In awe of these jewel-tone shaded beauties? With a striking personality, the giant day geckos are finding a unique place in the pet trade industry.
You will find mainstream advertisers have started having a particular liking to this species. Their grande size and irresistible traits crown it as the best among their genus.
Giant day geckos thrive in the humid and hot forests of northern Madagascar and few offshore islets. You can find them in tree plantations, gardens, and huts while in their natural habitats.
These incredible display creatures are diurnal. Their huge size and vibrant shades give them their names. These features have also captivated the interest of reptile hobbyists.
As live art specimens, keepers tend to display them as a decorative item in their garden or living room. Read on to find more about these herps!
Giant day geckos were not common among the amphibian pet collections till the mid-1980s. The captive breeds were also highly prized during that time. Now, they are a common sight among online breeders, reptiles shows, and local outlets. As per their shade and age, the prices vary from $45 – $250. You will find that a rare or new color variant is quite expensive than the common ones.
Wild species are still occasionally imported from various parts of Madagascar. Compared to captive-bred geckos, wild ones are beautiful to behold but not vibrantly colored or healthy.
Environment conscious keepers must opt for captive-bred specimens. To avoid depleting the fauna of Madagascar, wild catch practice must be entirely disapproved.
Just as the name indicates, this species is the largest among the gecko genus. On reaching adult size, males grow up to 1 ft in length. As for the females, they are smaller than the males by one or two inches.
With proper care and attention, these reptiles can survive for an extended period. Existing records show that they can survive for up to 20 years. They have an average lifespan that ranges from 6 to 8 years.
Thick bodied and adequately muscled in appearance, these creatures are a visual symphony. They are deep emerald shaded with red spots and lines that adorn their back, head, and tail. You will find the stressed-out specimens in dark greener hues. Due to captive breeding, various unique markings are available these days.
Giant day geckos prefer natural terrariums that are well planted. As they are arboreal creatures, the enclosures must have a vertical orientation. Glass and screen enclosures that have a measure of 12” width, 24” length and 24” height is advisable.
For furnishing the cabinet, bamboo is a great option. It serves as an excellent medium for basking, climbing, and laying eggs. By keeping live plants, you can enhance the humidity and natural design of the enclosure.
Exposing these reptiles to natural light settings results in significant health benefits. However, this is not an essential requirement. In case you reside in a place with favorable environments, you can house them outside. At the same time, remember that they need adequate shade to cool their bodies.
Mostly, these species do well whether you house them in pairs or as individuals. Avoid keeping two males together in a single cage. As it tends to end up in fights until one of the male species is severely hurt or killed. Occasionally, when paired together, they tend to reject each other’s presence and start fighting.
If this happens, it’s better to keep them separated. You will also find some couples that bond together for life without any issues. Do not separate such pairs as they may not accept another individual into their enclosure.
Temperature and Lighting
These emerald creatures are active and will keep you company during the daytime. By using high-quality UVB light, you will be able to maintain the vitamin D3 requirements in a balanced form. For the basking spot, place an incandescent lightbulb of sufficient watt inside the enclosure. Make sure that the basking area has a temperature of 95°F.
During the daytime, maintain an ambient temperature between 82 – 86°F. At night, temperatures can drop to a range of 75 – 82°F. For thermoregulation, the captive breeds utilize this thermal gradient to maintain optimal body heat.
Substrates specifically designed for rainforest enclosures can be successfully implemented here. This includes different bark chips, coconut fibers, and soil or peat mixes. Keep in mind to large place substrates. This is to avoid the geckos from accidentally swallowing the substrate particles as they catch the prey. In the case of ingestion, it can cause blockages in the intestine.
These geckos are highly opportunistic feeders. In their natural habitats, they feed on different fruits, insects, tiny lizards, and at times small mammals as well. Since they have a diverse palate, feeding them in captivity is an easy task. They readily feed on homegrown insects like meal worms, wax worms, cockroaches, and crickets. A nutritionally balanced diet is mostly recommended for these creatures.
Offer them with insect feed only 2 times in a week. You can give them fruits one or two times every week. Remember to dust all the insect preys with right quality supplements during each feed. This must include vitamin D3 or calcium coating. Once a week, administer a multi-mineral supplement in their diet. You can also add the supplements in the fruit-based feeds.
To satisfy the water requirement of these lizards, remember to mist the enclosure daily. You will find them licking the water drops from the decorations present in the cabinet. In case you mist on them directly, they will use their tongues to remove water from their nose and eyes. With the help of daily misting, you can maintain the ambient humidity level between 50 – 70%.
Giant day geckos mainly enjoy remaining in their enclosures as they are terrarium specimens. However, they do acquaint themselves with the caretaker gradually and accept fruit or worms from the owner’s hand. A brief period of handling is tolerable for some. Avoid grabbing them as their skin is soft, and they slough off easily. This is one of their unique defense mechanism.
With incredible immune functionality and disease resistance ability, these lizards will stay with you for long. By paying attention to all the care requirements, go ahead and get one for yourself. Don’t forget to share your personal experience with us!