Round Island day gecko

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Round Island day gecko
Phelsuma guentheri IleRonde 8605.jpg
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family: Gekkonidae
Subfamily: Gekkoninae
Genus: Phelsuma
Species: P. guentheri
Binomial name
Phelsuma guentheri
Boulenger, 1885

The Round Island day gecko, Phelsuma guentheri, also known as Gunther's gecko, is a species of gecko. It lives on the islet Round Island (Mauritius), and typically dwells on different palm trees. The Round Island day gecko feeds on insects and nectar.

Description[edit]

This lizard belongs to the largest living day geckos. Males can reach a total length of about 30 cm (12 in), but often are much smaller. Females of this species are generally very much smaller than males. The body color is grayish or grayish-brown. A dark-brown stripe extends from the nostril to above the ear opening. On the back, dark spots may be present. In some individuals, the legs and toes have light-yellow bars. The ventral side is white or yellowish.

Distribution[edit]

This species originally occurred on Mauritius before rats and cats were introduced. Now, P. guentheri inhabits only Round Island, 22 km (14 mi) north-northeast of Mauritius.

Habitat[edit]

P. guentheri is often found on bottle palms, fan palms (Latania loddigesii), and pandanus. Since much of the original vegetation is destroyed, also by tropical cylones, P. guentheri is forced to live on rocky crevices.

Diet[edit]

These days geckos feed on various insects and other invertebrates. They also lick soft, sweet fruit, pollen, and nectar.

Reproduction[edit]

The females lay up to four pairs of eggs. The young will hatch after about 58–104 days. The juveniles measure 75 mm (3.0 in). The eggs are laid normally in June, but can be laid from February to September.

Care and maintenance in captivity[edit]

These animals are endangered and are only bred by the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust at Durrell Wildlife Park.

References[edit]

  • Carpenter, A. I., I. M. Côte, and C. G. Jones. 2003. Habitat use, egg laying sites and activity patterns of an endangered Mauritian gecko (Phelsuma guentheri). Herpetological Journal 13:155-157.
  • Wheler, C. L., and J. E. Fa. 1995. Enclosure Utilization and Activity of Round Island Geckos (Phelsuma guentheri). Zoo Biology 14:361-369.
  • Henkel, F.-W. and W. Schmidt (1995) Amphibien und Reptilien Madagaskars, der Maskarenen, Seychellen und Komoren. Ulmer Stuttgart. ISBN 3-8001-7323-9
  • McKeown, Sean (1993) The general care and maintenance of day geckos. Advanced Vivarium Systems, Lakeside CA.