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Name: Lepidodactylus lugubris. We call this variety the yellow-bellied mourning gecko due to their characteristic yellow belly (compared to the white bellies on other mourning geckos), but they have virtually identical care to any other mourning gecko! There is some evidence to suggest these are from the Fiji population, but our breeders did not come with that lineage history.
Recommended Vivarium Size: Mourning geckos will thrive in an enclosure as small as 5 gallons, but 10 gallons or 12x12x12 exo-terras or larger are recommended for multiple animals. Many people successfully keep these geckos in naturalistic vivaria, housed with larger dart frogs. Mourning geckos are escape artists, and it's always important to fully secure their enclosure to prevent escapes! At Josh's Frogs, we secure Exo Terra enclosures by siliconing the lid and blocking the front vents with pond foam.
Temperature: Lepidodactylus lugubris prefer temps in the mid 70s, up to the low 80s. Mourning geckos will generally thrive at room temperature, but a low wattage basking light may be needed in cooler climates. Their ideal temperature range is 70F - 80F.
Humidity: Mourning geckos like it humid, and require a humidity of at least 50%. Lepidodactylus lugubris can do well at a humidity of up to 90%, as long as a drier area is provided. Ideal humidity range is 60%-80%.
Size: Adult mourning geckos get up to about 4" in length. When they hatch, Lepidodactylus lugubris measure less than an inch!
Age: Lepidodactylus lugubris is capable of living over 10 years in captivity, with reports of 15 years or more in the literature. These adults are 6-8 months old.
Feeding: Being smaller geckos, mourning geckos prefer smaller foods. Lepidodactylus lugubris juveniles will readily eat Drosophila melanogaster fruit flies, Drosophila hydei fruit flies, pinhead crickets and ⅛” crickets. Adult mourning geckos will devour1/4", as well as other insects that size. At all life stages, mourning geckos will feast on gecko diet mix. This can be fed as a complete diet to mourning geckos, but we prefer to offer them a variety of feeder insects, as well. All feeder insects should be gut loaded and dusted with a vitamin/mineral supplement.
Sexing: Sexing mourning geckos is the easiest thing in the world - they're all female! Lepidodactylus lugubris is a parthenogenetic species - females lay fertilized eggs, and their offspring are little clones of the parent. Reportedly males exist, but we have not encountered any at Josh's Frogs.
Color/Pattern: Yellow-bellied mourning geckos differ from other mourning geckos in two ways: first, they have a yellow belly (compared the usual cream- or white-colored belly); and second, they have a dispersed black pigment across their back (compared to the semi-regular patterning and higher pigment found in regular and Hawaiian mourning geckos). Note that this feature is reduced in some individuals.
Social Behavior: Lepidodactylus lugubris is fine housed alone or in groups, as long as enough space and hiding places are provided. The geckos will develop a social hierarchy, with the dominant animal(s) breeding. Mourning geckos can be very vocal when housed together, with the animals making various squeaks and creaks to communicate. Mourning geckos will also display visually to each other, in the form of back arching or tail wiggling. Aggression can sometimes occur but generally does not result in the injury of an animal. Adults may eat offspring.
Breeding: Mourning geckos are very easy to breed - they don't need any of our help! Lepidodactylus lugubris is best kept in pairs or groups for breeding - 2 females will stimulate each other via pseudocopulation, resulting in 2 gravid geckos. Mourning geckos reach sexual maturity at 8-10 months of age, and will lay clutches of 2 eggs every 4-6 weeks. Eggs take about 2 months to hatch at room temperature.
Natural Range: Mourning geckos are found in the tropical coastal areas of the Pacific and Indian Oceans.
History in the Hobby: We are unsure where yellow-bellied mourning geckos in particular are native to or were originally collected. We’ve traced this particular group to France, who received them from a breeder in the Czech Republic. There is some evidence to suggest these are from the Fiji population, but our breeders did not come with that lineage history.
Links of Interest:
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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