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Name: Lygodactylus picturatus. Known as the Painted Dwarf Gecko, or the White-Headed Dwarf Gecko for its small size and whitish-yellow head!
Recommended Enclosure Size: A single animal can be kept in a 12x12x18 enclosure. Pairs have been successfully kept and bred in this size enclosure. A bioactive setup with live plants is strongly recommended for this species; BioBedding is recommended to maintain live plants, springtails, and isopods. Be sure to provide plenty of climbing material in the form of cork bark, branches, and/or bamboo.
Temperature (°F): Keep Painted Dwarf geckos between 75-80°F. A basking spot of around 90-95°F should also be provided. Temperature should be monitored with a digital thermometer. Night temperatures should not fall below 70°. Yellow-headed dwarf geckos should also be provided with a 5.0 or similar strength UVB light.
Humidity: Provide Painted Dwarf Geckos a humid but well ventilated setup between 60-70%. Plants can be added to help stabilize higher humidity as well as provide humid microclimates. Ambient humidity should be monitored with a digital hygrometer. Painted Dwarf Geckos should be misted daily to provide dew on enclosure walls and cage items from which they can drink. A water dish can be provided but is not necessary with regular misting; a water dish will not replace the need to regularly mist the enclosure.
Size: Adult Painted Dwarf Geckos only reach around 3.5 inches from head to tail, with females being slightly smaller than males.
Age: Painted Dwarf Geckos are at least 2 months old when sold by Josh’s Frogs, at which time they are well established. It is estimated that these geckos live for around 8-10 years in captivity.
Feeding: Painted Dwarf Geckos are omnivores, eating both insects and fruit in the wild. In captivity, they will thrive on a diet of gecko diet mix and feeder insects. Hatchlings and juveniles should be offered ⅛-inch crickets or fruit flies until they are large enough to eat 1/4 inch crickets. Providing mounted feeding cups for this arboreal species works well. Other appropriately sized feeder insects, like dubia roaches and black soldier fly larvae, can also be occasionally offered but need to be provided in a food dish to be accessible. Feeder insects should be dusted with a calcium and multivitamin supplement.
Sexing: The best way to sex Painted Dwarf Geckos is by their femoral pores, found between their hind legs. Compared to females, males exhibit strong and very visible femoral pores. Males also exhibit darker throats, though this should be used as the sole feature when sexing these geckos. Males are much more colorful than females.
Color/Pattern: Painted Dwarf Geckos have a blue jean color across their body with a whitish-yellow head, with lines extending down both the head and the body. Males tend to show much brighter colors than females.
Social Behavior: We’ve housed Painted Dwarf Geckos solo, as a pair, and in harems (one male, multiple females). Provided ample space as well as multiple basking and feeding locations, multiple females may be housed together with a single male. We've had 1.3 produce very well in an 18x18x24 vivarium.
Breeding: Female Painted Dwarf Geckos lay 2 eggs once every 3-4 weeks. Unlike other Lygodactylus geckos, their eggs are not always adhered to a surface. We have successfully used egg laying tubes with this species to allow for the safe removal and incubation of eggs. We have also collected several fertile clutches laid under leaf litter at the bottom of the enclosure.
Natural Range: Painted Dwarf Geckos are endemic to Tanzania, Kenya, and Zanzibar.
History in the Hobby: Once abundant in the hobby, Painted Dwarf Geckos, much like their electric blue cousins, are not commonly available.
Links of Interest:
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After placing an order containing a live animal, you will receive a scheduling email containing our JotForm scheduling link to schedule your new pet's delivery date.
With this scheduling link, you will be able to schedule your order's delivery up to 30 days in advance. You will be able to choose a date of delivery for Tuesday-Saturday (Saturday arrival depends on the carrier's service availability) with the estimated time of arrival generally being 12pm, or 4:30pm for more rural areas. Overnight lows must be above 40°F to ship directly to you (or above 30°F for FedEx Ship Center pickups) as well as below 90°F by estimated time of arrival.
If you require further assistance, or prefer to talk to one of our Customer Service agents, please feel free to reach out to our [email protected] email or our phone line 1-800-691-8178.
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