The Giant Day Gecko (Phelsuma grandis)

Giant Day Gecko

The Giant Day Gecko (Phelsuma grandis) is a diurnal and arboreal species of gecko. Unlike most geckos, the suitably named day gecko is diurnal in their activity patterns, meaning they come to life during the day. There are remarkably beautiful geckos that have become very popular. It is quite active and hardy but it is nervous and its skin tears easily, is not easy to handle.

The Giant Day Gecko is widely distributed in northern Madagascar, consisting of some of the offshore islets. Because this day geckos are followers of civilization, they are typically found in tropical and subtropical forests as well as in dry deciduous forests camouflaged among the palm groves, banana plants, and other trees. This is the tropical rainforest region which is characterized by humid and hot weather.

The Giant Day Gecko is a well-muscled and thick-bodied gecko. Their body is typically light green to blue-green with red-brown bars or dots on their back. A red stripe extends from the nostril to behind the ears, big round eyes circled in bright blue, and white undersides. They have broadly flattened toe pads with thin flat adhesive scales. These toe pads give them the ability to hang onto smooth surfaces.

As its name indicates, the Giant Day Gecko is the largest member of the day geckos group. Adult males can reach lengths of 9 to 12 inches (23 to 30 cm). Females are typically 1 or 2 inches (3 or 5 cm) smaller. If cared for properly, this gecko can live for a long time. Records of day gecko surviving for two decades exist, but the average lifespan of 6 to 8 years.

The Giant Day Gecko has excellent sight and relies on it to get their food. When they are stressed and illness are shown by changes in the intensity of the skin’s coloration. Their coloring darkens in these situations. This also occurs during breeding and courtship. They use their coloring to blend into their environment, consequently camouflaging them from predators.

While quite big for a Giant Day Gecko, they are still prey animals and are typically eaten by larger animals such as larger lizards or birds of prey. As a result of this, they prefer secure hiding places that are well hidden from prying eyes.

This Giant Day Gecko is very popular in the pet trade and commonly displayed in zoos and aquariums for educational purposes. The geckos involved in the pet trade should be captive reproduced as they are restricted for trade from the wild.

 

How To Take Care Of Giant Day Gecko?

How To Take Care Of Giant Day Gecko

Do you know how to take care of Giant Day Gecko? It is always very important for individuals when looking for pet day geckos, to know where the geckos originated from and to understand how to take care of them.

The Males Giant Day Gecko are quite aggressive as well as can be quite quarrelsome. They didn’t accept other males in their area. Younger geckos are most aggressive. They seem to be territorial, as they are aggressive towards other members of the species.

In captivity, where the females Giant Day Gecko cannot run away, the males might also seriously injured a female. In cases when males are aggressive against females, they must be separated as well as introduced only for breeding purposes.

The Giant Day Gecko need to be provided a cage of reasonable size 30-gallon high terrarium or larger for a pair or trio. They are doing well with a glass terrarium as their enclosure since glass is great at allowing heat to escape ensure that the enclosure remains cool enough. Other enclosures including wooden vivariums are far as well efficient at retaining heat.

Young Giant Day Gecko can be housed successfully in cages as small as 10 gallons or in a 12″ x 12″ x 18″ (WxDxH) glass terrarium. Adult day geckos will require much more space and can thrive in Penn Plax custom cages or Vision cages. All glass options include several sizes of glass terrariums, such as the ZooMed 18″ x 18″ x 24″ (WxDxH) front opening terrarium or Exo Terra 36″ x 18″ x 18″ (WxDxH) front opening terrarium.

The Giant Day Gecko must be kept on a somewhat moist substrate to increase the humidity inside the cages. While any loose substrate has the possible to be accidentally swallowed, we have found this to not be a problem with coarse orchid bark and also very easy to clean. If the humidity is not high enough with coarse orchid bark, I recommend adding a small amount of moss to the enclosure.

Many substrates designed for rainforest terrariums can be used successfully, consisting of peat/soil mixtures, coconut fiber, and various bark chips. The only arrangement is that the particle size of the substrate must be large enough so that it cannot be accidentally ingested by the Giant Day Gecko while they are catching insect prey, as this can cause intestinal blockage.

Decoration should offer various hiding spots or at least 1 or 2 hiding spots directly under the heat lights where the geckos could bask. The Giant Day Gecko seem so much prefer cork rounds or hollow bamboo tubes to hide and rest in, although it will also use Grapewood, cork flats, or even habba huts turned sideways.

In addition to the wood decoration, live plants are also great additions to the terrarium. Live plants will help in increasing humidity and provide a lot of naturalistic hiding places for the geckos. Fake plants, such as vines, bird’s nest fern plants, tropical plants, or large broad-leafed plants also can be added to the terrarium.

