Lygodactylus scheffleri Scheffler’s Dwarf Gecko
Finch Hatton's tented camp, Tsavo West National Park, KenyaJuly 9, 2000
Scheffler’s Dwarf Gecko (Lygodactylus scheffleri) Scheffler’s Dwarf Gecko (Lygodactylus scheffleri)
These pretty little day-active geckos were common around the camp, on posts and in bushes, but secretive. They tended to dash out of sight the moment you saw them.

Thanks to Thomas Price of Price Reptiles for identifying the species of the gecko in the top picture as Lygodactylus scheffleri. At the time I put this photo on the web, I could find no photos of L. scheffleri on the web, or in any of my books. Published later, the 2002 East Africa reptiles guide notes that the various dwarf gecko species are poorly known, and the descriptions are often based on just a few individuals. This book has no photos of L. scheffleri, and none of the photographs of other dwarf gecko species look like this. The book confirms that L. scheffleri has been recorded near where I took these photos.

I assumed that the tiny orange-tailed youngster in the second photo was the same species because it would be surprising to find two dwarf gecko species living in exactly the same habitat. But now I'm not so sure. Florian Turner of Lygodactylus.at suggested that it is Lygodactylus capensis grotei (a.k.a. Lygodactylus grotei), and referred me to the photos on this page. And sure enough, those photos look extremely similar to the little orange-tailed guy in my photo. But then I discovered this photo, which purports to be L. scheffleri, and also looks pretty much exactly like my little guy. That page offers "Red-tailed Dwarf Gecko" as the common English name for L. scheffleri, which makes sense for this second photo, but doesn't make sense for the first photo. Any more Lygodactylus experts out there want to weigh in?

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