Common Name: Gold Dust Day Gecko

Scientific Name: Phelsuma laticauda

 

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Reptilia

Order: Sauria

Family: Gekkonidae

Genus: Phelsuma

Species: P. laticauda

1.jpg

The Gold Dust Day Gecko is a type of lizard, and it is slightly smaller than most lizards. It can reach a length of around 13 cm (about four to five inches). Its coloring is a yellowish green or bright green or rarely even blue. They usually have yellow spots on their neck and upper back and the upper eyelids are blue. An identifying characteristic is that there is a wide, v-shaped marking which points to the head on the lower back. Plus, the tail is wider and flatter than most lizards.

 

This lizard is very abundant. It is definitely the most abundant species of the Sambirano Domain. It is mostly found in the humid parts of northern Madagascar, but it is also found on two of the Comoro Islands, Mayotte and Anjouan. It has also been introduced into the Hawaiian Islands. They feed on various different kinds of insects and other invertebrates, and thay have been observed consuming smaller lizards. They also eat soft fruit and pollen and nectar from flowers. they gather in groups of many individuals to feed off of one plant, bananas and palm trees are their favorite.

 

The genus Phelsuma has a very abundant population. There are many of them which is an indicator that they are not a very old Genus. However, they do have predators. Their main predators are a many different types of snakes. This genus also has about 25 species of day geckos. An interesting fact is that these geckos are said to make excellent pets. Although you aren’t suppose to mess with then much, you can watch them and they are pretty active during the day. They are also pretty easy to take care of. The temperature should be around 27 and 30C and with humidity of about 50 – 80%. You must not mess with them if you can help it though.

 

They have very fragile scales and they will tear off completely very easily resulting in hideous wounds. Some other interesting facts are that the Gold Dust Day Gecko is actually a sub-species of the Broad-Tailed Day Gecko. Also, it’s a relatively new species. Another thing that is interesting is that the gecko’s tail can fall off and the gecko will be fine. This is a defense mechanism. When a predator tries to eat it the predator will first grab the tail, but the tail falls off and the gecko gets away. The tail will take about a month to re-grow. The only bad thing is that the gecko has lost most of its fat because it is stored in its tail, so it just needs to make sure to eat enough and it will be fine.

 

Author: Jaran H

Published: 03/2009

 

Sources: Phelsumania: the genus Phelsuma. 09 Mar. 2009 . "Gold dust day gecko -." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 09 Mar. 2009 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gold_dust_day_gecko "Day Geckos - Care In Captivity." The Lizard Wizard. 09 Mar. 2009 http://www.thelizardwizard.co.uk/day_gecko_care.htm

 

Photo Credit: Photograph by Jurriaan, found on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gecko