Project Description

Giant Day Gecko

Phelsuma madagascariensis

Aquarium Location

Madagascar

Habitat

These lizards are arboreal and are commonly found in tropical and subtropical forests as well as in dry deciduous forests camouflaged amongst the banana plants, palm groves and other trees.

Range

Found mostly in the Northern region of Madagascar. They are also native to Seychelles, and other neighboring islands.

Diet

These lizards eat invertebrates like crabs, spiders, scorpions, insects, and small soft fruits. They are known to lick the nectar and pollen from flowers.

Fun Facts

Geckos stand out in their habitat due to their bright coloring but escape predators with their keen eyesight and quick escapes.
These geckos do not have eyelids; instead they have what is called a “spectacle”. In order to keep their eyes clean, they lick them.
Same species of gecko as the GEICO Insurance gecko.
These geckos generally face upwards on trees while most geckos face head down towards the ground.
Mature males develop large pores on their hind legs and produce a waxy substance that resembles droplets.

Cool Adaptation

They have clawless toes that have very well developed, broad, adhesive lamellae (thin, flat scales) that are covered with tiny hair-like structures, allowing them to climb smooth surfaces.

Conservation Connection

These geckos are very popular in pet trade and are often displayed in aquariums and zoos for educational purposes. The geckos involved in the pet trade must be captive bred as they are restricted for trade from the wild. It is always extremely important for people, when looking for pet geckos, to know where the animal came from and to understand how to care for them.