Name: Sphaerodactylus notatus. Their common name, the reef gecko, probably refers to their locale, as they occur in the Bahamas.
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 reef geckos between 75-80 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. 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: Reef geckos need a humid but well-ventilated setup between 60-70%. Plants can be added to provide humid microclimates. Ambient humidity should be monitored with a digital hygrometer. Reef 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: One of the smaller Sphaerodactylus micro geckos, hatching out at 0.8 inches and only reaching 2.1-2.2 inches from head to tail!
Age: Reef geckos are at least 2 months old when sold by Josh’s Frogs. It is estimated that these geckos live for 10-20 years in captivity.
Feeding: Reef 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: Reef geckos are more difficult to sex than other micro geckos. Females sometimes have eyespots behind their neck, but this is not always the case. Males can be distinguished by the presence of femoral pores between the hind legs.
Color/Pattern: Reef geckos have a yellow tail and brown body. Stripes extend from the head and fade after the neck. The rest of the body is sometimes mottled with small dark brown spots. Juveniles have a white tail tip. Females may have a pair of eyespots behind their neck.
Social Behavior: This species is best kept alone or in a single pair. They can reportedly be kept with other dissimilar looking Sphaerodactylus species.
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 65-75 days.
Natural Range: Reef geckos are found in the Bahamas and surrounding areas.
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 notatus from the Dwarf Geckos website.
Still not sure if the reef gecko from Josh's Frogs is the right pet for you? Read the reviews below and see what other customers are saying!
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