Common Name-  Yellow headed dwarf gecko
Lygodactylus kimhowelliLocation- East Africa (Tanzania)

Background:

The Yellow Headed Dwarf Gecko is common throughout Tanzania and can easily be found on structures such as buildings and other man made objects. They have grey bodies with dark striping running along the length of their body, excluding their tails. The head is yellowish with the striping masked throughout.  Reaching a length of 3" they are extremely quick little geckos.  Along with the fact that they are diurnal (day active), this makes them highly desirable as a gecko to maintain.  Finally, it is believed that they may live 5-10 years.

Lygodactylus setupEnclosure

We currently house our animals in 10 gallon enclosures but will change over to custom enclosures soon.  The aquarium is equipped with a screen top and two lights- one high intensity florescent (UVB could be substituted) and one puck light (up to 100 in a concentrated area).  Enclosure temps can stay in the 75-80 range.  Although the gecko is small in size, I would not offer them much smaller than a 10 gallon as they do enjoy chasing each other around.  Horizontal and vertical tubes (bamboo or insulation tubes) for basking (especially under the puck ) as well as firm leaved plants as they enjoy climbing and jumping from object to object.  Cork bark is stacked against the side of the enclosure and seems to be the preferred watch out points as they will dart behind the bark when startled... but will quickly peak around an edge to see what's happening. Substrate if provided as a sand and peat moss mix with leaf litter and the animals are found on the ground frequently.

Gecko plant

Water and Humidity

L. himhowelli comes from semi-tropical climates.  In this regard, we heavy mist the enclosure daily, filling up their shallow water dish.  Again, maintain a substrate of peat moss and sand mix to hold the humidity in the enclosure.  Add a few plants and you should be good to go.

Nutrition

The only difficult part of feeding these little geckos is finding food small enough to feed them.  While small crickets are a primary staple for them, wingless fruit flies and small mealworms are readily accepted. Our feeding schedule is basically every other day for most other geckos.  However, as L. kimhowelli metabolism is so high, we feed them EVERY day.  They absolutely devour their prey and come back looking for more.  While the food may vary, always dust their offerings with a high quality calcium.  A multivitamin should also be offered.  Surprisingly, these little geckos also enjoy a quick treat of the Repashy Crested Gecko Diet in a small dish.

Breeding

While a cooling period is recommended for these little jewels, breeding may occur throughout the warm season.  Providing plant stalks (Sansevieria) and corkbark, the female will find a secluded spot to deposit her eggs.  Hatching occurs after about 60-70 days at about 82.  If you can, collect the eggs and incubate them away from the pair.  The adults do not bother the young but, due to the size of the hatchlings, it will be very difficult to find them and to contain them in the enclosure.

Hatchling CareLygodactylus kimhowelli baby

Here is where it gets a bit tricky.  Once hatching occurs transfer the babies to a small, 1 litter or smaller container, with a screen top.  The top must allow lighting in.  Add peat moss as substrate to hold moisture, a couple plastic plant leaves for hiding places, and a couple tiny bamboo shoots to climb on.
Due to their size only the smallest of foods can be fed to the neonates.  We offer freshly hatched crickets, and tiny mealworms. 
 
 

Other Readings-

 


 Fauna Top Sites Reptile Related Top Sites