Care instructions for Small-fingered gecko Stenodactylus sthenodactylus

Pasningsvejledning for Smalfingergekko Stenodactylus sthenodactylus

Scientific name: Stenodactylus sthenodactylus

Danish name: Smalfinger gekko

Lifespan: 5-10 years

Distribution: North Africa

Legislation: Not protected

Toxicity: Not toxic

At just 9 cm, the narrow-fingered gecko is a relatively small gecko. The tail makes up approximately half the length. The males are typically somewhat smaller and slimmer in build than the females. The species is extremely variable in color and pattern, but typically the animals are spotted in brown and golden colors. The underside is light to white. Unlike most other geckos, the narrow-fingered geckos do not have staple lamellae and therefore cannot climb vertical surfaces. Their toes, on the other hand, are adapted to life on sand. The head is large and the eyes correspondingly large in relation to the rest of the animal. The tail is blunt and almost seems to be missing a piece.

The narrow-fingered gecko is distinctly diurnal and nocturnal in nature. During the day it hides under stones and other objects, from which it emerges at the end of the evening to hunt for small animals. The species lives in colonies in nature. The males chirp at a low frequency in connection with courtship, and tilt their tails up and down. When he finds a female, the mating takes place in normal lizard fashion, with him biting into her nape and bringing his tail under the female. After 60-70 days, small cubs of 3.5 cm will appear.

Keep in terrarium
The small-fingered gecko is easily kept in a dry terrarium with 5-10 cm of sand or gravel as a bottom layer, this should preferably be a type that can hold up to digging holes without it collapsing. Various hides can be placed on top of the base layer. Such as. pieces of bark, inverted flower pots or whatever else you can come up with. Plants are not necessary. The terrarium for a small group of 3-5 animals should be L: 40, W: 30 and H: 30. The terrarium should be heated via a spot bulb, so that a heating area of ​​up to 40 degrees is created, where the animals will seek out. The rest of the terrarium should be at 25-28 degrees during the day. At night, the lights are turned off and the temperature drops to 20-22 degrees. The animals rarely drink, so the need for water can be met with good-fingered animals by showering lightly 1-2 times a week, without the terrarium getting wet.

As the animals are not particularly large, the feed must of course be adapted accordingly. Likewise, the feed should ideally stick to the bottom. For adult individuals, e.g. crickets, cockroaches, mealworms and wax moths of appropriate size. Which will typically be 1-1.5 cm in length. Mealworms should be offered when they have just changed him, so that their shell is not too hard, otherwise they can become more difficult for the geckos to digest. Cubs should be fed similar feed, just in an appropriate size, e.g. newly hatched crickets. Banana flies are not recommended. The animals should be fed 3-4 times a week. The feed should be shaken in vitamins and minerals once a week to ensure that the geckos get the vitamins and minerals they need. In addition, you can put in a bowl with crushed lime, which they can eat from if necessary. In the wild, the species is nocturnal, but in the terrarium the species is often out during the day.

Signs of illness
Healthy animals will be aware of their surroundings and of their species traps. They will come forward to hunt when feeding. The animals will often keep their bodies raised above the ground when they hunt and move around. Animals lying flat on the ground and appearing apathetic should be isolated and examined by knowledgeable personnel. Wild-caught animals often have intestinal worms and should be treated if they lose their appetite, lie down apathetically and have liquid stools. Wild-caught animals are often dehydrated and should be offered fluids from a pipette until the fluid balance is restored. Small-fingered geckos, like most other geckos, can shed their tail, but it grows back, but is not as neat as the original. This is not an actual sign of illness, but a lost tail is nevertheless a sign that something is wrong, either due to stress or disharmony in the group.

Other things
The species has a playful hunting behavior where the tail is moved in snaking movements while the gecko sneaks up on its prey. If the prey is standing still, the gecko does the same until it is close enough to be able to measure the exact distance to the prey. The significance of this behavior is unknown.

At pet dealers, you will typically be offered wild-caught animals. These are often quite cheap and can usually easily adapt to terrarium conditions. However, it should be preferred to acquire bred animals.

The females should be at least 18 months and the males 10 months to have cubs on them.

The geckos must be cooled down for 3 or 4 weeks in December, as this will stimulate their desire to breed in January/February and through some of the summer. The females must be supplied with extra lime. The mating can seem quite violent. The males can 'attack' the females in an ambush, where the females will make some beeping sounds if they are not receptive to mating.

Hatching of eggs
The female lays her eggs after 25-30 days. Spawning will be buried in the sand in a warm place, the eggs are thin and fragile. They can easily break during excavation. The eggs must be in vermiculite and placed in a hatching machine at 28-30 degrees and a humidity of 30-50% for 60 days. There are also signs that the eggs can be hatched in dry sand.

The young must have extra calcium, and must otherwise be fed in the same way as the adults, but in appropriate quantities.

Yours sincerely

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