The Critically Endangered Williams’ dwarf gecko is characterised by a distinct sexual dichromatism: males have a bright and vibrant turquoise-blue body while females are greenish-bronze.
However, this extraordinary colouration is driving increasing demand from the international pet trade, which refers to it as the “Electric Blue Gecko”. Alarmingly, at least 15% of the population was collected for the pet trade between 2005 and 2009.
Habitat loss and fragmentation are ongoing due to deforestation for timber, agricultural clearance and other uses. There are no known species-specific conservation measures in place for this species, although most of its range lies within protected areas.
This beautiful lizard has an extremely restricted distribution, occurring in an area less than 8 km2. Legislation now prohibits any poaching inside these reserves and animal collection from the wild is illegal. Habitat protection is also a requirement to help protect this species. This species has recently been listed on CITES Appendix I.
- Order: Squamata
- Family: Gekkonidae
- Population: 150,000
- Trend: decreasing
- Size: 5-8cm
The species was found in the Kimboza and Ruvu Forest Reserves in Tanzania, between 170 and 480 metres above sea level.
Habitat and Ecology
This species is diurnal. They inhabit tropical forest and exclusively dwell on Screwpine, a tree associated with swamps and limestone within the forest.