Whilst not a Phelsuma, this gecko is similar in its demands and active in daylight, so is commonly referred to as a ‘day gecko’. There are many species of Lygodactylus; L.williamsi being discovered recently. L.williamsi naturally inhabits Pandinus forests of Tanzania, which are being logged at an alarming rate. Small numbers of this species where exported in 2007, when collectors followed the loggers in. At that time pairs sold through European dealers for up to 500 euros.
Now their CITES status has been upped we can’t expect many more shipments to follow (rightly so), so it is up to captive breeders to cultivate this endangered species. UPDATE: Lygodactylus williamsi is now listed in CITES appendix 1. Commercial trade of this species requires a license. Currently, Phelsuma Farm has not yet applied for a license for the pairs and trios we have been breeding here with great success. Therefore we are not offering any geckos of this species for sale.
This is a small gecko, meaning that they and their food can get out of the tiniest gaps; mesh should be of a fly screen density. Like P.klemmeri, their inquisitive and outgoing personalities mean that they often become very used to their keepers and will ‘come to the glass’ when they see you around (if you’ve ever spent hours trying to ‘hide’ to observe a shy species like ornata, you’ll know what a joy that is!). Give them a planted glass tank.
Zonal lighting (areas of light and shade) allows heliocentric (sun-seeking) thermoregulation. In captivity this is best provided by full spectrum metal halide lighting mounted in a reflector above the top mesh of the vivarium, providing a deep column of light to the vivarium floor for animals and plants.
No thermostat is required for such lights (though a specific ballast unit is), and the animals will shuttle in and out of the light as they would in nature (UV tubes diffuse light and work against this behaviour; they also have poor light penetration, leading to Phelsuma clustering just around the top of the viv craving light – see also lighting recommendations in ‘General Care’).
L.williamsi need small food. Most insects under 1cm should be of interest to adults, while fruit flies, springtails and micro crickets suit babies. Pollen, nectar, fruit and baby food are also taken. Like Phelsuma, females and young should have continual access to a source of calcium and insects should be regularly dusted – they are egg ‘gluers’, so require high calcium reserves. Insects, fruit, nectar etc should be available daily.
Keep them in compatible pairs. There is a clear difference between the sexes, unlike most Phelsuma species – males are bright, ‘electric’ blue, while females are more greenish with less black on their throats. Having said that though, it isn’t always easy to sex immature animals and subordinated males will assume drab olive-green overtones.
These aren’t easy geckos to breed and demand for this species is always high.
© Phelsuma Farm, 2007; edited 2015