Barbour’s day gecko

Barbour’s day gecko (Phelsuma barbouri LOVERIDGE 1942) is a species of geckos that is diurnal and lives in central Madagascar. It typically dwells on rocks and feeds on insects and nectar.


This lizard is a middle sized day gecko, reaching a total length of about 13.5 cm. The body color is brownish green or dark green. Both a dark brown dorso-lateral and a lateral stripe extend from head to tail. The extremities are normally brown. The tail is uni-colored green and slightly flattened.


This species inhabits the highlands of central Madagascar in the Ankaratra Mountains.


In contrast to other Phelsumas (P. barbouri) typically lives on stones on the ground or on rocks. The climate of their habitat is extremely rough, with a huge difference in temperature between night and day and between the different seasons. The maximum day temperature is 30°C. At night, it is cool and foggy.


These day geckos feed on various insects and other invertebrates.


These animals often live in small groups. During the day, they flatten their bodies in order to catch as much sun as possible. This way they can reach their preferred body temperature. During the night and in the early morning, P. barbouri has a dark color but when basking, the body color becomes brighter.


The females glue their eggs under stones and since more females may deposit their eggs at the same location, as many as 50 eggs may be found together. At a temperature of 28°C, the young will hatch after approximately 55 days. The neonates measure 32 mm.

Care and maintenance in captivity

These animals should be housed in pairs and need a large terrarium which should provide many places to hide. Group breeding, however, is possible. The terrarium should be earth based with a number of flat rocks present. It is important that there are some spot lights for basking. The daytime temperature should be between around 29°C while at night, the temperature should drop to 20°C. In captivity, these animals can be fed with crickets, wax moths, fruit flies, mealworms and houseflies.