Madagascar day gecko
|Madagascar Day Gecko|
|Madagascar day gecko (Phelsuma madagascariensis madagascariensis)|
|Subspecies:||P. m. madagascariensis|
|Phelsuma madagascariensis madagascariensis
Madagascar day gecko (Phelsuma madagascariensis madagascariensis) is a diurnal subspecies of geckos. It lives on the eastern coast of Madagascar and typically inhabits rainforests and dwells on trees. The Madagascar day gecko feeds on insects, fruit and nectar.
- Gekko madagascariensis Gray 1831
- Phelsuma sarrube [Wiegmann 1834]
- Phelsuma madagascariensis martensi Mertens 1962
- Phelsuma madagascariensis - Glaw & Vences 1994: 290
This lizard is one of the largest living day geckos. It can reach a total length of about 22 cm (8.7 in). The body color is light green or bluish green. The skin between the scales often has a light color. A rust-coloured stripe extends from the nostril to behind the eye. On the back there are brownish or red-brick coloured dots which may form a thin line along the mid back. These geckos do not have eyelids, and they have flattened toe pads.
This species inhabits the whole east coast of Madagascar. It can also be found on the islets Nosy Bohara, Ste. Marie and throughout the Hawaiian Islands. Also, the gecko was deliberately introduced to a restaurant in the Florida Keys, US, by reptile experts. This was due to the garden surrounding the restaurant and the great possibilities it provided for reproduction. The experts come back every year and remove all excess geckos to sell in pet shops.
P. m. magascariensis is often found on trees along the edges of forests. They also inhabit local huts and banana trees in the east coast of Madagascar because it has a humid and warm climate.
These day geckos feed on many arthropods (insects and arachnids) as well as some fruit matter(mashed). They also like to lick hard, tart fruit, pollen and nectar found on Coonatorious Palm trees.
Like most Phelsuma spec., the males can be quite quarrelsome and do not accept other males in their neighbourhood. In captivity, where the females cannot escape, the males can also sometimes seriously wound a female. In this case the male and female must be separated.
The mating season is between November and the first weeks of April. During this period, the females lay up to 6 pairs of eggs. At a temperature of 28 °C, the young will hatch after approximately 55 days. The juveniles measure 55–60 mm.
Care and maintenance in captivity
These animals should be housed alone, because they are highly territorial. Male and female pairs can get along but it is common that males harass females too much. They need a large, well planted terrarium. The temperature should be between 25 and 28 °C. On warm spot temperature should be 35-40 °C. The humidity at night should be maintained between 75 and 90%, on daytime between 60 and 80% In captivity, these animals can be fed with crickets, wax moth larvae, fruit flies, mealworms and houseflies. Fresh tropical fruits, honey and fruity baby foods are good to maintain their inner moisture.