Gecko keeping can help you enjoy a calm and quiet time. You can have a rewarding time with family and friends with it, but it is still fun to do alone. If you want to start your gecko-keeping journey or want an addition to your gecko pet collection, why not look into the day gecko?
Day gecko is a common name for about 60 lizard species that share a lot of traits with each other. These geckos are trendy pets. They look fantastic, and although their maintenance is slightly challenging, it can be manageable with sufficient research.
As their name suggests, day geckos are diurnal, unlike many other lizard species. Therefore, they are perfect for people who love to look at lizards during the day.
Unfortunately, it is not advisable to handle them because their skin is fragile. Their tails can also fall if they are not appropriately handed. Furthermore, day geckos have a high tendency to bite if they are stressed.
That being said, these geckos are still excellent pets. You can enjoy watching them perform daily lizard activities. Just be sure not to disturb them.
There are sixty different species of day geckos, but they all belong to the Phelsuma genus. These species have differences, but they are all generally great display pets. One of the most popular variants of the day gecko is the giant day gecko. They have red lines and spots on their head, back, and tail. They are green in color. Like other day gecko species, they have vivid colors, yet agitated animals often have deeper green tones. There are also rare variants like the electric blue day gecko. Unfortunately, this blue lizard is currently critically endangered.
Since there are a lot of day gecko species, there are also a lot of variations in their sizes. Small species usually start at 2.6 inches, while the largest ones can grow more than 11 inches. Meanwhile, day geckos commonly have five digits on each of their feet. Their first digit is a short thumb with no toe pad, but their 4th digit is usually the most straightforward.
Their skin is textured. However, the day gecko’s skin is susceptible to handling. As mentioned earlier, it is not advisable to handle them. They are better off as display pets because of their fabulous looks.
Habitat (where from in the wild, temperatures, conditions, etc.)
Day geckos are arboreal lizards that love to reside in tropical rain forests. They are indigenous to the southwest Indian Ocean islands, the majority of which are Madagascar and Mauritius.
Day geckos may flourish in various habitats in the locations they have been brought to since they are generalists regarding habitat selection and prey. They are primarily found in the palm trees of coconut farms and the trees canopy of tropical rain forests.
Leaves and branches, or sometimes foliage from some other woody plants taller than five feet, are referred to as a tree canopy. You can measure its size by calculating the area around a tree within the drip line.
The ideal humidity range for day geckos is between 55 and 65 percent. During the day, this gecko prefers temperatures between 80-88 degrees Fahrenheit.
As mentioned earlier, day geckos are native to Madagascar and Mauritius. However, the human introduction has led these geckos to some parts of the US, such as Florida and Hawaii.
What they eat
Day geckos are omnivores. They can consume fruits and nectars. This is great for them, considering that they are arboreal. In addition to fruits and nectars, they can also munch on many insects.
In captivity, breeders keep them full by giving them crickets, waxworms, and giant mealworms. Meanwhile, you can provide hatchlings and tiny day geckos pinhead crickets. If you need other options, you can choose wingless fruit flies instead because of their size.
As mentioned earlier, stormy day geckos will use nectar and pollen as a food source. Although this part of their diet is almost impossible to copy for our day gecko pets, there are a lot of available alternatives.
You can feed fresh papaya to supply the fruit needs of your day gecko. If you cannot prepare fruits for them, you can also prepare some fruit-flavored baby food because it tastes just like fruit and is packed with nutrients and vitamins.
Calcium and other vitamins are also vital to the healthy life of the day gecko. To ensure they get enough, you could contact your local vet to be guided in choosing their regular supplements.
How long do they live
As previously mentioned, there are a lot of day gecko species. However, they all have the same life span in the wild and in captivity. Unlike many other pets, their life span in the wild is not that far off from their life span in captivity. They can live up to approximately 15 years.
They can live longer because of their varied diet. They can benefit from the nutrients of nectars and fruits from the climbed trees. Furthermore, because they are arboreal geckos, they are safe from many predators. They can also hide in tree canopies, giving them an excellent extra layer of safety.
In captivity, they can live slightly longer. It is estimated that they can live for about 15-20 years. However, if you want them to last this long, you must put in the effort. It would be best if you made sure that their diet is healthy and that their enclosure is excellent.
You won’t have to worry so much, though. Although these geckos can be intricate for absolute beginners, you can learn the skills necessary over time.
Type of enclosure
Each gecko has somewhat different needs, so carefully research the species to have the right cage, lighting, humidity, and food available when it comes time. Being well-prepared will help your gecko feel less anxious as it adjusts to its new surroundings.
Day geckos are excellent evaders. Day geckos do nicely in a glass tank with a tightly shutting screen top for ventilation.
Each species of day gecko has somewhat different needs in terms of habitat and precise cage configuration. Day geckos often require an enclosure with climbing branches higher than it is broad.
For climbing opportunities and aesthetic appeal, you can add bamboo stalks, branches, or live plants such as snake plants and bromeliads, among many others. They can be incredibly functional decorations for the tank.
It would be best if you also gave your day gecko lots of shelter and places to hide, so it feels safe. This setup also helps the enclosure feel closer to its natural habitat.
Every day, you must clean the cage by wiping away any visible excrement, and once a month, you must thoroughly disinfect the cage with a disinfectant suitable for reptiles.
You must first accurately sex the animals to ensure that you have a pair. A guy can be identified by his well-developed femoral pores. These resemble scales with very distinct “dots” inside them, often arranged in a V configuration.
In females, these traits are either absent or poorly formed. This is the most accurate way of knowing the gender, possibly the only one. If you observe the females’ necks, you will see that they have fully formed endolymphatic chalk sacs on their necks that store calcium for developing eggshells.
Make sure your animals are healthy and have a healthy body weight before exposing them to breeding. Before breeding should even be considered, your animals should be older than one year for the smaller species and more senior than 1.5 years for the bigger ones.
Day Geckos will actively reproduce for many months each year, with the season mostly varying by species. Most day gecko variants will begin mating after remaining in cold temperatures for some time and will lay batches of their eggs every six weeks or less for some months. According to one researcher’s observations, egg laying peaks in July, August, and September.
The male will forcefully bite the female on the neck’s nape during mating. After mating, it’s conceivable that you’ll notice bite marks on the neck. Within a month of mating, the eggs will often be thoroughly developed. These eggs are visible through the abdomen of the smaller species; you will notice one or two white ovals.
When eggs are taken out for incubation, you must incubate them in the proper containers. An empty container and poking a few holes in the lid is a common technique. Vermiculite should be moistened two parts vermiculites to one part water and placed in the bottom of the container. Lay a big plastic top in the container with the eggs inside. Depending on the species and the climate, eggs typically hatch between 40 and 90 days after being laid.
Not all lizards are equal. Day geckos are slightly challenging to keep as pets. However, with the correct information and preparation, you can undoubtedly start if you want to.
If it is your first time keeping geckos, you need to think twice as much before making decisions. However, if you are fully committed, you can go for it. Just make sure to research or ask veteran gecko keepers for important information.
However, if you want to start keeping geckos but think you are not yet ready for day geckos, you can always explore other options. Maybe later, after gaining experience and knowledge, you will be prepared for a day gecko.