Réunion Island ornate day gecko
|Reunion Island ornate day gecko|
Reunion Island ornate day gecko or Manapany day gecko (Phelsuma inexpectata Mertens, 1966) is an extremely endangered diurnal species of gecko. It occurs only on the island Réunion, typically inhabits trees, and feeds on insects and nectar.
- Phelsuma ornata inexpectata Mertens, 1966
- Phelsuma inexpectata Bour, 1995
The species is critically endangered, with a population of 3-5 thousand in 2011. The population is shrinking rapidly: in 1995, it was estimated at 5-10 thousand. It is not CITES listed and has no international protection.
This lizard is one of the smallest day geckos. It can reach a total length of about 12 cm at most. The body colour is dark green. Three red stripes extend from the snout to the neck. From behind the eye, a thick brown stripe and a thin green-white extend to above the front leg. The snout is partly dark blue. The back is covered with reddish-coloured dots, which are greatly reduced in females. The ventral side is off-white.
This species is endemic to Réunion. It is found in the coastal areas in the region of Manapany-Les-Bains and St.-Joseph. This coastal ecosystem is among the most threatened on the island, and the gecko's habitat is severely fragmented by urbanization and agriculture.
P. inexpectata typically lives on trees such as papaya, banana, pandanus and other pantropic vegetation. They also inhabit human dwellings and have been spotted on postboxes and fences. This biotope is relatively dry and hot.
These day geckos feed on various insects and other invertebrates. They also like to lick soft sweet fruit, pollen and nectar.
This Phelsuma species can be quite shy in captivity. These day geckos are also surprisingly speedy.
At a temperature of 28 °C, the young will hatch after approximately 50–52 days. The juveniles measure around 48 mm.
There is no information on the effect of the pet trade on the population of this critically endangered gecko. It is captive-bred by some dealers.
- SANCHEZ, Mickaël; PROBST, Jean-Michel; DESO, Grégory (2009). "Phelsuma inexpectata Mertens, 1966 (Squamata: Gekkonidae) sur l'île de La Réunion: écologie, répartition et menaces". Bulletin de la Société herpétologique de France (132): 43–69. Retrieved 2017-04-21.
- Breeding Endangered Geckos, editor's interview with Matt Schaefer, July 23, 2013