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HomeYellow-tailed dwarf gecko (Sphaerodactylus dimorphicus) Care and Breeding

Yellow-tailed dwarf gecko (Sphaerodactylus dimorphicus) Care and Breeding

Yellow-tailed dwarf gecko

NAME

The yellow-tailed gecko (Sphaerodactylus dimorphicus) is by no means an official common name for this species, but we’ve selected it for this micro gecko’s characteristic yellow tail. This species is very quick.

COLORATION

Juveniles and females have a patternless gray-blue body with a yellow tail. The head of females may develop a yellowish tint. Males are identified by black spots that start off well-defined at the head and fade as they reach the body, though faded spots can still be seen all the way down to their yellow tail.

HOUSING

A pair of yellow-tailed gecko adults can be housed in an 8x8x12 enclosure or 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 moist.

Yellow-tailed geckos are diurnal and primarily 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 repurposed as hides. Live plants are always a welcome addition to the yellow-tailed gecko’s enclosure.

Though they are fairly terrestrial, they will make use of climbing material. Rocks, driftwood, cork bark, and manzanita branches can be provided. 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.

TEMPERATURE

During the day, yellow-tailed geckos should be kept at temperatures ranging from 75 to 80 F. A heat source is not required as long as they are kept within that temperature range. 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 68 F at night.

Yellow-tailed geckos enjoy a higher humidity than other micro geckos, around 60-70%, but high ventilation and the enclosure being allowed to dry out between mistings are still important. 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. 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.

Both temperature and humidity should be monitored with a digital thermometer/hygrometer.

SIZE

Yellow-tailed geckos are little over an inch when they hatch out. One of the larger of the Sphaerodactylus micro geckos, adults will reach around 2.6-2.8 inches--still very small! It is estimated this gecko lives about 10-20 years in captivity.

DIET

Like all micro geckos, yellow-tailed geckos are insectivores. While their small size limits what bugs they can be offered in captivity, we supply all of the insects your yellow-tailed 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.

SEX

These micro geckos are sexually dimorphic. Juveniles and females are similar with a patternless gray-blue body and yellow tail. Males are similar in coloration but are adorned with black spots on their head and faded spots down the rest of their body.

BREEDING

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 three weeks in a secure area, including small egg-laying tubes. Eggs should be carefully removed and incubated. Eggs will hatch after 60-80 days.

Links of Interest:

https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/75605406/75607719

http://reptile-database.reptarium.cz/species?genus=Sphaerodactylus&species=dimorphicus