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Day Geckos

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day gecko photo

Day Gecko

Lianne McLeod

Day Gecko Species Information:

Day geckos belong to the genus Phelsuma. Day geckos area actually a group of over 60 species, which vary in size, appearance, and habits.

Which Species of Day Gecko to Get?:

These are not good geckos for beginners. For owners with no experience with day geckos, "Leaping Lizards Day Geckos" recommends giant day geckos, gold dust day geckos, or lined day geckos.

Day Gecko Habits:

The are active during the day, unlike most other geckos (hence, the name). They are generally fairly fragile and it is not a good idea to handle them as their skin is quite delicate. They can be quite territorial and sometimes need to be housed singly.

These geckos are excellent climbers - their toe pads have tiny filaments (setae) that allow them to cling to almost any surface, so can climb glass wall, ceilings etc. Watch for escape artists, though!

Cages for Day Geckos:

The exact cage set-up and environment required will vary a bit with each species. As a general rule, day geckos need a tank that is tall with branches to climb. Stalks of bamboo can be placed in the tank, along with branches or live plants (snake plants, bromeliads, other tropical plants). Lots of cover and hiding spots should be provided to make the geckos feel secure. A substrate peat moss, potting soil (no vermiculite) or orchid bark can be used.

Tempertaures and Humidity:

Again, exact requirements vary with species, but generally daytime temperatures run between 80-89 F (27-31 C), with a drop to 70-80 F (21-27 C) at night. All day geckos need fairly high humidity, ranging anywhere from 50% all the way up to 85% depending on the species. Use of live plants and a proper substrate will help maintain humidity levels, along with misting of the tank.

Lighting for Day Geckos:

Day geckos need exposure to ultraviolet light, so UVA/UVB emitting reptile bulbs will be required. An incandescent light can be used to provide a basking spot. If more heat is needed, ceramic elements or undertank heating can be used.

Feeding Day Geckos:

Insects make up the bulk of a day gecko's diet in captivity, although some with eat some fruits such as papaya and mango or even fruit baby food. They should also be supplemented with a vitamin supplement with calcium and vitamin D3 (no phophorus).

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