This Information Sheet is intended for the care and husbandry of Paroedura lohatsara and may not be suitable for other species.
Not a large amount of information is known about this species; the following is information that I have developed through my own experience with the species, and in speaking with other keepers who have had success with them.
Typically shy, though they become more bold and active when comfortable in their environment.
Hatchlings begin their lives with thick black and white barring horizontally across their bodies. Their tails are neon orange with hints of the black barring from the body, and their heads are generally a brownish black. As the animals mature, the dark bars begin to break up and transform into a more vertically oriented pattern. The barring across the tail becomes more pronounced, the orange fades, and the head lightens. When mature, the animal has a reasonably uniform light base, with dark mottling.
This species, like many others, has vertically oriented pupils.
Five to seven inches from snout to tip of the tail; approximately three inches snout to vent.
11 to 14 grams when mature.
Approximately seven years.
Gender can generally be determined between three to six months of age. Males will develop a visible hemipenal bulge at the base of the tail, females will not. Females may begin laying unfertilized eggs at approximately one year of age.
Nocturnal animals, will hide during daylight hours.
P. lohatsara are insectivores – a diet of crickets, Turkistan roaches, Orange-headed roaches, and/or Dubia roaches is an appropriate staple. Wax worms may be fed sparingly during breeding season (they are very high in fat content and are for weight gain, NOT nutritional value). Additional food items may include snails, isopods, and mealworms.
These animals are voracious eaters, but may be spooked/stressed by an abundance of loose food. Feeding from a dish is suggested to prevent food items from escaping and wandering the terrarium. In tanks with more than one animal, multiple food dishes may be provided to help ensure that everyone gets plenty to eat.
Make sure that food items are appropriately sized – no larger than the width between the eyes of the lizard is a good rule of thumb – so as not to injure/choke the creature.
Younger animals may be fed 3-4 times per week (or more, so long as they are eating everything), while adults may be fed slightly less often.
Due to their nocturnal nature, dusting the food items with calcium containing D3 is appropriate at approximately every third feeding or so. Herptivite may also be added to assist in providing additional non-calcium nutrients. It has also been suggested to place pure calcium on surfaces within the enclosure to allow the animals to lick it up as desired. Many of the nutrients obtained will come from the diet of the animal- it is important to gut load the insects with a healthy diet (dark leafy greens, etc) before feeding them to your animals.
Daytime ambient of low to mid 80’s, basking spot slightly warmer. Night time drops into the mid to low 70’s. A timer may be used to regulate heat cycle if desired.
Misting is necessary for proper hydration- a heavy misting in both the AM and PM is appropriate. An average humidity peak of 80-90% when misting with a mid-day low of 45-50% works well. Placing a water dish (easily able to enter and exit- NOT dog bowl style) may also help to maintain some overall humidity.
UV lighting is not necessary for these animals as they are nocturnal. It is currently unknown whether UV provides any benefit in the keeping of the species.
Young of this species can be housed in a smaller enclosure- 8″x8″ to 1’x1′ is appropriate. As they mature, larger enclosures should be utilized. While a ten gallon enclosure is adequate for either one adult male or two adult females, I suggest a 20 gallon if you are housing two females together. Do not house animals of different sizes or genders together (exception being male/female pairs or trios when breeding). Males housed together may fight, and should instead be housed separately.
A variety of substrates can be used. Paper towels have the benefit of avoiding ingestion and making elimination easily viewable (suggested for hatchlings and young animals). Organic peat moss or a peat moss/ sand mixture can be used for older animals and may provide beneficial nutrients as they sometimes have a tendency to lick the substrate.
These animals are generally shy, and this should be respected. Cork bark, cork rounds, and plenty of flora should be provided. The young seem to prefer lighter, more leaf litter type hiding places while the adults gravitate toward more bulky, stable hides.
Both males and female adults of this species have been known to drop their tails with no discernible cause. Wild caught animals of this species (both genders) have been seen to develop neurological issues without warning, resulting in ‘spinning’ and balance related issues – the causes of this development has yet to be conclusively determined.