Electric Blue Gecko Caresheet
The Lygodactylus williamsi Gecko is New to the Hobby, but Very Popular
The electric blue gecko, Lygodactylus williamsi, is becoming very popular in the hobby right now. At the moment it seems to be the only species that potential baby gecko buyers are enquiring about. Given the males' amazing iridescent blue colour, it is not hard to understand their popularity.
L. williamsi was first described by Lovebridge in 1952 in the Kimboza forest in Tanzania. It is the only location where these geckos are found, and their habitats are rapidly shrinking. The gecko is now on IUCN's Red List of critically endangered species. Earlier this year their export from Tanzania has been banned (rightly so), so demand for this species is likely to outstrip supply, since they will only be available from hobbyists who manage to raise the offspring of their pets.
So you are considering getting those beautiful geckos and would like to know how to care for them? Here is a thorough description of the setup and routine I use for my geckos.
The rapidly shrinking Kimboza forest in Tanzania is the only place where electric blue geckos are found.
The Electric Blue Gecko Appearance and Habits
These are small geckos 2.5"-4" long from snout to the tip of the tail. Although they are from a different genus and location than Phelsuma day geckos, they have similar requirements.
They are also nocturnal and arboreal, so require a terrarium that is taller than it is long. I use exoterra enclosures, and you can see details of my setups here. Because the geckos are small, they do not need a very big terrarium, but they are very active and territorial, so you should not put them into cramped tanks.
Unlike some geckos, it is easy to tell mature males from females, since only the boys have the beautiful blue colouration. Females are brown to olive coloured. However, immature males, or suppressed males look like females. They are territorial and it is impossible to keep two males together, they will fight to death, unless you have a particularly large tank.
Therefore keep a close eye on any pair you've put together to make sure they are getting along. You might be surprised and the gecko you thought was a female might turn out to be a shy male, and be persecuted by its "mate".
Because the geckos are so small you should ensure that all possible escape routes are blocked. With exoterra tanks, especially pay attention to the holes at the top provided so that you can pass cables through, and make sure that you use the sliders that block them.
You should fill the tank with branches and pieces of bamboo. Live plants, although not strictly necessary are appreciated, and help keep the humidity high.
Notice the Difference Between Male and Female Geckos
Temperature and Humidity for L. williamsi Geckos
They come from a tropical forest, and require appropriately high temperatures and humidity. During the day a temperature of 72-86F should be maintained, with the warmest temperature in a basking spot created by a low wattage incandescent bulb. Areas away from basking spot will be cooler, setting up a gradient and allowing the lizards to thermoregulate. A 10o drop in temperature at night is beneficial.
The humidity should be between 60-80%. Because the geckos are so small they can dehydrate easily if the high humidity is not maintained by misting their enclosure with dechlorinated water several times a day as required.
The geckos don't need a water dish, they drink by licking the water droplets created by misting from leaves. I use water from my britta filter with my reptiles, for an easy source of dechlorinated water.
Since they are diurnal and tropical they enjoy high illumination, which also helps to bring out the brilliant colours. A 5% UV fluorescent tube, together with the heat bulb should provide sufficient light.
Food for Electric Blue Geckos
Like day geckos L. williamsi are insectivores but supplement their diet with nectar and fruit. Their staple diet should be small insects, like gut loaded crickets and fruit flies, which should be dusted with calcium and vitamin D3. They will also appreciate fruit baby food. I feed insects and fruit on alternate days.
Breeding Electric Blue Geckos
Breeding these geckos is very similar to Phelsuma, with one important difference, the eggs are pea sized and the hatchlings are much smaller, and therefore more challenging to raise, than those of day geckos.
If you have a compatible pair, they will do their thing without your involvement. The female lays two small, hard shelled eggs, which she glues to a leaf or the aquarium glass. Hatching takes between 2 or 3 months, depending on temperature. It is best not to remove the eggs from their parents tank, since they are glued, and easily damaged.
However the youngsters should be removed as soon as possible after hatching, since they might be eaten by their parents. One possible solution is to cover the eggs with a small transparent cup, if they are in a place that can be reached. This will prevent the parents from catching the hatchlings.