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Madagascan Giant Day Gecko

Madagascan Giant Day Gecko
Phelsuma grandis

As their name would suggest the Madagascan Giant Day Geckos can reach an adult length of 30cm. They are arboreal, diurnal and bright green with red markings around the face and back; simply stunning.

Madagascan Giant Day Gecko -  (CB) Adult Female
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What does a Madagascan Giant Day Gecko look like?

The Madagascan Giant Day Gecko (Phelsuma grandis) is a strikingly beautiful, arboreal, diurnal lizard, known for its vibrant and distinctive markings. Adults grow large and can reach lengths of up to 30cm (12 inches), including the tail. They exhibit a bright green base colour with red or orange spots and stripes, particularly on their back and head. These geckos are capable of changing colours from darker, to lighter green depending on their mood and temperature. The underside is typically a lighter colour, ranging from yellow to off-white. Each gecko has a unique pattern, making individuals distinguishable by appearance. They are capable of climbing virtually any surface with their large toe pads, covered in microscopic hairy structures called setae. They have extremely delicate skin, and same as many other gecko species, they are able to drop their tails as a defence mechanism to avoid predators. For these reasons handling is not recommended.

Where are Madagascan Giant Day Geckos from?

Originating from the lush tropical and subtropical regions of Northern Madagascar, these geckos thrive in warm, humid environments. In their natural habitat, they are often found in the forest canopy, basking in dappled sunlight and maintaining a close proximity to water sources where insects and soft fruits are abundant..

How do I keep Madagascan Giant Day Geckos?

As this species is notoriously fast, they are not to be handled. Create a vertical space mimicking their natural arboreal habitat. A tall glass terrarium with ample ventilation is ideal, the size needs to be a minimum of 90 x 45 x 60cm (3’ x 18” x 2’) Sexed groups can cohabit, ensuring there is only one male present per tank to avoid any rivalry over the females. 

The enclosure should be kept at a temperature gradient with a basking spot and a cooler area to retreat. Ambient upper level temperatures of around 24-26°C, ground level at around 20-22°C. With a basking spot of 30-32°C during the daytime. A night time temperature drop of between 5-10°C is recommended, to simulate the natural temperature drop which happens in the wild from dusk till dawn. The use of a suitable thermostat to control the temperature of basking bulbs is essential in ensuring your geckos are maintained at the optimum temperature. 

It is vital to provide these geckos with access to UVB lighting that sits within the parameters of Ferguson Zone 3,  this helps them to keep their bones healthy and strong by producing vitamin D3 which is essential in the absorption of Calcium. This should be on for 12 hours during the day and turned off at night. 

Aim to replicate the natural habitat of this species, a lush dense rainforest with plenty of plants and climbing surfaces. Natural humidity levels will fluctuate a lot, and can rise and fall between 40-90%. Use a spray bottle or mist system, which dampens the decor, foliage and substrate both morning and evening, helps maintain the right moisture levels. 

It is worth noting that the Magagascan Giant Day Geckos also do extremely well in live planted, bio-active tanks. Use a soil based substrate to cover the floor; adding a layer of leaf litter and moss on top of this can help to retain moisture. Live plants require suitable daylight spectrum LED lighting for them to be able to thrive. Artificial plants are ideal for adding plenty of coverage while keeping the setup fairly simple to maintain if you prefer not to opt for bio-active, just ensure it is packed with things to do for these inquisitive geckos.

Madagascan Giant Day Geckos are omnivorous. Juveniles and adults can be maintained entirely on a complete and quality based meal replacement powder diet if you wish, though providing them with feeder insects offers enrichment by way of encouraging natural hunting and foraging behaviours.

On all live feeds, use a good quality dusting powder to provide an essential calcium and vitamin boost to your Day Gecko. The traditional method of application is to use a spare live food tub or empty cereal container to coat the insects lightly in whichever dusting powder you are providing. We’d advise dusting your insects on every feed, alternating between calcium and vitamin powders according to pack recommendations.

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