Koch's giant day gecko


Koch's giant day gecko

Taxobox
name = Koch's giant day gecko
regnum = Animalia
phylum = Chordata
classis = Reptilia
ordo = Squamata
familia = Gekkonidae
subfamilia = Gekkoninae
genus = "Phelsuma"
species = "P. madagascariensis"
subspecies = "P. m. kochi"
trinomial = "Phelsuma madagascariensis kochi"
trinomial_authority = Mertens, 1954

Koch's giant day gecko ("Phelsuma madagascariensis kochi" Mertens, 1954) is a diurnal subspecies of geckos. It lives in northwest and western Madagascar and typically inhabits trees. The Koch's giant day gecko feeds on insects and nectar.

Description

This lizard belongs to the largest living day geckos. It can reach a total length of about 25 cm. The body colour is a dark, dull green. A faint red stripe extends from the nostril to the eye. On the back there may be little reddish dots present. The neck and flanks often are light grey. The ventral side is off-white

Distribution

This species is widely distributed in northwest and west Madagascar on the coast and in the inland. it was first discovered in the region around Maevatanana.

Habitat

"Phelsuma magascariensis kochi" is often found on different trees such as banana trees where it can be seen basking. They avoid human dwellings. The climate is very dry throughout the year and the temperature can be as high as 40°C

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 madagascariensis" subspecies is not quite as quarrelsome and aggressive as "Phelsuma madagascariensis madagascariensis" and "Phelsuma madagascariensis grandis".

Reproduction

The pairing season is between November and the first weeks of May. During this period, the females lay up to 6 pairs of eggs. At a temperature of 28°C, the young will hatch after approximately 63–68 days. The juveniles measure 65 mm and reach sexual maturity after one year.

Care and maintenance in captivity

These animals should be housed in pairs although successful group breeding with one male and several females has been reported. They need a large, well planted terrarium. The temperature should be about 28°C during the day. The humidity should be maintained around 65%. In captivity, these animals can be fed with crickets, wax moths, fruit 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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