Blue-tailed day gecko


Blue-tailed day gecko

Taxobox
name = Blue-tailed day gecko
regnum = Animalia
phylum = Chordata
classis = Reptilia
ordo = Squamata
familia = Gekkonidae
subfamilia = Gekkoninae
genus = "Phelsuma"
species = "P. cepediana"
binomial = "Phelsuma cepediana"
binomial_authority = Merrem, 1820
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Blue-tailed day gecko ("Phelsuma cepediana" Merrem, 1820) is a diurnal species of geckos. It lives on the island Mauritius and typically inhabits warm and humid places and dwells on different trees and bushes. The Blue-tailed day gecko feeds on insects and nectar.

Scientific synonyms

*"Phelsuma inunguis" Cuvier 1817
*"Platydactylus Cepedianus" - Duméril & Bibron 1836: 301
*"Phelsuma trilineatum" Gray, 1842
*"Phelsuma cepedianum" - Angel, 1942: 29
*"Phelsuma trilineata" - Raxworthy & Nussbaum, 1993
*"Phelsuma cepediana" - Kluge, 1993
*"Phelsuma cepediana" - Glaw & Vences, 1994: 297
*"Phelsuma cepediana" - Rösler, 2000: 101

Description

This lizard belongs to the middle sized day geckos. It can reach a total length of about 15 cm. There always is a dorso-lateral strip present, which may be broken. A red stripe extends from the nostril to the shoulder. The male body colour is light green or bluish green. The back of males has a bright blue colour and is covered with dark red spots and dashes. The males have a deep blue tail. Females lack the brilliant blue colour of the males. They have a bright green back and rust-coloured spots.

Distribution

This species inhabits the island Mauritius where it is widely distributed. "P. cepediana" may also have been introduced to Madagascar where it has been reported a few times, amongst others in the region of Iviloina. These observations have not been confirmed though.

Habitat

"P. cepediana" is mainly found on bushes and trees such as coconut palms, traveler's palms, banana trees and papayas. They also inhabit gardens and houses in suburban areas. These geckos prefer a moist and warm climate. McKeown (1993) mentions that the original vegetation of Mauritius has been largely replaced with agricultural crops where these day geckos cannot live.

Diet

These day geckos feed on various insects and other invertebrates. They also like to lick soft, sweet fruit, pollen and nectar.

Behaviour

This "Phelsuma" spec. can be quite aggressive both toward their own and to other "Phelsuma" species. In captivity, where the females cannot escape, the males can also sometimes seriously wound a female. In this case the male and female must be separated.

Reproduction

The females lay their eggs in a protected location. These Phelsumas glue their eggs. At a temperature of 28°C, the young will hatch after approximately 40–45 days. The juveniles measure 40 mm.

Care and maintenance in captivity

These animals should be housed in pairs and need a large, well planted terrarium. It is important to provide the terrarium with sufficient air flow. The temperature should be between 28 and 30°C. The humidity should be maintained between 75 and 100. In captivity, these animals can be fed with crickets, wax moth, fruits flies, mealworms and houseflies.

References

*Henkel, F.-W. and W. Schmidt (1995) "Amphibien und Reptilien Madagaskars, der Maskarenen, Seychellen und Komoren". Ulmer Stuttgart. ISBN 3-8001-7323-9
*McKeown, Sean (1993) "The general care and maintenance of day geckos". Advanced Vivarium Systems, Lakeside CA.


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