Name: Sphaerodactylus difficilis diolenius. It's name, the eyespot dwarf gecko, refers to the two white spots found behind the juvenile’s head.
Recommended Enclosure Size: Adults should be kept alone or in pairs in a 8x8x12 glass enclosure or 12x12x12 enclosure. Because this species does not grow very large, upgrading adults to a larger enclosure is usually unnecessary. Coco fiber-based substrates or sand-soil substrates work well. A bioactive substrate can be made with BioBedding, springtails, and isopods. Keep substrate moist. A layer of leaf litter should be added on top of the substrate. Hides should be provided; cork bark and similar items work well. Climbing materials like rocks, driftwood, cork bark, and manzanita branches can be provided. Live plants are also a welcome addition.
Temperature: Keep hispanola eyespot dwarf geckos between 75-80 F. A heat source is not necessary as long as stable temperatures are maintained. If a heat source is provided, use a low wattage heat pad or bulb to prevent overheating.Temperature should be monitored with a digital thermometer. Night temperatures should not fall below 65 F. UV light requirement debated; if used, provide plenty of shade in enclosure.
Humidity: Eyespot dwarf geckos need a relatively humid but well-ventilated setup between 55-65%. Plants can be added to provide humid microclimates. Ambient humidity should be monitored with a digital hygrometer. Yellow-headed geckos should be lightly misted daily or every other day provide dew on enclosure walls and cage items from which they can drink, but enough ventilation should be provided to allow the enclosure to dry out after several hours. A shallow water dish can be provided but is not necessary with regular misting.
Size: Hatching out at only an inch, adult eyespot dwarf geckos will only reach 2.3-2.4 inches!
Age: Eyespot dwarf geckos are at least 4 weeks old when sold by Josh’s Frogs. It is estimated that these geckos live for 10-20 years in captivity.
Feeding: Eyespot dwarf geckos sold by Josh’s Frogs are fed pinhead crickets and ⅛-inch crickets. These juveniles can also be occasionally offered extra small black soldier fly larvae, melanogaster fruit flies, and springtails. Adults should be fed a staple of ⅛-inch crickets, but can also be offered black soldier fly larvae, melanogaster and hydei fruit flies, dwarf white isopods, and bean beetles. All feeder insects should be gutloaded and dusted with vitamin/mineral supplements, and can be offered in a food dish.
Sexing: Eyespot dwarf geckos are sexually dimorphic and can be visually sexed. Whereas females mostly resemble juveniles in color and pattern, males will become spotted and develop a yellow snout and chin.
Color/Pattern: Juveniles and females beige with irregular lines running from their head to their hind legs. Juveniles exhibit two conspicuous “eyespots” behind their head. Males are also beige but become spotted and develop a yellow snout and chin.
Social Behavior: This species is best kept alone or in a single pair.
Breeding: A light brumation period in the winter or longer days in the summer will help incite breeding. Females lay single eggs every 3 weeks in a secure area, and will often make use of strategically placed egg-laying tubes. Eggs hatch within 50-60 days.
Natural Range: Diolenius eyespot dwarf geckos are one of 7 subspecies that inhabit Hispaniola and surrounding islands. The subspecies diolenius is found in central south and east of the Dominican Republic.
History in the Hobby: Despite being not too difficult to keep and breed, captive bred individuals are not often readily available. We’re excited to make this micro gecko more popular and available!
Links of Interest:
Dwarf Geckos Care Sheet - An excellent resource on Sphaerodactylus difficilis from the Dwarf Geckos website.
Supreme Gecko Care Sheet - Another great resource from Supreme Geckos.
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