Page 1 of 1

Care Sheet Project: Day Geckos

Posted: Fri Oct 31, 2003 1:27 am
by Guest
Feel free to add!CARE SHEET FOR DAY GECKOSANIMAL NAME: Day Geckos, Phelsuma spec. DESCRIPTION: Day geckos range in size from 4 to 10 inches (including the tail). Most of them are green with red, blue, yellow or black markings. The eyes are black and round without eyelids. Day geckos can attach themselves to smooth surfaces with help of special scales (lamellae) on their feet. LIFESPAN: 6 to 25 years, depending on the species.SEX DIFFERENCES / SUITABILITY: In a normal-sized tank one male and one or two females can be kept together. Two males would fight and constantly stress each other, until the weaker animal dies. Some Day geckos species mate for life and should be kept in pairs, for example Phelsuma standingi (Standings Day Gecko)REPRODUCTION: Day Geckos lay two eggs and reproduce all year long, but it's better to lower the temperature for about three months to give the females a break. Many Phelsuma species attach their eggs to plants or other tank furniture, the eggs cannot be removed without destroying them. The eggs can be left in the tank or placed in an incubator, temperature should be between 79 and 88 degrees. Lower temperatures produce females, higher males, varying temperature produces both. After the geckos hatched, they can be raised in small boxes with minimal furniture, for example one branch and a small plant. They begin to feed after three to six days and can be fed small crickets or fruit flies. They should be raised alone: you can easier controll that and how much they eat and they won't stress and suppress each other.WASTE: Not much. Sometimes they leave their excrements on the glass of the tank, because they like to sit there.CARE TIME: Feeding the geckos twice a week: 10 minutes / Cleaning the glass of the tank every month or whenever necessary: 30 minutes / Feeding the crickets, grass hoppers or whatever the geckos eat twice a week: 10 minutesFOOD: Insects like crickets, grass hoppers, wood lice, ****roaches, meal worms, zophobas, spiders, flies or other insects. They also eat bananas, mango, kiwi, nectar or baby food made from those fruits. You need a vitamin supplement to provide them with the right amount of calcium and phosphor. See also the cricket care sheet by Puxley.WATER: Fresh water should be offered in a small bowl, but the geckos will also drink when their tank is misted.TEMPERATURE: Between 77 and 82 degrees, in the night between 68 and 50 degrees, depending on the species you keep. They all need a place to sunbathe, here the temperature should be 96 - 100 degrees.If you keep more than one geckos, I'd recommend two or three places to sunbathe.HUMIDITY: During the day, the relative humidity is not very important and can very well drop to 40 or 30%. In the night it should be aroung 80 to 100% (if you mist the terrarium and drop the temperature, this should happen automatically).HOUSING: I prefer a terrarium to a tank for reptiles and amphibians, because the air circulation is better, it's easier to control humidity and temperature and you can access the terrarium from the front and not from above, but I'll use the term "tank".Day geckos vary very much in size. I copied these recommendations from "Fascinating Day Geckos" by Hallmann/Kr�ger/Trautmann:Lenght of geckos including the tail / size of the tank (length x height x depth)5.5: 11 x 23 x 117.5: 13 x 27 x 1312: 16 x 32 x 16In my opinion, the tanks should be even bigger, especially for the big geckos.SUBSTRATE: You can use playsand or sand from a pet shop. Also possible is gravel or normal soil (from outside, not bought, to avoid fertilizers).LIGHTING: One or more spotlights for sunbathing, a neon lamp and for about 30 minutes each day a UV-lamp (the time depends on the type of UV-lamp you use). UV-neon lamps loose the UV-share in their light after about one year, normal UV lamps are more expensive but a lot more efficient. Make sure the geckos cannot reach the lamps. They should be inside the tank, especially the UV-lamp, but for example surrounded by mesh netting.HEATING / COOLING: It's possible that the lamps provide the tank with enough warmth. If not, use a heating cable or under tank heater attached to the back of the tank. In very hot weather you'll need to cool the tank, either switch of some of the lamps or use a little fan (like the kind used for computers, put it on the vents of the tank). The temperature shouldn't rise above 86 degrees, except below the spotlights.FURNITURE: Bamboo poles for the geckos to sit on and to lay their eggs in. Branches from other types of wood (non-resinous!) are also possible, but day geckos prefer those with a smooth bark. A bowl for water and for fruits attached to one of the branches.SUITABLE PLANTS: Sanseveria is the best plant for day geckos, it has big, smooth leaves.HANDLING: No. Day geckos are able to drop their tail when you grab them (this is called automutilation, I think) and they are very quick. ANIMAL COMPABILITY: I've often heard of poison arrow frogs and day geckos, but I wouldn't try, because the frogs need much higher humidity than the geckos. I strongly reccomend keeping only the geckos in the tank.SPECIAL CONSIDERATION: Natural sunlight has a positive effect on the geckos (especially on their colours) and they can be kept outside in the summer / warm weather. You need a cage made of gauze, because glass blocks UV-light. Put some branches and a plant in and place it outside. Make sure the geckos have a shadowy place to withdraw and the cage cannot be reaches by other animals.All Day Geckos are listed as endangered species and must be registered when bought, sold or when they die. Take a look at this page for more info: to buy captivity bred geckos. They are generally healthier and you won't damage the wild population. When buying new geckos, put them in quarantine for four weeks and let a vet test their excrements for parasites. A ISO tank can be sparsely furnished with some foam material as substrate, one piece of bamboo and one plant.This is just a general care sheet. It's more a help to decide whether you really want to keep day geckos. If you read it and still are sure day geckos are the animal you want, buy some books and decide want species you want to keep. Then you can find out the special needs of the gecko you want. "Fascinating day geckos" by Gerhard Hallmann, Jens Kr�ger and Gerd Trautmann, which I used as a source for this care sheets does not seem to be available in the USA. I recommend "Geckoes: Biology, Husbandry, and Reproduction" by Schmidt / Henkel. It's expensive (you might want to try ebay) but very, very helpful!