Dwarf Gecko at Tsavo West National Park, Kenya
These attractively-marked little day-active geckos were common around the
camp, on posts and in bushes. I'm sure they're Lygodactylus since
they match the activity pattern (day-active), general shape, and size (very small; the adult in the
first photo is about 3 inches long including the tail, and the youngster in the
second photo is no more than 1 inch long including the tail).
The EMBL Reptile Database lists 9 Lygodactylus species in Kenya: L. conradti, L. grandisonae, L. keniensis, L. luteopicturatus, L. manni, L. picturatus, L. scheffleri, L. scorteccii, and L. somalicus. It seems like it should be easy to recognize the distinctive coloration, especially combined with the orange tail of the youngster. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find photos of most of the species listed here. The only one I've definitely ruled out so far is L. picturatus, because I saw that one elsewhere and the pattern is quite different.
Please send me mail if you have any further information, reference suggestions, or wild guesses that might help me identify this gecko.
7/13/00 -- I looked more carefully through the distributions in the EMBL database for the Kenyan species. Only three species (other than L. picturatus) seem to occur in the southwestern part of Kenya where I took these photos. So it's probably one of these three: L. luteopicturatus, L. manni, or L. scheffleri.
8/15/00 -- Thomas Price of Price Reptiles kindly identified the top gecko as L. scheffleri. I'm assuming the tiny bottom one is a hatchling of the same species, because it would be odd for two dwarf gecko species to be living in exactly the same habitat.
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