The cage should be misted one or two times a day sufficiently to create pendulous beads of water for your Giant Day Gecko to drink. This is the preferred way to provide water. It is necessary that you do not allow the cage to become soaked or to hold water as a result of the mistings.

This Giant Day Gecko requires UVB and UVA light to help them process minerals and vitamins, such as vitamin D3 and calcium. The vitamin D3 helps your gecko to absorb calcium which important for bone structure and growth. This is why geckos can suffer from metabolic bone disease (MBD) when not offered with adequate UVB.

It also makes the Giant Day Gecko more colorful and enhances their natural behavior. The source of light must be within 12 inches (30 cm) of the gecko in both the warmer and cooler area of the enclosure, and there should be a timer to differ the level of exposure according to the season: 10 hrs of UVB and UVA light in the wintertime, and 14 hrs in the summertime.

An incandescent light bulb of the ideal wattage must be used to maintain a 95ºF (35ºC) basking spot. The ambient temperature should range from 82 to 86ºF (28 to 30ºC) during the day and 75 to 82ºF (24 to 28ºC) at night. Restricted Giant Day Gecko will use this thermal gradient to thermoregulate to their optimal body temperature.

 

What Does The Giant Day Gecko Eat?

What Does The Giant Day Gecko Eat

The Giant Day Gecko is omnivorous and has a diet including mainly live foods and fruits. They can eat almost anything that, they can overpower and fit down their throats. In the wild, they will eat various insects, small lizards, fruit, and even pinkie mice if given the opportunity. They are known to lick the pollen and nectar and from flowers. Their diet in captivity is composed of various pureed fruits and insects with minerals and vitamin supplements.

The main of the live food diet for Giant Day Gecko must be high in protein and relatively easy to digest. They can be fed on various insects about 90% the size of its head such as wingless fruit flies and other flies, wax moths, ants, beetles, crickets, spiders, wax worms, small super worms, mealworm, and small butter worms.

To provide the Giant Day Gecko with ideal nutrition and to maintain them in the best of health, they will require diet supplements such as calcium, vitamins, and minerals. These are most commonly available as powders. They easily accept and thrive on different types of commercially available powdered diets, however, some people prefer to create homemade diets.

All insects should be dusted with a high-quality reptile calcium powder containing D3 at every feeding and a high-quality reptile multivitamin and mineral supplement need to be dusted with about once a week. These supplements can be added to fruit-based diets as well. Insects can be provided 2 times a week.

Any type of live food for the Giant Day Gecko should be gut-loaded with an insect food. Gut-loaded means is simply feeding your feeder insects with nutritious foods so that the beneficial nutrients to pass on to your gecko. Commercially available gut-loads such as Total Bites make it easy to pack your crickets and feeder insects loaded with nutrition.

The ZooMed ReptiVite with D3 is very good, simple to use the supplement, even though there are options for the more advanced keeper too. Wherever your supplement provides vitamin D3, multivitamins, and calcium, it should benefit keeping your  Giant Day Gecko healthy and happy.

For the fruit part of the Giant Day Gecko diet, they can be fed a complete diet like Repashy or fruit paste. A diet made for fruit-eating geckos is also available from Repashy Super Foods. Tropical fruits are the necessary 1 to 2 times a week and must be small pieces of banana, papaya, mango, fruit-based baby food, or commercial gecko nectars. When you cannot find fresh fruit, also can find some kind of canned fruit such as mango, papaya, or red banana can be a welcome treat and will also add variety to the diet.

The cage should be misted with water every morning to provide hydration. A water bowl may also be introduced as a source of freshwater. Chlorine-free, fresh water should be provided daily.

The Breeding Of Giant Day Gecko

The Breeding Of Giant Day Gecko

Most Giant Day Gecko are ready to breed by the time they are 12 to 14 months old. Young females might start to lay infertile eggs at 10 months old, however, it is suggested that they not breed until they reach an adult length of 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 cm). Adult males reach sexually mature have large, well-developed femoral pores. Females have weak femoral pores or none at all.

The Giant Day Gecko during mating, courtship displays typically involve jerky head swaying motions for the male and quick tongue flicking for the female. Their call sounds like an injured frog. They have the ability to this sound by clicking their broad tongue against the roof of their mouth and also emit chirps and grunts.

Sexual reproduction happens and the female Giant Day Gecko typically lays 2 eggs. The eggs are incubated for 47 to 82 days and when hatching the young are independent. Females can lay clutches of eggs several times during the breeding season.

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