Madagascar Giant Day Gecko (Phelsuma grandis) - General Care Guide
The Madagascar Giant Day Gecko, scientifically known as Phelsuma grandis, is a vibrant and striking gecko species native to Madagascar. Known for their bright green coloration and diurnal behavior, these geckos make fascinating pets. To ensure their well-being, it is important to provide proper care in terms of housing, temperature, humidity, diet, and handling. Here is a general care guide for Madagascar Giant Day Geckos, based on information from multiple reliable sources:
- Enclosure Size: For a single adult Madagascar Giant Day Gecko, a terrarium with dimensions of at least 18x18x24 inches (45x45x60 cm) is recommended. The enclosure should provide ample space for climbing and include branches, vines, and plants to create a stimulating environment.
- Outdoor Housing: If weather conditions in your area permit, you may consider housing Madagascar Giant Day Geckos outdoors in a screen enclosure. Ensure that the enclosure provides protection from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures. The temperature and humidity should meet the geckos' requirements. Consult local climate information and expert sources to determine if outdoor housing is suitable for your location.
TEMPERATURE, LIGHTING, & HUMIDITY:
- Temperature: Maintain a temperature range between 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit (24-29 degrees Celsius) during the day, with a slight drop at night. Provide a basking spot where the temperature can reach up to 88 degrees Fahrenheit (31 degrees Celsius). Use heat lamps or ceramic heat emitters to achieve and maintain appropriate temperatures.
- Lighting: Madagascar Giant Day Geckos require access to UVB lighting to support their calcium metabolism and overall health. Provide a UVB light source, such as a reptile-specific UVB bulb, and ensure it covers a significant portion of the enclosure.
- Humidity: Maintain a humidity level between 60% and 80% within the enclosure. Mist the enclosure with water daily or use an automatic misting system to create a humid environment. Monitor humidity levels using a hygrometer and adjust misting frequency as needed.
FEEDING & WATER:
- Diet: Madagascar Giant Day Geckos are insectivorous and primarily feed on small live insects. Offer a variety of appropriately sized prey, including crickets, small roaches, fruit flies, and mealworms. Provide gut-loaded insects for optimal nutrition.
- Supplementing: Dust the insects with a calcium supplement powder and a multivitamin supplement before offering them to your gecko. Calcium supplementation is especially important to prevent calcium deficiency and related health issues.
- Water: Ensure a shallow water dish is available at all times for your gecko to drink from and soak in. Use filtered or dechlorinated water. Additionally, mist the enclosure regularly to provide water droplets for the gecko to drink.
- Handling Guidelines: Madagascar Giant Day Geckos are generally more skittish and may not tolerate frequent handling. When necessary, approach them slowly and gently, supporting their body and tail. Avoid gripping or squeezing the gecko tightly. Keep handling sessions brief and observe the gecko's behavior for signs of stress. If the gecko shows signs of distress or tries to escape, return it to its enclosure.
It is important to note that individual Madagascar Giant Day Geckos may have variations in their specific care requirements based on their age, health, and environmental conditions. Regular observation, research, and consulting with experienced reptile keepers or veterinarians will help ensure the well-being of your gecko.