STATUS IN THE WILD: Least Concern
PHYSICAL FEATURES AND CHARACTERISTICS
These geckos average around 12 inches from nose to tail, which is quite large for a gecko species. They are bright green with a dark red stripe that runs form their nostril to their eye. Many have red, and sometimes blue, spots and markings along their sides and back. These vary among individuals. They do not have eyelids, so they must lick their eyes to keep them moist and clean.
LIFESTYLE AND REPRODUCTION
During courtship, a male will approach a female and begin his performance of tail and body shakings accented with vocalizations. If she does not accept him, she will turn a dark green color to let him know before leaving. Females will lay one to two eggs at a time.
Throughout the year males can be very territorial unless food and females are plentiful. They are incredibly quick, agile, and crafty. In captivity, they are notorious for escaping their enclosures. They have an additional evasive maneuver in their arsenal that they can use in the wild. Should a predator sneak up on them, they are able to “drop” their tail behind them. The tail will continue to wiggle, hopefully distracting the predator long enough for the gecko to dart away. They are able to grow their tail back within a month typically. It does, however, take a great deal of energy to regrow a tail meaning a large amount of food and rest are needed during this time to recuperate.
Giant day geckos are found on the island of Madagascar and a few of the smaller surrounding islands.
They spend their lives high in trees, rarely venturing to the ground. They are known to be excellent jumpers.
Giant day geckos feed primarily on small insects and invertebrates. On occasion, they will consume very small lizards and frogs. They also have quite a sweet tooth and can be commonly seen licking at fruits, berries, pollens, and nectars.