Photos of my female Sphaerodactylus macrolepis 'mimetes' - Dendroboard
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Old 01-09-2018, 06:58 PM
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Arrow Photos of my female Sphaerodactylus macrolepis 'mimetes'

Not a frog but here are some photos of my female Sphaerodactylus macrolepsis 'mimetes', she lives alone in a heavily planted 45x45x60cm zoomed and is around 7cm nose to tip of tail. I'm desperately trying to find a male to pair with her but no luck so far.
She's very characterful and as you can see is not shy, she came right out to investigate the camera.
Although her appearance is quite unremarkable these make for really fascinating vivarium inhabitants, I keep her a little dryer than most dart frog vivs but she has constant access to both very wet and very dry areas and she fully utilizes both. It's amazing watching her hunting through the tank and a strange sensation when they suddenly swivel both eyes (which move independently like a chameleon) to make eye contact with you.
She seems to generally hideout among the roots of a larger bromeliad towards the top of her vivarium. I introduced 10+different species of soil microfauna in her vivarium when I set it up and all of these seem to be reproducing in the tank - these geckos are so tiny there is always more than enough for a single specimen to eat. I only add feeder insects for supplementation and she can, and does, bask under a 2% UVB CFL bulb.
The sequence of photos shows her in her favorite morning basking spot, then coming to see what I'm up to at the front of the cage.
I have heard of people keeping these successfully with dart frogs but personally I wouldn't. Happy to answer if people have any questions about care.



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Old 01-10-2018, 12:39 AM
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Default Re: Photos of my female Sphaerodactylus macrolepis 'mimetes'

Nice! I keep a pair of Sphaerodactylus nigropunctatus but I rarely see them in their 100g vivarium. Awesome critters for sure. I have a friend who breeds macrolepsis. I'll see if he has a male for ya.
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Old 01-10-2018, 01:08 PM
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Default Re: Photos of my female Sphaerodactylus macrolepis 'mimetes'

Rreally appreciate that mellowroo but the whole problem's that I'm in Scotland, quite far to ship!
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Old 01-10-2018, 07:19 PM
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Default Re: Photos of my female Sphaerodactylus macrolepis 'mimetes'

Sweet, hello fellow Scot! Where are you based?
Lovely little gecko, by the way.

You said you seeded the viv with 10+ types of microfauna - what were they? Anything other than the usual isopods/springtails?
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Old 01-10-2018, 11:15 PM
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Default Re: Photos of my female Sphaerodactylus macrolepis 'mimetes'

I'm based near bathgate illucam, what about yourself? there can't be that many of us in Scotland.
I added four varieties of isopod and five of springtail as well as Dalotia coriara and another tiny species of rove beetle, white worms and hypoaspes miles predatory mites. In the 'water section' (it's more of a puddle) I added a lot of larvae from a non biting midge that breeds in one of my Moina cultures for feeding fish.
I don't expect stable populations of them all long term but so far each and every species seems to be reproducing in the tank with the possible exception of the predatory mites which are still present but not in any greater numbers than when I added them.
All the springtail populations have really exploded, the midge larvae eventually emerged as adults and were eaten but there's now a new generation of larvae living in the puddle. I can see the tiny rove beetle larvae climbing and leaving trails in the wet glass sometimes after misting and the adults are still present although they are a favorite food of the gecko.
Despite the presence of the rove beetles there's a pretty stable population of fungus gnats in there too, for now.
In this vivarium I was very careful to use a deep layer of mixed species leaf litter to which I added plenty of lichen, oak twigs, dried stinging nettle leaves and crushed cuttlebone powder. I also mixed a little oyster mushroom grain spawn I had left over into the bottom layer of leafs. It's resulted in the highest microfauna levels I've achieved so far but the leaf litter breaks down very quickly and needs topped up about every two/three weeks.
I also used thick treefern panels which gives the microfaunaa huge surface area to colonize where the gecko can't get them, similarly when I look in the hydroleca drainage layer from the side I can see that it's acting as a sort of refugium for them. Honestly the microfauna are one of the most interesting aspects of this hobby to me.

