Aquariums West at Electric Blue Day Gecko

Description: Electric Blue Day Geckos, or williamsi Day Geckos, are sure to grab the attention of any reptile hobbyist. When it was first described to science the naturalist who did so called it "a startling turquoise-blue," and indeed it is. This startling blue color is the reason L. williamsi has captivated the reptile hobby since the early 2000s, despite its rather diminutive size. Adult L. williamsi only reach a maximum length of 3 inches, and it is only the males who obtain the trademark blue coloration of this species. Females remain the olive coloration of juvenile individuals, and both males and females have orange undersides. Another characteristic that differentiates males from females is the presence of a striped, black throat pouch in adult males, which can be puffed out during territorial displays.

L. williamsi can be kept in small groups, ideally of one male and several females, however if multiple males are kept together they will form a social hierarchy in which one male is dominant, and the others are submissive. Only the dominant male will display its true, blue colors, whereas submissive males appear superficially like females, and can only be distinguished by their femoral pores.

Native Range: L. williamsi is native to a few small patches of forest in eastern Tanzania.

Life Span: 5-10 years

Diet: Very small insects, fruit and nectar. Acceptable insects include 1-week-old crickets, fruit flies, springtails, waxworm moths and the smallest possible mealworms and kingworms. The fruit and nectar portion of their diets can be replaced by powdered diets formulated for Crested Geckos, but they have also been observed eating overripe mangoes. Experimenting with other fruits is okay, as long as it is done in moderation, variety is always best!

Hydration is also very important for these geckos. Because they are quite small, they dehydrate quickly, and so this particular detail should be given special attention. To keep them well hydrated maintain high humidity in their enclosure throughout the day (60-80% humidity), facilitating this by misting 2-3 times daily and maintaining moist substrate. Misting will also cover cage surfaces in water droplets which they will drink. A water bowl can also be provided, however it is possible for them to drown in water that is too deep. As a precaution fill any water bowl with smooth stones and do not fill with water any higher than the stones. Also ensure there is an easy way for them to get out of their bowl such as a partially submerged branch or rock. Other ways of increasing humidity might include a water feature such as a waterfall or fountain.

Housing: At a minimum, a 12" L x 12" W x 18" H enclosure is suitable for a single animal, or a trio of one male and two females. If more than three individuals are housed together than a larger enclosure will be necessary. Whatever you choose to house them in, ensure that it meets the minimum size requirements and also that it has more vertical space than horizontal. This is because L. williamsi is an arboreal species. Accordingly, the cage should also be furnished with live plants and plenty of sticks, cork rounds and other things that will provide lots of surfaces for them to climb on. Live plants are also important because they will help to maintain high humidity, and provide many small places for the geckos to hide which will increase their feeling of security. To this end, L. williamsi will thrive if kept in a fully bioactive habitat.

One should take care, however, as it is very easy for these small geckos to get into nooks and crannies in their enclosure and become trapped, particularly behind things like foam backgrounds. Before allowing your geckos into their enclosure take care to inspect it for places like this, and for any other small holes or openings that might lead out of the enclosure (Exo Terra cages often have small holes meant to provide a way for cables to enter the cage, ensure that these are closed or covered).

Temperature and Lighting: L. williamsi are diurnal geckos and therefore require UV lighting. A T5 fixture is ideal for this as it emits strong UV light and spreads it evenly across the whole enclosure, which means the geckos will be absorbing it whether they are basking or not. In this case, a separate basking light will be necessary.

Mercury vapor bulbs can be used without a separate basking light, however they should only be used with caution as they are typically quite strong and can potentially overheat a small enclosure.

Light that promotes plant growth should also be provided. Whatever lighting scheme you choose ensure that it provides daytime temperatures between 75 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit (24-27 degrees C), that nighttime temperatures do not fall below 74 degrees F (23 degrees C), and that it provides a heat gradient so that the geckos can adequately thermoregulate. The basking spot can be a little hotter, reaching temperatures as high as 94 degrees F (34.5 degrees C), as long as there are cooler places that the geckos can retreat to in the tank.

Additional Notes: L. williamsi is perhaps one of the most attractive species in the reptile hobby, however one should take care not to be too hasty to obtain this species, even though the temptation to do so may be strong. This is a more difficult species to keep than say a Leopard Gecko, or a Crested Gecko, mainly due to the unique challenges associated with keeping a lizard of such a small size. If you decide to keep this species, ensure that you are adequately prepared, with an enclosure that is spacious enough but also safe for them to live in. Also be ready to provide a little more attention to detail and more regular feedings and mistings then other species need as these geckos dehydrate and metabolize quickly. If you are prepared for all of these things however, I'm certain that you will find this a very rewarding species to keep as they are quite attractive, and very active little geckos, which makes them a lot of fun to observe!

Useful Products:
-Exo Terra 12" x 12" x 18" 'mini-tall' Enclosure
-Exo Terra Plantation Soil
-ZooMed Reptisoil
-Cork Flats/Rounds
-Manzanita Wood
-Live Plants
-ZooMed Reptisun LED/UVB Terrarium Hoods
-ZooMed Hydroballs
-ZooMed Naturalistic Terrarium Substrate Mesh
-Exo Terra Pump Mister
-Repashy Crested Gecko Diet

by Andrew Cumming

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