The Day Geckos have several different types of lizards in their family. Day geckos (also known as the Phelsuma genus) are commonly found near the Indian Ocean. While most species of gecko are active during the night, the Day geckos prefer to be active during the day. These are what’s known as diurnal geckos and some other diurnal species of gecko are Gonatodes and Lygodactylus. Every diurnal gecko lacks eyelids which helps distinguish them.
Instead of eyelids, diurnal geckos will have a round and fixed plate which covers their eyes. They’ll often clean their eye-plates with their tongues. You can distinguish their color by looking at their body, which have either bright green, blue or red colors. The colors of this particular gecko make them very popular terrarium pets. The bright colors serve as camouflage in their natural habitat.
The length of the Day geckos can distinguish greatly, between 2.6 inches and 11.8 inches. However, there was a day gecko by the name of the Rodrigues giant day gecko that is now currently extinct that was said to be larger. Day geckos can easily scale smooth surfaces like glass or bamboo because the toe pads that consist of lamellae in them. Males will always feature developed femoral pores underneath their limps which females lack these.
For the females, you’ll notice on the side of their necks that they’ll have developed chalk sacs known as endolymphatic sacs. These simply help with egg production and make heavy use of calcium. However, you’ll have a hard time seeing these eggs if she’s not getting ready to lay eggs because that’s most commonly when they’re seen. Hatchlings won’t reach sexual maturity until they’re a year old but in some cases, can reach sexual maturity when they’re only six months old.
The life expectancy of Day geckos depends on the size of the geckos usually. The smaller geckos can only expect to live around 10 years old but the larger geckos have been reported to live for 20 or more years in captivity, provided it was being taken care of properly.
Habitat of the Day Geckos
While most geckos come from the tropical rainforests, the amazon or the Philippines, the Day geckos mostly come from the Indian Ocean. Specifically from the islands in the south-western part of the Indian Ocean. However, there’s one specific species that comes from the Andaman Islands named the Phelsuma Andamenense. Also, there’s another species called the Phelsuma Dubia which come from the Bay of Bengal. The majority of the entire Phelsumas species can be found in Madagascar where a wide variety of tropical animals and common household pets reside. If you venture out to neighboring island groups such as Seychelles, Mascarenes or the Comoros, you’ll find some there as well.
Since humans in the United States have been adopting them as pets, they’re also now found on the Big Island in Hawaii and on Kauai as well. The state of Florida, while not common also has reported these pets. They were first introduced to Florida in an effort to help control the amount of pests. It’s not uncommon to see some species of Phelsuma geckos up 2,300 meters from sea level. You’ll find them residing in coconut palms or banana trees in these locations.
Since their introduction into the US, they’ve been known to be found near gardens, houses, huts or fences as well making their own homes.
Diet of the Day Geckos
Like every other geckos species, Day geckos like to feed on insects and other type of invertebrates out in the wild. Some people have reported success with feeding Day geckos’ nectar, fruits, bananas, pollen and other out of the ordinary food as well. However, the main and primary food that all geckos will eat are insects. While out in the wild, Day geckos will have to hunt for their own food whenever they’re hungry but in captivity, the feeding process must be stimulated.
In captivity, Day geckos are usually fed fruit flies without wings or other type of flies as well. Some people like to feed them wax moths and crickets is also a highly popular choice because of their bulk pricing and availability. Some people feed geckos’ meal worms but this isn’t recommended due to the chance of infection and they’re not the most suitable snack for keeping healthy pets. In 2008, a film crew working for BBC actually captured footage of a Day gecko trying to beg a plant hop for honeydew.
The genus of Day geckos consists of 70 species and subspecies that are known of at this time. There could be more undiscovered species out there. John Edward Gray was the first Zoologist to describe the Phelsuma genus in 1825.
There is currently two Phelsuma species that are considered to be extinct due to the destruction of their environments. Settlers tearing down their habitats and domestic animals have played a part in their extinction. The Phelsuma Gigas and the Phelsuma Edwardnewtoni are the only two considered to be extinct (that are known about). However, a lot of species are in danger of being extinct today because of human activity and their habitat being destroyed.