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Last updated on April 20, 2014 at 14:04 EDT

Gold dust day gecko

Gold dust day gecko (Phelsuma laticauda laticauda) is a diurnal subspecies of geckos. It lives in northern Madagascar and on the Comoros. It typically inhabits trees and can sometimes be found in houses. The Gold dust day gecko feeds on insects and nectar.

Description

This lizard belongs to the smaller day geckos. It can reach a total length of about 13 cm. The body color is a bright green or yellowish green or rarely even blue. Typical for this day gecko are the yellow speckles on the neck and the upper back. There are three rust-colored transverse bars on the snout and head. The upper eyelid is blue. On the lower back there are three longish red bars. The tail is slightly flattened. The ventral side is off-white.

Distribution

The Gold dust day gecko inhabits the northern part of Madagascar. It can also be found on the island Nosy Bé and the Comoros. According to McKeown [2], this species has also been introduced onto Farquhar Island in the southern Seychelles, and onto the Hawai’ian islands, where it is established on both sides of O’ahu, the Kona side of the Big Island, and on Maui.

Habitat

P. laticauda laticauda is often found near human dwellings. It inhabits different trees, larger plants and human dwellings.

Diet

These day geckos feed on various insects and other invertebrates. They also like to lick soft, sweet fruit, pollen and nectar.

Behavior

The males of this species are considered to be aggressive and rather quarrelsome. They do not accept other males in their neighborhood. In captivity, where the females cannot escape, the males may also seriously wound a female. In this case the male and female must be separated.

Reproduction

The females lay up to 5 pairs of eggs. At a temperature of 28°C, the young will hatch after approximately 40-45 days. The juveniles measure 55-60 mm. They should be kept separately since even the juveniles can be quite quarrelsome. Sexual maturity is reached after 10″“12 months.

Care and maintenance in captivity

These animals should be housed singly or in pairs and need a large, well planted terrarium. The temperature should be about 28°C during the day and drop to around 20°C at night. The humidity should be maintained between 65 and 75%. In captivity, these animals can be fed with crickets, wax worms (wax moth larva), fruit flies, maggots, mealworms and houseflies.

Gold dust day gecko