Tropiocolotes tripolitanus tripolitanus (PETERS 1880)

My introduction to Tropiocolotes tripolitanus ssp. was actually while unpacking snakes from Egypt.  As soon as I


saw the tiny' geckos come out of the bag, I just knew I had to have them.  From that point on, I have become addicted to this species and genus, and have increased my groups up to 60!
Aptly named Micro Geckos, Tropiocolotes t. tripolitanus is a small (1-2'')  gecko found in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Niger, and Sudan.  My colonies are all from Egypt.  But don't let their small size fool you, these geckos are very active, social geckos, and make fantastic vivarium subjects.  Coming from Northern Africa, these guys like it hot and fairly dry.  They are often found among rocky areas in the wild, often seeking shelter within rock crevices or under rocks (much like Coleonyx in the South-Western US).  In the wild they feed on spiders, beetles, and other small invertebrates.
Tropiocolotes in general are very easy to care for.  Groups of 5-10 can be happily kept in a 10-15 gallon aquarium.  A layer of sand works well for substrate, however I mix it with either Crushed stone dust or decomposed granite, as it helps holds burrows.  Decoration can be as simple or as elaborate as you want.  Some of my tanks are just sand and a couple large, flat rocks; while others have faux rock, live plants, branches, etc.  Being from the desert, these guys like it hot!  I use a 50W halogen and aim for a temperature range of 110F for the basking, and 80F for the cool side.  I spray tanks every morning and allow it to dry out through out the day, this gives them all the water they need.  Adult Tropiocolotes eat bean weevils, upto 1/4'' crickets, fruitflies, small spiders, and young mealworms. 
Breeding Tropiocolotes is incredibly simple.  No cooling is required, however they will stop laying for part of the year, generally laying 6-8 clutches of 1-2 eggs for me.  Males will usually call at night, giving out a loud squeek.  Gravid females are very easy to spot, as the eggs are relatively huge for the animal.  I often wonder how the female is even able to carry such large eggs.
Overall, Tropiocolotes tripolitanus (as well as all Tropicolotes) are amazing geckos, exhibit a lot of social and independent behaviour, and are a joy to keep!  These are definitely something every serious gecko enthusiast should have.

Jeremy Kosonic -  Herp Canada 

All photos by the author

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