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

Flat-tailed day gecko

The Flat-tailed day gecko (Phelsuma serraticauda) is a diurnal gecko that is found in eastern Madagascar. It typically inhabits rainforests and dwells on trees and feeds on insects and nectar.

Description

The male lizard can reach an average total length of about 13 cm whereas females are slightly smaller. Some males may even reach a length of 15 cm. The body color is dark green or yellowish green. Its tail is broad, flattened and has serrated edges. On the lower back three red tear-shaped markings dots are present. On the neck, which may be bluish, two longitudinal yellow stripes are present. On the snout and head, there are three transversal red bars.

Distribution

This species occurs on the east coast of Madagascar. It is only known from the region 12 km north of Toamasina.

Habitat

Phelsuma serraticauda is largely restricted to coconut palms yet can also be found on banana trees.

Diet

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

Behaviour

This species lives in groups with one male and up to five females. Amongst the females, there is a well developed dominance hierarchy. Juveniles are tolerated only up to a certain size.

Reproduction

The females lay up to 4 pairs of eggs per year. At a temperature of 28°C, the young will hatch after approximately 53-58 days. The juveniles are typically 40 mm in length.

Care and maintenance in captivity

These animals should be housed in pairs or small groups and need a large, well planted terrarium. The temperature should be between 25 and 28°C. The humidity should be maintained between 75 and 90%. In captivity, these animals can be fed with crickets, wax moth larvae, fruit flies, mealworms and houseflies.

Flat-tailed day gecko