Name: Sphaerodactylus elegans. Their common name, the ashy gecko, may refer to the toned down colors of adults--which they make up for in intricate patterning.
Recommended Enclosure Size: Adults should be kept alone or in pairs in a 8x8x12 glass enclosure or 12x12x12 enclosure. Because this species does not grow very large, upgrading adults to a larger enclosure is usually unnecessary. Coco fiber-based substrates or sand-soil substrates work well. A bioactive substrate can be made with BioBedding, springtails, and isopods. Keep substrate moist. A layer of leaf litter should be added on top of the substrate. Hides should be provided; cork bark and similar items work well. Climbing materials like rocks, driftwood, cork bark, and manzanita branches can be provided. Live plants are also a welcome addition.
Temperature: Keep ashy geckos between 75-80 F. A heat source is not necessary if stable temperatures are maintained. If a heat source is provided, use a low wattage heat pad or bulb to prevent overheating. Temperature should be monitored with a digital thermometer. Night temperatures should not fall below 65 F. UV light requirement debated; if used, provide plenty of shade in enclosure.
Humidity: Ashy geckos need a humid but well-ventilated setup between 60-70%. Plants can be added to provide humid microclimates. Ambient humidity should be monitored with a digital hygrometer. Ashy geckos should be lightly misted daily or every other day provide dew on enclosure walls and cage items from which they can drink, but enough ventilation should be provided to allow the enclosure to dry out after several hours. A shallow water dish can be provided but is not necessary with regular misting.
Size: One of the larger Sphaerodactylus micro geckos, hatching out at 1.2 inches or so and growing to as large as 2.7-2.8 inches.
Age: Ashy geckos are at least 4 weeks old when sold by Josh’s Frogs. It is estimated that these geckos live for 10-20 years in captivity.
Feeding: Ashy geckos sold by Josh’s Frogs are fed pinhead crickets and ⅛-inch crickets. These juveniles can also be occasionally offered extra small black soldier fly larvae, melanogaster fruit flies, and springtails. Adults should be fed a staple of ⅛-inch crickets, but can also be offered black soldier fly larvae, melanogaster and hydei fruit flies, dwarf white isopods, and bean beetles. All feeder insects should be gutloaded and dusted with vitamin/mineral supplements, and can be offered in a food dish.
Sexing: Ashy geckos are not sexually dimorphic like many other micro geckos. Males can be distinguished by light-colored scales that extend down the underside of their hind legs.
Color/Pattern: Ashy gecko juveniles and adults are dramatically different. Juveniles have a whitish head, bright yellow body, and bright orange to red tail, all of which is contrasted by bold black bands. Adults are instead reddish-brown in color and have intricate patterns consisting of beige dots and irregular lines.
Social Behavior: This species is best kept alone or in a single pair.
Breeding: A light brumation period in the winter or longer days in the summer will help incite breeding. Females lay single eggs every 3 weeks in a secure area, and will often make use of strategically placed egg-laying tubes. Eggs hatch within 80-90 days.
Natural Range: Ashy geckos are found in Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and other surrounding islands. They have also been introduced into Florida.
History in the Hobby: Ashy geckos are one of the more common micro geckos found in captivity. However, like most micro geckos, they’re still relatively rare and underrated. We’re excited to make this micro gecko more popular and available!
Links of Interest:
Dwarf Geckos Care Sheet - An excellent resource on Sphaerodactylus elegans from the Dwarf Geckos website.
Still not sure if the ashy gecko from Josh's Frogs is the right pet for you? Read the reviews below and see what other customers are saying!
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