Dwarf Geckos

There are over 60 species of dwarf geckos. For terrarists are v. a. Four species are popular: yellow-headed dwarf gecko (Lygodactylus picturatus), striped dwarf gecko (Lygodactylus kimhowelli), Conrau’s dwarf gecko (Lygodactylus conraui), sky-blue dwarf day gecko (Lygodactylus williamsi). The latter is protected by the Washington Convention on the Protection of Endangered Species and may only be kept after registration. All of these four species are originally from Africa.

Dwarf geckos live in groups of one male with several females on trees or bushes. Adhesive strips on the feet and the tip of the tail help them to do this. Colorful, diurnal and agile, they are beautiful to behold.

Acquisition and Maintenance

The example of the sky-blue dwarf day gecko, which was almost wiped out by wild capture, shows that responsible keepers acquire offspring. From the breeder or retailer.

Thanks to their small size and their habit of climbing trees vertically, the terrarium doesn’t take up much floor space as long as it’s high enough. Dense planting creates many climbing and hiding places. In addition, temperature, humidity and lighting must be adapted to the African habitat.

Requirements for the Terrarium

The terrarium should offer climbing and hiding places in the form of branches and plants on three sides and in the interior. Cork lining, in which branches are fixed, is suitable.

A minimum size of 40 x 40 x 60 cm (L x W x H) for two adult animals should not be undercut.


All three sides and the interior are planted with a mixture of large-leaved plants, tendrils and lianas.

A mixture of 2-3 cm of sand and soil is suitable as a substrate with not too much moss and oak leaves, otherwise prey animals will hide too well.

A water bowl or a fountain ensures that the geckos are supplied with water.


A radiant heater with UV components above the terrarium should produce a temperature of 35-40 °C in the upper area and 24-28 °C in the rest of the area. If the lamp is switched off at night, 18-20 °C should be reached. A thermostat helps with temperature control, in the warm season it may be necessary to cool.

To prevent the terrarium from overheating and burns, the heater is placed outside the terrarium and the terrarium is covered with fine-mesh gauze. Glass blocks UV radiation.


The humidity should be 60-70% during the day and around 90% at night and can be checked with a hygrometer. A spray bottle keeps the soil moist and water on the leaves, which the geckos love to lick.


The lighting time should be 14 hours in summer and 10 hours in winter.

A timer makes it easier to switch between day and night.


Feces, food and possibly skin remains must be removed daily. The water bowl also has to be cleaned with hot water and refilled every day.

The window should be cleaned once a week.

Gender Differences

In general, male pygmy geckos have a thickened caudal base, preannal pores, and hemipenal sacs at the cloaca. They are often more colorful than the females.

Yellow-headed dwarf gecko

Males have a bright yellow head and neck with dark brown to black stripes, a black throat, and a blue-grey body with light and dark spots, and yellow abdomen. The females are beige-brown with light and dark spots, some have a yellowish head, the throat is white with gray marbling, the belly is also yellow.

Striped dwarf gecko

The males of the striped dwarf gecko have a black throat.

Conrau’s dwarf day gecko

Males have a blue-green back and yellow head and tail. Females are also green, but darker and less luminous.

Sky blue dwarf day gecko

Males are bright blue with a black throat and orange belly.

The females are golden, have a dark pattern on a green throat, on the sides towards the belly they are blue-green, the belly is light yellow.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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