Pristurus carteri

Image Credit : The Gecko Lounge

Pristurus carteri most likely earned their common name from their defensive and territorial behavior. Before resorting to fleeing, many P. carteri take an alert, upright stance with the tail curled over the body. If the threat or concern persists, they wave their tails back and forth, similar to a scorpion’s threat display.

Males are often lighter in color, ranging from tan to gray with small broken stripes of orange on their sides and they have an obvious hemipenal swelling. Females are smaller and slate gray with small broken stripes of red down their sides. Both sexes have small, sleshy spikes running down their tails, however, they are more pronounced on males.

  • Scientific name : Pristurus carteri
  • Distribution : Saudi Arabia, Oman, Yemen, United Arab Emirates
  • Average Size : 0.08 m (0.25 ft)
  • Life Span : 5 years or more
  • Difficulty : Intermediate


The ideal enclosure for desert animals should be either PVC or glass, with minimum measurements of 0.5 long x 0.4 deep x 0.4 high meters (1.6 x 1.3 x 1.3 feet). The terrarium should have a warmer area to allow animals to thermoregulate, containing several rock types and wood to entertain animals hunting their prey.

Hide box

It is not necessary to place a cave in the terrarium. The animal usually sleep over a log or on top of a rock during the daytime. You can form several shelters from the internal decoration as to give the animal surroundings in which they can dig and seek shelter themselves during the night.


A mixture of soil, sand and shells should be the main body of the substrate to prevent any impact on the animal. It is important to keep the substrate similar to the natural surroundings of the desert animal.

Lighting – Heating

In the case of lighting and heat, it is recommended to use HID (metal halide) lamps as they provide heat, and a high amount of UVB, which is imperative to these small geckos. If you cannot find these lamps you will need to place a fluorescent 10.0 spot-light bulb or tube in the terrarium. The hot spot should be around 40-45 ºC (104-113 ºF) (not going lower than 20 ºC (68 ºF) at night). During the months of October to May the light cycle should be between 8-9 hours a day. The following months from May to October the light cycle should then reach up to 12 hours a day in order to provide the necessary heat.


The water is not the most important for this species, but as always put a water bowl with clean water and spray once a week during the winter time and twice a week during the hottest days of the year. The animals lick the drops they have in their eyes after the misting including drinking from their bowl.


The relative humidity must be around 30-40%. It is advisable to spray the animals in the hottest season up to twice a week, to simulate rain and to soothe the animal. A bowl of fresh water should always be at the disposal of the animal but not a large volume in order to prevent drowning.


Pristurus Carteri, feeds 100% on insects so we must provide a diet as varied as possible. The insects must not exceed the size of the head of the animal, such as cricket, runner, honey worm, taking care to put only one prey in the tank at a time as not to scare the animal. Always make sure to provide the insects to the animal which has previously been fed with fresh fruits and vegetables (better known as gut load). Insects should be dusted with calcium twice a week, and vitamins and minerals twice a week.


Like all reptiles, we should handle with care to ensure the safety of the animal. In this case being geckos, the tail can fly at any time, so avoid yanking the animal and consider that they are very fast animals so it is best not to handle them outdoors.


Terrarium cleaning must be done once a week to remove feces, possible dead prey, and other remains. If fine sand is used as the substrate you can pass this through a fine strainer which will be sufficient as these small animals are not very dirty.


Molting in this species of gecko, is not usually a problem, provided they have adequate moisture they should perform a whole and clean change. The animal in most cases will eat their shedding which is a sign of good health. In the case you observe any kind of retention, you should put the animal in a Tupperware, with very wet kitchen paper and place it inside the terrarium (a couple of hours is more than enough).

Potential Health Problems

It will be important in the mating season to feed the females only calcium dusted insects, as they (females) lay an egg every 8-10 days, and this can damage a lot the females which can force us to separate the males before the time, so they (females) can recover.


Blackmoon Reptiles

The information contained in this care sheet reflect the opinions and methods of the mentioned breeder, based on their expertise and long-established experience.