid microclimates within the enclosure.
Both temperature and humidity should be monitored with a digital thermometer/hygrometer.
Island least geckos hatch out at over an inch. Adults are one of the larger micro geckos, reaching nearly three inches--so still very small! It is estimated this gecko lives about 10-20 years in captivity.
Like all micro geckos, island least geckos are insectivores. While their small size limits what bugs they can be offered in captivity, we supply all of the insects your island least gecko will need. Feeding a staple diet of pinhead to ⅛-inch crickets works best for juveniles. Melanogaster fruit flies, springtails, and small dwarf white isopods can also be offered to juveniles. Adults should be fed a staple of ¼-inch crickets, but can also be offered extra small black soldier fly larvae, dwarf white isopods, hydei and melanogaster fruit flies, and bean beetles. Feeder insects should be gutloaded and dusted with a vitamin/mineral supplement. A food dish is not necessary but will help contain insects.
Island least geckos, like numerous micro geckos, are sexually dimorphic: males and females are visually different. In this species, males have a conspicuously yellow head, whereas females do not.
We recommend offering a light brumation period in the winter or increasing the length of day in the summer to incite breeding. Females will lay a single egg every three weeks in a secure area, including small egg-laying tubes. Eggs should be carefully removed and incubated.