Like many of their micro gecko cousins, Weigmann’s striped gecko (Gonatodes vittatus) exhibits some strong sexual dimorphism. The most revealing trait for this species is the stripe running down their backs, which is much more conspicuous in males! Gonatodes geckos are usually shy, but for those looking for a micro gecko that they can readily observe during the day, Wiegmann’s striped geckos are as bold as the stripe on their backs!
Juvenile striped geckos are gray to brown in color with light beige spots. At around three months old, males will begin to develop their characteristic white stripe, which runs from snout to tail tip! Adult males are otherwise patternless with a gray body, and yellow coloration that covers their head and follows down the upper part of their bright white stripe. Females will also develop a more muted white line down their back, but they will keep their gray-brown color. Their spots also turn to shades of gray and brown.
A pair of Wiegmann’s striped geckos adult can be housed in an 8x8x12 enclosure or 12x12x12 enclosure. These geckos should only be housed alone or in single pairs. Males are territorial, and even females may fight with each other. While this species does not have toe pads and cannot climb smooth surfaces, hatchlings and juveniles are very small, so any accessible escape routes should be identified and 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.
Wiegmann’s striped gecko is diurnal. During the day, they are found climbing, but they should be provided with plenty of hiding places. A layer of leaf litter over the substrate is recommended, and additional hides should also be provided; cork bark and similar items work well. Live plants are always a welcome addition to the striped gecko’s enclosure, and they will offer extra hiding places.
As these geckos enjoy climbing, they should be provided with plenty of climbing material, such as rocks, driftwood, cork bark, manzanita branches, and other rough surfaces. 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, Wiegmann’s striped gecko should be kept at temperatures ranging from 75 to 80 F. A basking spot of around 85-90 F can be provided by using a heat pad or heat lamp, but is not necessary if warmer stable temperatures are provided. Despite being a diurnal species, UV lighting for this species is a matter of debate. Some keepers claim it can cause shedding issues and others indicate those kept under UV light breed more readily. 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 68 F at night.
Wiegmann’s striped gecko enjoy a drier environment than that of tropical geckos. They should be kept at a humidity between 50-60%. This species should be lightly misted daily or every other day. This will help to maintain a slightly elevated humidity and to provide water droplets on the enclosure walls, leaf litter, and other cage items from which the geckos can drink. 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. Live plants will help create humid microclimates within the enclosure, but a humid hide can also serve that purpose.
Wiegmann’s striped gecko hatch out very small at only a little over an inch! Adults don’t get much larger, reaching lengths of only a little over 3 inches. It is estimated this gecko lives about 10-20 years in captivity.
Wiegmann’s striped geckos are insectivores. While their small size limits what bugs they can be offered in captivity, we supply all of the insects your dwarf 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.
At around 3 months, Wiegmann’s dwarf gecko will begin to visually differentiate with sexually dimorphic characteristics. Over time, males will develop a yellow head and a strong white stripe down the length of their body, and their spotted pattern will give way to a patternless gray body. Females, on the other hand, will maintain their spotted pattern as well as their gray and brown colors.
A light brumation period in winter or increasing the length of day in summer is recommended 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. Eggs will hatch after 65-110 days.