Species group: Geckos
Other common names: William's Dwarf Gecko; Electric Blue Dwarf Gecko
Scientific name: Lygodactylus williamsi
The Electric Blue Gecko is native to the Kimboza Forest in eastern Tanzania. This tropical forest habitat is rapidly shrinking due to deforestation.
Appearance / health:
Males are bright blue with heavy black throat stripes, and visible preanal pores and hemipenile bulges. The females range from brown or bronze to bright green, and have little to no black on their throat. Females can easily be confused with juvenile or socially suppressed males that are also green, sometimes with a blueish cast. The underside of both sexes is orange. Colors of individuals vary according to mood and temperature--males may range from black or grey to brilliant electric blue. Females may range from dark brown to brilliant green with turquoise highlights. Adult snout-vent length is 5 to 8 cm.
Behavior / temperament:
Like all Lygodactylus and Phelsuma genus geckos, this species is diurnal. L. williamsi are bold, active, social, and males are territorial. Social gestures include lateral flattening, puffing out of the throat patch, head shaking and head bobbing, and tail-wagging. Electric Blue Geckos are remarkable for their virtually fearless nature, and quickly tame. Handling is not recommended for such small animals, but they can be lured onto their keeper's hands with insect treats, and will remain active and behave naturally while being observed, once they are acclimated to captivity (often as quickly as one month after introduction to their vivarium).
These tiny lizards are generally housed in planted tropical vivariums. Provided with UVB light, daytime temperatures of 85F with a 90F basking spot, and night-time lows of 70F to 75F, they have proven to be fairly hardy. Humidity should range from 50% to 70%. Misting twice a day provides water for drinking, but these geckos have also been seen frequently drinking from small cups or from bromeliad bases.
Only one male should be housed per group, to avoid dangerous aggression. Multiple feeding stations will help to avoid excessive aggression between females.
They will eat a wide variety of insects including fruit flies, mini-mealworms, phoenix worms, small silkworms, roach nymphs, and crickets up to 1/4" in size. Calcium supplementation of insects is vital. Supplemented fruit puree or a commercial MRP (meal replacement powder, which is prepared with water) made for crested geckos or day geckos is readily accepted. Food offerings must be limited to avoid obesity, and feeding 3 times per week is sufficient when using MRPs.
These geckos breed readily in captivity, and eggs are incubated between 78F and 86F, at a 60% humidity. No moisture should come in direct contact with eggs.
small size, Ideal Tiny Vivarium
strong dominance hiararchy, tiny little body, multiple feeding platforms
The Ideal Tiny Vivarium Pet
These geckos pack BIG personality into a tiny little body. Bold, intelligent, and highly social, their antics will make you laugh out loud. They quickly become accustomed to humans when kept in an area where people are present often. They can be very easily tamed, but due to their very small size, cannot really be handled (they can be lured onto a hand, but should not be grasped unless absolutely necessary). They are not particularly skittish for such tiny and quick animals. Don't underestimate their potential for great speed and agility. I once watched one do a backflip to catch a fungus gnat.
These geckos are suited for a fully-planted tropical vivarium. They prefer temperatures of 80F during the day, with a 90F basking area, and UVB lighting. Hollow bamboo for hiding is loved, as is corkbark and plenty of live plants. Humidity should range from a low of 60% to a high of 80%. A rise and fall over the course of a day is probably best. Water should be provided by misting once or twice a day, as they drink from droplets.
These geckos are chow-hounds, and should be fed every other day, and have their food controlled to avoid obesity. They will eat dusted 1/8" crickets, flightless fruit flies, and most any similar-sized insect. They also love fruit puree, particularly peach. They can also be taught to accept and eat Crested Gecko Diet. They will eat this to excess, so I recommend offering it every other feeding, rather than keeping it available constantly.
One male can be kept per enclosure, unless it is extremely large. Due to the high activity level of these animals, give them as much space as you can, but a 12 X 12 vivarium or 10 gallon tank can house a pair of them without issues. This makes them ideal 'office pets', and their viv can fit into smaller spaces with ease.
If kept with multiple females, be sure to incoporate visual barriers and multiple feeding platforms. Females establish a strong dominance hiararchy, and suppressed females may be kept from the best basking and feeding places, so it's important they have places to bask and eat where they can't be seen by the dominant animal. This is worth doing, because their interactions with one another are tremendously entertaining to watch.
This species breeds readily, laying clutches of 2 eggs every 2 to 3 weeks, which will be adhered to surfaces--usually hidden inside bamboo, among leaves, or on the glass high up. Hatchlings emerge in 55 to 90 days, depending on temperatures. Hatchlings should be removed from the vivarium, to prevent the possibility of cannibalism. Hatchlings can be somewhat delicate to raise, and should not be overfed.
Most of these geckos available currently will be imported, so put them in 'intensive care' to rehydrate, regain weight, and recover from their ordeal. They often come in with red mites--these can be eliminated using a q-tip with some olive oil. This should be done before they're placed in a permanent viv, so the mites cannot establish and breed in it. Due to their small size, many choose not to deparasitize--dosing would be very tricky. Keep things decently clean, and try to incubate eggs outside of the viv if possible, so hatchlings will not be exposed to any potential parasites carried by the parents.
Males really ARE bright, electric blue when in condition. They can range from almost-black to greenish to bright blue. Females range from dark brown, to tan, olive, and bright green.
I recommend those who love this gecko consider captive propagation. This species' habitat is endangered, and it may not be exported for much longer...and stopping exportation may not save it from becoming endangered itself, due to habitat loss. It lives in only a small basin area of the rainforest.
From WingedWolfPsion May 8 2010 3:56PM