Giant Day Gecko, Phelsuma madagascariensis grandis:

Size: Averages 9" to 10”, may reach nearly 12".

Identifying markings: A bright green species usually with vivid red spots or bars on mid to lower back. A distinct red line from eye to nostril is always present.

Instructions for care

The following notes are based on my own experience & reading. I strongly encourage anyone interested in Phelsuma madagascariensis to do their own research as many author’s have different opinions and more is constantly being learned about these lizards and herpetoculture in general.

Enclosure: Five- or Ten-gallon fish tanks with fibreglass screen tops are used as rearing cages. Hatchlings are best housed singly or in sibling pairs (if individuals are compatible). Adults need larger terraria (min size: 15" x12"x18" for individuals; 18"x12"x24" for sexual pairs). Groups Can be kept in large walk-in enclosures.

Substrate: Many substrates, such as pine bark chips, orchid bark, sterilized potting soil and newspaper, are acceptable substrates. Paper towelling can be used in the rearing cages for the first several months.

Heat Source: Centrally heated room. Day/night temp. range between 88°f and 73°f. Some additional heat supplied by flourescent fixture resting on top of enclosure. Hot rocks and other heaters can cause shedding problems, especially around toe-pads.

Light source: 20watt Vita-light with power twist. Full spectrum lighting is often considered beneficial for proper development and maintenance. Some advanced hobbyists do not use UVB lighting, but do provide high quality light and use rigorous dietary supplementation to provide vitamin D3. A weak to moderate incandescent spotlight may be used to heat a portion of the enclosure. Be sure the animals have refuge areas protected from the heat.

Photoperiod: Tropical: 12 hrs on, 12 hrs off.

Diet: Appropriate sized crickets, mealworms, etc. Hatchling geckos eat pinhead crickets flightless fruitflies and hatchling mealworms; increase prey size as geckos grow. All food for juveniles should be dusted with good quality reptile vitamins. Insects for adults should be dusted at every second feeding. Also provide a mixture of one teaspoon of strained fruit babyfood (alternate banana, apricot, tropical fruit and peach for variety) and a generous pinch of high calcium vitamin supplement (Miner-All I, Rep-cal, etc.: Note: Nekton-Rep and Reptivite should not be used as they have too high a ratio of vitamin A to vitamin D3) and a pinch or two of bee pollen. There are diets by T-Rex and Zoomed called "Day Gecko Food" now on the market that can also be used as part of a balanced diet. Diced fruit such as papaya may be provided, but is not essential. Reproductively active females should be provided with a small dish of ground eggshell, cuttle bone, or calcium supplement.

Feeding schedule: Daily with occassional fasting days until 6 months of age, then every second day for next six months. After 1 year of age, feed 2 or 3 times per week. Provide baby food mixture one day per week Juveniles up to 6 months of age can be given fruit or baby food more often.

Water: These animals require moderately high humidity, but they must not be continually kept damp. Water should be provided via daily misting of the enclosure, which should dry completely after a few hours. Additional mistings may be required if the surrounding environment is especially dry. High humidity required for problem-free shedding. A drip system may be sufficient for some situations.

Other requirements: House singly or in sexual pairs only. Do not separate a compatible pair as agression may result upon reintroduction. Several animals may be housed together in very large walk-in type enclosures. Males are very territorial and should not be housed together except in very large terraria. Females can also be aggressive towards other females. Adults may eat hatchlings. Good ventilation is a necessity. Provide a hide area and plants (real or plastic) and branches for climbing.

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