▷ The world of Pets: Dogs, cats, birds, reptiles, amphibians

Madagascar day gecko
- Phelsuma madagascariensis

Share with your friends !!

Thanks to the special adhesive foils on your fingers, the Madagascar day gecko not only moves on the smoothest surfaces, but even clings to the glass upside down without problems.
Madagascar day gecko
One “Madagascar day gecko” in the nursery of Lausanne – Gzzz, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons(Switzerland)



The Madagascar day gecko is native to the eastern coast of Madagascar and usually lives there as a supposed follower of the culture in the proximity of humans. It is not uncommon to find them on the walls of cabins, on rooftops and banana plantations.


The Madagascar day gecko is a lizard of strong constitution, grows quite a lot, with one head-torso length up to approximately 14 cm.. The basic coloring is green, with dark red spots on the back and top of the head. A distinctive feature is the red line that runs from the nostril, passing through the eye, to the temple: like a red Zorro mask!

In case of stress, discomfort or fear, This Gecko can darken its coloration quickly and intensely.
As they do not have eyelids, their “bulging eyes” have a special charm for us. They clean themselves again and again with their own tongues as if they were dirty glasses.


This Gecko lives in the trees of the primary forest, in plantations and even homes. They live in an environment where the degree of humidity is very high (at least the 80%). The daytime temperatures oscillate between the 25 and 30 °C during the day and drop to 20 °C at night. In winter, the temperature drops to about 25°C during the day and 15°C at night, for about two months.

The "Madagascar day gecko" in captivity

Madagascar day gecko
Phelsuma madagascariensis madagascariensis, macho en terrario – Manuel Werner, Nuertingen, Germany, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

With the right care and accommodation, the Madagascar day gecko is a grateful animal that gives a lot of pleasure to its owners. But, the conditions and needs of these animals mentioned here must be met.

Next we want to show you some special characteristics of this species in general for its care in the terrarium. Here, animal welfare comes first.


Terrariums for the Madagascar day gecko must be of sufficient height, since all species are arboreal. As a key to the size of the terrarium we recommend calculating with the head-torso length of the animal. The size of the terrarium is calculated as follows for non-adult animals:

  • Terrarium floor space: Four times x three times the head-torso length of the animal.
  • Height of the terrarium: Four times the head-torso length of the animal.
Terrarium measurements: 100 x 60 x 120 cm. (for 1-2 animals)

Observe the growth of the animal in the coming months (fast-growing animal/slow-growing animal) For adult animals (of legal age), the various institutions in Germany give guidelines on the size of the terrarium.

Terrarium installation

The Madagascar day gecko is an excellent climber, you are almost never seen on the ground. Various cork branches, cork tubes and bamboo canes have a decorative appearance and provide the animal with space to walk, including the coveted spot for sunbathing under the point of ultraviolet light. As such, place a branch or root at the right distance from the light source so that the right temperature is created in it. They will also willingly accept some vertical climbing opportunities..

It also, the terrarium must be well decorated with plants. Artificial plants are a practical option in this case, as they can be easily cleaned of droppings.

The suitable substrate is the bark bed (also called “Cortex”) and the land of the terrarium. Some moss cushions are decorative and regulate humidity. Droppings and food scraps should be removed daily.

Temperature and lighting of the terrarium

The Madagascar day gecko resides in tropical habitats.

Since reptiles are thermal animals, you have to simulate their natural habitat in the terrarium: temperature and humidity. This is achieved by various heat/light sources and water misting/spraying. (sprinkler system).

One thermometer/hygrometer allows the caregiver to control these values. Animals have excellent eyesight and visual acuity. Depend on sufficient lighting. So, is mandatory a good lighting of the terrarium. They also need a sunny spot in the terrarium. This is created by spot lighting, that provides light, heat and UV rays. The highest quality products are necessary here, because only they are equal to the natural light of the sun.

The Madagascar day gecko see the colors in the ultraviolet range, so you can't perceive your surroundings normally without adequate light. It also, only an optimal supply of UV-B light provides enough vitamin D3 for young animals to grow optimally and adults to also be in top shape and display their bright colors.. We recommend the JBL L-U-W Light, which is available in different powers and in the version “Desert” or “Jungle“. This type of lighting provides light, heat and UVA/UVB rays. As a caregiver, can get an especially good climate (and easy to control) using a heating mat under part of the floor of your terrarium.

Although the Madagascar day gecko does not go down to the ground to warm up, yes it heats the basic temperature of the high terrarium -which by design is similar to a fireplace- from below. These terrariums usually have too low temperatures in the lower half of the terrarium outside of summer., so the fry have a hot back and a cold belly. The heating mat must be accompanied by a thermostat. In this way, always get the right climate, as the heating mat turns on automatically when needed. A plus point is the more favorable energy consumption in terms of the environment, since terrariums operated in this way not only require lower power for point lamps, but also, usually, fix themselves with less energy.

For uniform lighting of your terrarium as decoration of your living space, we recommend the LED lighting across the entire terrarium. Light and heating sources are always turned on and off at a daily rate using a timer, 14h on, 10h off.


Exoterra Day Gecko Food
Exoterra Day Gecko Food

The Madagascar day gecko is a fast and agile hunter. The insects that serve as food (crickets, grasshopper, etc.) are always sprinkled with mixtures of vitamins and minerals. This is the only way to avoid irreversible deficiencies, which can often lead to serious illness or even death in young animals and pregnant females, for example.

The feed animals they must always be adapted to the size of the diurnal gecko. Feed only insects that will be eaten directly. Otherwise, feeding animals would disperse around the terrarium, they would hide away and get rid of the attached vitamins/minerals – the result is malnutrition and malnutrition despite food supplies.

It also, yet Madagascar day gecko in nature likes to lick overripe fruits and nectar.

With “Exoterra Day Gecko Food” small glasses already prepared with a suitable food porridge are obtained. Not offered on the ground, but permanently in the so-called “cupholder” at a high altitude.

Social behavior and reproduction

The Madagascar day gecko can be maintained individually, in pairs or in a group constellation of one male with several females. Males are always incompatible with each other.

Females of the species “Phelsuma” put 1-2 eggs after a few 28 days, until 5 times a year. Some species stick eggs to the substrate. The eggs quickly harden in the air and the females of the “kind of glue for eggs” stick 2 eggs each. They like to do it in small cavities like bamboo canes or cork tubes.. The young hatch after 42-70 days.


Thanks to the special adhesive foils on your fingers, the Madagascar day gecko not only moves on the smoothest surfaces, but even clings to the glass upside down without problems. In doing so, develop true superpowers through the call adhesion: thanks to their feet covered with billions of fine hairs, make use of the forces of Van der Waals and electrostatic forces.

On the sides of the back of the head have small “calcium sacs”, which serve females to store calcium in preparation for egg formation.

In the wild, guarantee their survival against predators by wagging their tails and “moving in a startled way”. If a hunter grabs them by the trunk, the skin sheds and the daytime salamander escapes. Tail and skin regenerate in case of emergency.

For sale "Madagascar day gecko"

The price of a Madagascar day gecko at the exotic animal market, bred in captivity, ranges between 50 – 80 EUR.

Videos "Madagascar day gecko"

Phelsuma Madagascariensis Grandis

Phelsuma madascariensis already adapted (daytime gecko)

Alternative names:

1. Madagascar Giant Day Gecko (English).
2. Gecko de Madagascar, Gecko diurne géant de Madagascar (French).
3. Phelsuma madagascariensi (German).
4. Gecko gigante do dia (Portuguese).
5. Perenquén diurno de Madagascar (español).

Leave a Comment