HomeOcellated gecko (Sphaerodactylus argus) Care and Breeding
Ocellated gecko (Sphaerodactylus argus) Care and Breeding
Ocellated geckos (Sphaerodactylus argus) are named for the eyelike markings that cover their body. Their scientific name, argus, refers to Argus in Greek mythology, a giant which was said to have a 100 eyes!
Juveniles have a dark brown body. Bright lines run from their head towards their tail, fading as they reach a reddish tail. Adults are a lighter brown color and are covered in ocelli, or round eyelike markings, which sometimes form periodic lines near the head.
A pair of ocellated 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 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 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 slightly moist.Ocellated geckos are diurnal 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 ocellated gecko’s enclosure.Though they are primarily terrestrial, ocellated geckos will take advantage of climbing material. Rocks, driftwood, cork bark, and manzanita branches can be provided in the enclosure. While this species has not been observed digging, they’re small and at risk of being crushed, so 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, ocellated 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.Ocellated geckos enjoy a drier humidity than many of the other micro geckos and should be kept at 50-60% humidity. 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. It is important to ensure that the enclosure should has enough ventilation that it dries out after a few hours. A shallow water dish can be provided but is not necessary with consistent misting. Live plants will help create humid microclimates within the enclosure.Both temperature and humidity should be monitored with a digital thermometer/hygrometer.SIZEOcellated geckos are around 1.1-1.2 inches when they hatch out. Adults ae medium-sized among micro geckos, reaching around 2.3-2.4 inches as adults. It is estimated this gecko lives about 10-20 years in captivity.
Like all micro geckos, ocellated geckos are insectivores. While their small size limits what bugs they can be offered in captivity, we supply all of the insects your ocellated gecko will need. 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.
Male and female ocellated geckos look similar to one another. Males are said to have a blurred pattern on their head.
A light brumation period in the winter or Increasing the length of day in the summer is recommended to incite breeding. Females will lay a single egg every 18-20 days in a secure area, including small egg-laying tubes. Eggs should be carefully removed and incubated and will hatch after around 100 days.