EDIT - Can't actually be sure which species of isopod are breeding as the young all look so similar but there's a lot of them.
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Last edited by Louis; 01-10-2018 at 11:30 PM.
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Old 01-11-2018, 03:03 PM
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Default Re: Photos of my female Sphaerodactylus macrolepis 'mimetes'

She looks very bright and alert. You've posted some very enjoyable photos of her.

I agree that the microfauna are one of the most interesting aspects of the hobby. I'm particularly drawn to the isopods, but the springtails are fascinating as well. It certainly requires less space to collect them!
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Old 01-12-2018, 12:41 AM
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Default Re: Photos of my female Sphaerodactylus macrolepis 'mimetes'

Even with only microfauna and plants, a vivarium is a joy to watch.
I came into the herp hobby dazzled by tiny, colourful frogs only to find myself just as fascinated by the plants and bugs you can keep alongside them!

I'm based in Edinburgh, so not all that far from you in Bathgate! What else do you keep besides these adorable dwarf geckos?
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Old 01-12-2018, 01:09 PM
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Default Re: Photos of my female Sphaerodactylus macrolepis 'mimetes'

Actually just geckos, plants and planted fish & shrimp aquariums at the moment but I've had frogs in the past and towards the end of this year I plan to expand my collection a bit.
You know of any good shops around edinburgh for frogs/repltiles/supplies? seems it's just eden aquatics in georgie now? until last year I lived in Edinburgh too near the water of leith and then up by the canal, I work at sea but when I'm on leave there's a charity I volunteer with sometimes in town.
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Old 01-12-2018, 01:22 PM
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Default Re: Photos of my female Sphaerodactylus macrolepis 'mimetes'

Quote:
Originally Posted by Louis View Post
You know of any good shops around edinburgh for frogs/reptiles/supplies?
Unfortunately they're few and far between. Eden Aquatics is falling apart and I'd certainly not buy their fish any more, so have no reason to think their reptiles are kept much better. Last time I was in the choice was limited and the place looked uninviting. Good selection of hardscape though.
There's Maidenhead aquatics at the Dobbie's near Dalkeith if you're wanting a decent selection of fish.

Your best bet for reptiles / amphibians / supplies is Serpentus in Dunfermline. Contact them via Facebook as they can try to source certain dart frogs for you if that's what you were looking for. They have a reasonable selection of reptiles in store and are very helpful. Worth checking out their Facebook page.
I got my Varadero from a breeder down in Norfolk. I know he has tincs he can never shift fast enough and ~20 different dart species, several of which breed. Worth looking out for breeders on RFUK.
I use the internet for all my supplies. Best choice, best prices and the vast majority of sites offer speedy delivery.

Where did you pick your geckos up from?

Last edited by illucam; 01-12-2018 at 01:26 PM.
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Old 01-12-2018, 02:16 PM
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Default Re: Photos of my female Sphaerodactylus macrolepis 'mimetes'

Yeah eden seems to have been taken over by very very young guys who don't really know what they're doing. I've heard them giving out really irresponsible advice and I was pretty pissed off to see some peacock day geckos being kept in a totally inadequate cage last time I was in there . I don't know if you lived in edinburgh at the time but about 20 years ago there was an absolutely amazing aquarium and reptile/amphibian shop on georgie road but they shut down when I was still a kid. They were well ahead of their time. There's a good Maidenhead aquatics down in Leith too in the back of the James pringle weaver outlet next to the river.
By the way the moss you were looking for an ID on in your biopod I believe is a stunted form of Plagiomnium undulatum, I grow this and when it's stunted due to lack of moisture or light it looks exactly like your photos, it likes it bright and very humid. You're going to think I'm crazy if you google P. undulatum but let me take some photos of it growing stunted in one of my tanks.
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Old 01-12-2018, 02:30 PM
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Default Re: Photos of my female Sphaerodactylus macrolepis 'mimetes'

Quote:
Originally Posted by Louis View Post
There's a good Maidenhead aquatics down in Leith too in the back of the James pringle weaver outlet next to the river.
I live right next to the one in the old weaver's mill. They've had a change of staff and when I went in last, it was a shadow of its former self!

Thanks for the info on the moss! I'll have to check it out.
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