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Madagascar giant day gecko

Phelsuma madagascarensis grandis

Description: Madagascar giant day geckos are very colorful. Their body is usually light green to bluish green with red-brown dots or bars on their back. They have a red stripe extending from their nostril to behind the ears; large round eyes circled in bright blue; and creamy white undersides. They have broad flattened toe pads equipped with thin flat adhesive scales, enabling them to hang onto smooth surfaces.

Size: These giant geckos are the largest member of the gecko day group with adults reaching 12 inches (30 cm) in length.

Behavior: They are diurnal (active during the day), arboreal and territorial. They use their coloring to blend into their environment, therefore camouflaging them from predators.

Diet: Madagascar giant day geckos feed on a variety of insects, small invertebrates and sometimes sweet fruit.

Senses: They have excellent sight and rely on it to obtain their food. Stress and illness is indicated by changes in the intensity of the skin’s coloration. This also happens during breeding and courtship.

Communication: During mating, courtship displays often involve jerky head swaying motions on the part of the male and rapid tongue flicking on the part of the female. Their call sounds like an injured frog. They are able to produce this sound by clicking their broad tongue against the roof of their mouth. They also emit chirps and grunts.

Reproduction: Sexual reproduction occurs and the female usually lays two eggs. The eggs are incubated for 47 to 82 days and upon hatching the young are independent. Females can lay clutches of eggs several times during the breeding season.

Habitat/range: They inhabit trees in tropical rainforests, grassland and agricultural areas throughout Madagascar. They have been introduced to southern Florida.

Status: Listed as Least Concern on IUCN and Appendix II of CITES.

Species:madagascarensis grandis