We are not currently working with this species and, at the moment, have no plans of working with it. We've left this page up so that the care information is still easy to find. Please don't expect this species to be available for sale in the near future.
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Name: Eastern sand geckos (Stenodactylus leptocosymbotes), also known as Eastern sand geckos, are found in sandy regions of the Middle East, including Yemen, Oman, and the UAE. This small species is well-adapted to living in harsh sand dune environments; their hardiness, small size, and docile nature make them excellent pets, as well as a slightly larger and less common alternative to dune geckos (Stenodactylus sthenodactylus)!
Recommended Enclosure Size: Due to their smaller size, one to three dune gecko adults can be housed comfortably in a 10 gallon tank, with larger sized enclosures housing more animals. Male and females of this species can be housed together with no issues, provided enough space and food. Eastern sand geckos are terrestrial and absolutely love digging. Sand, such as Repti-Sand, is the ideal substrate for this species, and at least 3-4 inches should be provided. Avoid vitamin- or calcium-based sands, which can interfere with proper digestion by altering stomach pH.The sand should be spot cleaned (i.e. feces and urates removed) once a week. This species is nocturnal and will hide under cage items during the day. Many items, from cork and driftwood to plant saucers, can be utilized as hides for this species, who will dig under them. Make sure that any cage items that are placed on the sand are light; these geckos will dig under everything. If heavier items are used, like slate, then they must be supported by the bottom of the enclosure instead of just the sand to avoid collapse over a digging animal.
Temperature: Eastern sand geckos can be kept at ambient temperatures of 75-85 F. A hot spot of around 95 F during the day should also be provided and can be accomplished with a heat pad or heat light. No special lighting is required for this species. Temperature should be monitored with a digital thermometer, and the basking spot can be checked with an infrared thermometer.
Humidity: Adapted to dry conditions, Eastern sand geckos should not be subjected to humidity higher than 40-50%. A shallow water dish can be provided but is not necessary with consistent misting. This species should be misted once or twice a week, with the goal of providing droplets of water on the walls of the enclosure from which the geckos will drink. The enclosure should have enough ventilation so that it dries out within a few hours of misting.
Size:As adults, Eastern sand geckos will only reach around 3.5-4 inches.
Age: Eastern sand geckos are at least 4 weeks old when sold by Josh’s Frogs. It is estimated that this species can live up to 10-15 years in captivity.
Feeding: Eastern sand geckos are insectivores and thrive on a diet of bugs. A staple of crickets works best, with other small feeder insects (dubia roaches, waxworms, small mealworms) being offered as occasional treats. A good rule of thumb for size is to only offer insects whose length does not exceed the space in between the gecko’s eyes. Generally, hatchling dune geckos should be fed insects measuring around ⅛-inch, with juveniles being moved up to ¼-inch insects, and adults being able to take on ½” feeders. Feeder insects should be dusted with a vitamin/mineral supplement.
Sexing: Male Eastern sand geckos exhibit hemipenal bulges at the base of the tail.
Color/Pattern: Eastern sand geckos have a white belly and a back displaying beige and tan colors. Wild-type geckos exhibit a variety of patterns, including irregular stripes and blotches. Tails tend to be gray to brown, with younger animals exhibiting a white tail tip.
Social Behavior: Eastern sand geckos thrive when kept in groups. Both males and females can be kept together, just be sure to provide adequate food and space for the group.
Breeding: A brumation period in the winter or changes in day/night cycles is recommended to incite breeding, but is not always necessary for success. Females will lay two eggs in the substrate every 3-4 weeks, which can be carefully removed and incubated. Eggs will hatch within 2.5-3 months.
Natural Range: These geckos are found in arid, sandy regions in Yemen, Oman, and the UAE.
History in the Hobby: Eastern sand geckos are not very common in the pet trade, but we are very excited to work with such a fascinating and hardy desert species!
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