The Madagascar day gecko (Phelsuma grandis) is an attractive species and easy to rear in terrarium (but be careful, this lizard is very rapid and does not like to be handled, it is not for beginners).
Of course its color is what attract us at the first glimpse: almost fluorescent apple green contrasted by vivid red spots. Very photogenic, this lizard will be perfect in a tropical terrarium with living plants.
This diurne lizard historically occurred in the northern part of Madagascar. Nowadays, it can also be found in Reunion Island and it Florida where it was involuntarily introduced. The tallest males can reach 30 cm from the tip of the snout to the end of the tail. However, on average its size varies from 18 to 25 cm. Despite its beauty and apparent kindness, this species is very territorial and even agressive. In particular the males against other males, but also against females during mating. Thereby, it is not rare to see females with missing piece of skin after an encounter with a male. But, don’t worry their skin heals very easily!
This species is very active and will be at ease in a large terrarium. A tub of 50 x 50 x 80 cm (L x l x H) is the minimal size for a couple, but you need to adapt the size if you want to host a group of animals. For example, you can put one male with four females in a terrarium of 120 x 60 x 80 cm.
The substrate is composed a mix of sand, earth and coco fibers such as that plants can grow. The majority of commercially available plants would be perfect for ornamentation, but the ones with fast growth will be favored: Scindapsus sp., Ficus benjamina, Sansevieria sp., philodendron, diverse bromeliads, banana tree (Musa sp.). Large horizontally and vertically placed bamboos and branches will bring the settings to perfection.
The terrarium will be highlighted by an UV neon and by a UV-heating bulb of 50 or 70 W accordingly to the size of the terrarium. The diurnal temperatures should be around 26 to 28°C and can drop to 20°C during the night. The terrarium and the plants should be sprayed daily, which also allows the geckos to drink.
This species eats a large variety of insects of adapted size. Similarly to all species of the genus Phelsuma, they also eat nectar and mashed fruits. Thereby, it is needed to provide at least once per week mashed bananas, apricots, mango or baby food.
Females can lay two eggs up to five time per year. These eggs are most of the time stuck in the setting (plants, bamboos, bark…). They should be delicately removed and incubated on humid vermiculite. Please note that the sex is temperature-dependent. At 27.5°C females will hatch while at 29.5°C males will come out of the eggs.