Boehme's giant day gecko

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Boehme's giant day gecko
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family: Gekkonidae
Genus: Phelsuma
Species: P. madagascariensis
Subspecies: P. m. boehmei
Trinomial name
Phelsuma madagascariensis boehmei
Meier, 1982

Boehme's giant day gecko (Phelsuma madagascariensis boehmei) is a diurnal species of gecko. It lives in eastern Madagascar and typically inhabits rainforests and dwells on trees. Boehme's giant day gecko feeds on insects and nectar.

Description[edit]

This lizard belongs to the largest living day geckos. It can reach a total length of about 22 cm. The body colour is bright green. The skin between the scales has a black colour. A dark red-coloured stripe extends from the nostril to behind the eye. On the head and back there are irregularly shaped brownish or red-brick coloured dots.

Distribution[edit]

This species only inhabits the region around Andasibe and Ranomafana in eastern Madagascar.

Habitat[edit]

Phelsuma magascariensis boehmei is a rainforest species and is often found on trees high in the canopy. The east coast of Madagascar has a humid and warm climate. However, from June–August, the night temperature can be as low as 10 °C and around 20–25 °C during the day.

Diet[edit]

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

Behaviour[edit]

This Phelsuma species is apparently not as quarrelsome as other members of the genus.

Reproduction[edit]

The pairing season is between November and January. During this period, the females lay up to 6 pairs of eggs. At a temperature of 28 °C, the young will hatch after approximately 48–55 days. The juveniles measure 60–65 mm.

Care and maintenance in captivity[edit]

These animals should be housed in pairs and need a large, well planted terrarium. The humidity should be maintained between 75 and 100%. It is often suggested (McKeown, 1993; Henkel & Schmidt, 1995) that the daytime temperature should be between 25 and 28 °C between November and January. These authors also suggest that between July and August, the daytime temperature should be 25 °C while dropping it to 15 °C at night. This way one simulates the rainforest environment. However the period between July and August corresponds with the warmest months on the northern hemisphere so active cooling might be necessary. For some breeders it therefore may be more adequate to shift this essential drop in temperature to the colder months (November–January) and the higher temperature to the months April–August. In captivity, these animals can be fed with crickets, wax moths, fruit flies, mealworms and houseflies.

References[edit]

  • 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.