A small and attractively marked gecko, the Arabian sand gecko is unusual for its webbed feet, which increase the surface area for burrowing and walking on soft sand (2)(3). The skin is delicate and pinkish in colour, almost transparent, and the relatively long tail has distinctive white and brown bands (3), particularly in juveniles (4). Like other gecko species (2)(5), the Arabian sand gecko has a large head, with large eyes that have vertical pupils. The male is somewhat smaller and more slender than the female (3).
Little information is available on the biology of the Arabian sand gecko. Active at night, it is a ground-dwelling species (4)(7), and the female is reported to lay a single egg (2). Like other geckos, it is likely to feed on insects and other small invertebrates(5).
Very little is known about the threats to this small gecko. It is sometimes kept as a pet, but is apparently relatively rare in captivity, its delicate nature making it difficult to care for (3). In areas such as the United Arab Emirates, the species may potentially be impacted by a range of threats to its habitat, including urbanisation, industrial development, overgrazing, overextraction of groundwater, pollution, and increasing levels of tourism (8). However, the status of the Arabian sand gecko throughout its range is currently unknown.
There are currently no specific conservation measures known to be in place for the Arabian sand gecko. In the United Arab Emirates, the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD) is working to protect and manage biodiversity in the region, and to promote sustainable development (9). Further research is likely to be needed into its biology, populations and the threats it faces, before specific conservation action can be taken for this delicate small lizard.
Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi is a principal sponsor of ARKive. EAD is working to protect and conserve the environment as well as promoting sustainable development in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
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