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Madagascar Giant Day Gecko Facts

Arthropods, Madagascar

The Madagascar giant day gecko, Phelsuma madagascariensis, is the largest species of its genus. They measure up to 1 foot (0.3 meters) long, with over half of that length consisting of their tails. They have bright green skin, with red mottling along the body. They also have red spots on their dorsal sides as well as a deep red line that runs from the eye to the tip of the snout. Males tend to be more colorful than females and have broader heads as well. A Madagascar giant day gecko has large, round pupils which are ringed in bright blue. Their feet have thin, flat scales as well as millions of densely-packed hairs (called setae) which allow them to easily climb up smooth surfaces.

The Madagascar giant day gecko can be found in Northern Madagascar, Seychelles and their neighboring islands. Some have also been seen in both Florida and Hawaii. They will inhabit dry regions with high humidity and can usually be seen on the canopy trees of tropical rainforests as well as the palms of coconut plantations. Being arboreal, most of their time is spent up in the trees. This reptile species is diurnal, meaning that it will conduct most of its activities during the day, and rest at night. Males are very territorial and will chase out any intruders that wander in.

The diet of a Madagascar giant day gecko mainly consists of various arthropods such as spiders, scorpions, crabs and insects. They also like to lick sweet fruit, nectar pollen and even honey from time to time. They use their bright colors to camouflage themselves and wait patiently for prey to wander close enough. This animal is generally a slow moving lizard, but if it feels threatened then it will escape by using both speed and agility.

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A Madagascar giant day gecko female will lay 2 eggs several times throughout the year. After the eggs (which are attached to each other) have been laid, the female will hold them with her hind legs until they become hard. The eggs are then incubated 47 to 82 days. They young will reach sexual maturity at about 1 year of age. A mature male will develop enlarged pores on its hind legs as well as produce a waxy substance that resembles droplets. A mature female may have calcium deposits on both sides of the neck. If the little ones can survive long enough, then they can live to be up to 10 years old.

The Madagascar giant day gecko is not considered an endangered species, although it is facing its fair share of threats. Habitat loss and degradation are the greatest causes of concern. They have also become popular house pets, leaving an opening for exploitation. Hopefully, this reptile can overcome its obstacles and avoid ever having to face the threat of extinction. After all, such a unique species of lizard deserves to live and prosper for future generations to see.

Works Cited

“Madagascar Giant Day Gecko” 30 June 2011

“Madagascar Giant Day Gecko” 30 June 2011

“Madagascar Giant Day Gecko” 30 June 2011

“Giant Madagascar Day Gecko” 30 June 2011