Standing's day gecko

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Standing's day gecko
Gekkonidae - Phelsuma standingi.JPG
Female of Phelsuma standingi, with prominent endolymphatic chalk sacs
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family: Gekkonidae
Genus: Phelsuma
Species: P. standingi
Binomial name
Phelsuma standingi
Methuen & Hewitt, 1913[2]
Phelsuma standingi distribution.png
Standing's day gecko at Zombitse-Vohibasia National Park
Standing's day gecko at Zombitse-Vohibasia National Park

Standing's day gecko (Phelsuma standingi) is an arboreal and diurnal species of gecko. The species is endemic to southwest Madagascar; it is threatened by illegal collection for the international pet trade and habitat loss. It is among the largest living species of day geckos. Standing's day gecko feeds on insects and nectar.

Etymology[edit]

The generic name, Phelsuma, is a Latinized version of the last name of Dutch physician Murk van Phelsum.[3] The specific name, standingi, is in honor of another physician, Doctor Herbert F. Standing of Antananarivo, Madagascar.[4]

Description[edit]

Phelsuma standingi is among the largest extant species of day geckos. It can reach a maximum total length (including tail) of 28 centimetres (11 in). The body colour can be quite variable, depending on light intensity. It can be brownish grey or bright green or turquoise with grey to blue reticulated markings on its body and head. The head and tail are often turquoise. Hatchlings have a yellowish green head and typical light bands and bars on their backs.[5]

It is a sexually dimorphic species. In the males the cloacal area has very pronounced preanal pores and a bulge in the area of hemipenis. In many females two endolymphatic chalk sacs, located on each side of the neck, are well-developed, while in males usually they are just barely visible. These sacs store calcium, which is needed for the formation of egg shells.[5]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

Phelsuma standingi is restricted to the arid southwest of Madagascar, specifically the region around Andranolaho, Sakaraha and in the Zombitse-Vohibasia National Park. This area has a unique thorn forest vegetation. The daytime temperature never drops under 20 °C (68 °F) and between January and December, the temperature can be as high as 40 °C (104 °F) in the shade. In July and August, the night temperature can drop to 13 °C (55 °F).[6]

Diet[edit]

Standing's day gecko feeds on various insects, invertebrates, and even smaller lizards. It is omnivorous however, supplementing its prey with soft, sweet fruit, pollen and nectar.[7]

Behaviour[edit]

Strictly an arboreal species, P. standingi lives in pairs on trees, spending a lot of time basking in the sun on the highest and well exposed branches. The males are very territorial and will fight when in the presence of other males; females have this character towards other females, a behavior which is rather rare in geckos.[5]

Reproduction[edit]

P. standingi is oviparous. At a temperature of 28 °C (82 °F), the young will hatch after approximately 60–70 days. The juveniles measure 80 mm and reach sexual maturity after one year.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Raxworthy, C.J.; Vences, M. (2010). "Phelsuma standingi". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2010: e.T16947A6635765. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2010-4.RLTS.T16947A6635765.en. 
  2. ^ Methuen, P.A.; Hewitt, J. (1913). "On a collection of reptiles from Madagascar made during the year 1911". Annals of the Transvaal Museum 3 (4): 183-193. (Full text).
  3. ^ Beolens, B.; Watkins, M.; Grayson, M. (2011). The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. The Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 206. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. 
  4. ^ Beolens, B.; Watkins, M.; Grayson, M. (2011). The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. The Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 251. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. 
  5. ^ a b c d Bartlett, R.D. (1993). "Notes on Standing's Day Gecko (Phelsuma standingi )". Tropical Fish Hobbyist. T.F.H. Publications: 146–150. 
  6. ^ Austin, Daniel (10 November 2014). Madagascar Wildlife. Bradt Travel Guides. p. 118. ISBN 978-1-84162-557-7. 
  7. ^ Coborn, John (1998). Keeping & Breeding Lizards. T.F.H. Publications. p. 50. ISBN 978-0-7938-0222-7. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Henkel, F.-W.; Schmidt, W. (1995). Amphibien und Reptilien Madagaskars, der Maskarenen, Seychellen und Komoren. Stuttgart: Ulmer. ISBN 3-8001-7323-9
  • McKeown, Sean (1993). The general care and maintenance of day geckos. Lakeside, California: Advanced Vivarium Systems.

External links[edit]