Madagascar Day Gecko

(Phelsuma madagascariensis)


Madagascar Day Gecko IUCN LEAST CONCERN (LC)


Facts about this animal

The total length of the Madagascar Day Gecko is about 28 cm, some specimen can reach 30 cm. This is the largest Phelsuma species of Madagascar. The dorsal ground colour is light to dark green, sometimes moderately bluish. A red to reddish brown stripe runs from the nostril to the eye and occasionally further to the neck above the ear-opening. The rest of the markings are also red or sometimes completely absent. There is a V-shaped mark on the forehead, and it has red marks on the hindhead and back. The tail is uniform or sometimes with single red spots and/or some red crossbars on the anterior part of the tail. The flanks and limbs are also uniform or marbled pale and dark. The ventral colour is usually grey, the under part of the tail is sometimes bluish green to yellow. Madagascar day geckos feed primarily on nectar and arthropods but have also been documented feeding on Hemidactylus geckos. Madagascar day geckos have been known to live for more than 20 years in human care. There are four subspecies: Ph. m. madagascariensis, Ph. m. boehmei, Ph. m. grandis and Ph. m. kochi.

Did you know?
that geckoes have padded toes with sticking power, allowing them to walk even on vertical glass screens? This is because each toe has fine hairs 1/10 mm long, packed at 5,000 hairs per sq mm. Each hair has 400-1,000 branches that end in a small spatula-like structure, which makes the adhesive effect.


Name (Scientific) Phelsuma madagascariensis
Name (English) Madagascar Day Gecko
Name (French) Gecko diurne de Madagascar
Name (German) Madagaskar-Taggecko
Name (Spanish) Geco diurno de Madagascar
CITES Status Appendix II
CMS Status Not listed



Photo Copyright by
© Samuel Furrer, Zoo Zurich, Switzerland



Range Madagascar. Populations descending from escaped individuals of Phelsuma madagascariensis grandis> became established in the Florida Keys.
Habitat Primary and secondary rainforest, on house walls, roofs and in plantations
Wild population Unknown, but it is common in many localities (Red List IUCN 2011)
Zoo population 566 reported to ISIS (2009)

In the Zoo

How this animal should be transported

For air transport, Container Note 41 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.


Find this animal on ZooLex

Why do zoos keep this animal

Phelsuma madagascariensis is not a threatened species. Zoos keep it primarily for educational reasons. Because of its brillant colour and diurnal activity it is also a good ambassador species for the threatened forest habitats of Madagascar.