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Care Sheet - Egyptian Sand Gecko (Stenodactylus petrii)

Egyptian Sand Gecko (Stenodactylus petrii)

Behavior: This sand gecko is a small, desert dwelling species reaching a total of
just over 5 inches. It is a terrestrial gecko, meaning that it lacks the adhesive toe
pads on their feet. Therefore, they cannot climb smooth surfaces, and prefers to
stay close to the ground. This is where they do a lot of digging. They do not
tunnel like some species, but instead make chambers under rocks and pieces of
wood and bark. Stenos do vocalize, but not very often. Usually when they are
mating or chirping to their partners.
Longevity: Stenos have a life expectancy of around 5 years. Most are imported,
so likely to be older than you think they are. They are also likely to have parasites
or other diseases and that will shorten their life if not looked after. There have not
been any records of stenos and their life expectancies as far as I know, so 5
years is approximate and an educated guess.
The Sand Gecko is a good second Gecko for the Beginner: Although having
more complicated needs than say a leopard or crested gecko, sand geckos are
relatively easy to care for. For many reasons, the sand gecko is a good choice for
moving up in experience. While an easy species to care for, you should definitely
already have some experience with geckos. You must realize that these geckos
do not like to be held, and spend most of their time hiding under cage
dcor. Parasites are often found on and in stenos and must be dealt with
otherwise death may occur
Diet: Stenodactylus petrii are strictly insectivores in nature, eating appropriate
sized crickets, and small mealworms. Smaller worms (phoenix and waxworms)
can be fed, but not too often.

Supplying calcium is always important. You should dust all livefood with calcium
except for once or twice a week. Once or twice a week use a vitamin
supplement, with D3.
Water is not all too important. Spray the cage down every few days. This is the
time to give them a gentle spray and let them lap up water off their bodies. These
geckos come from the deserts of Egypt and Libya, so keep humidity down as low
as possible although, as previously stated, a misting to keep them sand from
caving in is a good idea.
They should be kept at 75- 85F during day time and 65- 75F during night.
They should be provided a basking spot with a basking heat lamp.
Males can be told apart from females by the presence of a hemipenal bulge and
their more slender appearance.
John Gamesby