Lygodactylus williamsi facts size habitat and classifications

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Lygodactylus williamsi information

Lygodactylus williamsi is a critically endangered species of lizards, endemic to a small area of Tanzania. Common names include turquoise dwarf gecko, William’s dwarf gecko, or, in the pet trade, electric blue gecko.

Lygodactylus williamsi Scientific classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Reptilia
  • Order: Squamata
  • Family: Gekkonidae
  • Genus: Lygodactylus
  • Species: L. williamsi
  • Binomial name: Lygodactylus williamsi
  • Adult Size: 70–90 mm

Lifespan: about eight years

Since 2015 EU Directive 338/97, Appendix B, since CITES conference in September 2016 WA I, effective with national/European legislation

Northeast Tanzania, endemic in Kimboza Forest, small mountainous forest areas covered with hollies

Semi-moist to moist, palm inhabiting (Pandanus spp), 180-500 m above sea level

Drosophila, bean beetles, buffalo worms, crickets, other small insects, always enrich with vitamins and minerals (z. B. Herpetal Complete), fruit pulp, yoghurt etc.

About Lygodactylus williamsi

Lygodactylus is a genus of geckos with 60 species and 34 sub-species. Lygodactylus rarely exceed 4 inches. Due to this they are commonly referred to as Dwarf Geckos or Dwarf Day Geckos based on their diurnal nature. The most popular one being kept in captivity currently is Lygodactylus williamsi. Many people cannot resist the male’s bright blue coloring, including me. The females usually are an olive green, but sometimes they also have a bit of the blue coloring as well.

It should be noted that many of the Lygodactylus williamsi kept in captivity today are wild caught. Because of this many people are still perfecting their husbandry techniques which is why you may not find a lot of information (at least in English) about them throughout the Internet or in books.


The Kimboza Forest is primarily a natural lowland rain forest with a canopy of 20 meters with some trees emerging from the canopy up to 40 meters. Epiphytes in the form of large ferns such as Platycerium spp. Davallia spp. and Asplenium nidus are often found. Orchids of the genera Aerangis, Angraecum and Bulbophyllum are also readily seen. The climate is oceanic (low day/night variations).

The temperatures in December reach an average of 28°C (82°F), while the period between May and August is low, with an average in July of 23.5°C (74°F). The annual rainfall is 1683 millimeters, which is quite high. The dry season is observed between June and August.

Lygodactylus williamsi Behaviour

Like all geckos of the genera Lygodactylus and Phelsuma, this species is diurnal. They are bold, active, and social. Males are territorial, and do not generally tolerate the presence of other males. Social gestures include lateral flattening, puffing out of the throat patch, head shaking and head bobbing, and tail-wagging.

Housing and Feeding

Due to their small size, their terrarium does not need to be too large. The majority of people in the USA keep them in 20-25 gallon terrariums orientated vertically. Because they require UVB (some even say it is very crucial to their survival in captivity) you will have to modify your terrarium a bit to allow for the passage of UVB through the top. They should be provided with a UVB lamp in the 5.0 range. A daylight tube or compact bulb should also be provided, as Lygodactylus williamsi are sun worshipers and love bright light. Heating can be achieved with Halogen puck lights.

Lygodactylus williamsi do best with a humidity level between 50-80% (naturally increasing at nightfall), which is easily achieved by a daily misting. Their temperatures range between 75-80F throughout the terrarium during the day. The basking area only may reach temperatures of 90-95F safely.

The walls of the terrarium should be decorated with cork bark. Other decorations may include cork branches or tubes for climbing; you may even add some Liane jungle vines in. Lygodactylus do best with sand/soil mixture. There is a lot of debate as to the planting of Lygodactylus terrariums. Some believe artificial plants are best because they are easiest to keep clean, but personally I, amongst others, have found they do best in enclosures with lots of live plants. Live plants also help to keep the humidity levels up. Read our primer on for planted vivariums for suggested plants to use.

Lygodactylus williamsi images

Also More: common house gecko

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