Saturday, July 7, 2012

Gold Dust Day Gecko

Phelsuma laticauda
The Gold Dust Day Gecko is a smallish Gecko, named for the gold specks that develop on their backs and legs as they age. They also happen to be diurnal, giving them the second part of their common name.

The species is native to Madagascar and the Comoros Islands, but they have also been introduced to far away Hawaii, and inhabit several of the islands in that chain. They live in trees and (now) near human establishments. The Geckos live solitary lifestyles, and males can be very aggressive when it comes to their territory.

It isn't just adult males that can be testy, juveniles can be just as aggressive. Up to five pairs of eggs are laid during the breeding season, and they will hatch after a month and a half. The young geckos are only about an inch long at the time of hatching and they disperse quickly, as fighting can occur (the male territoriality starts young!).

Gold Dust Day Geckos are omnivores, feeding on insects, smaller lizards, nectar, and fruits. They can sometimes be found en masse, congregating around a single plant in order to feed. The Geckos can also be very bold in human areas, entering kitchens and snatching food right off the countertops!

IUCN Status : Not Listed
Location : Madagascar
Size : Length up to 6in (15cm)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Reptilia -- Order : Squamata
Family : Gekkonidae -- Genus : Phelsuma -- Species : P. laticauda

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much... I found one of these fellows today on my lanai (I live in Hawaii) and you helped me identify him!


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