Greater Madagascar Day Gecko (Phelsuma grandis)

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Greater Madagascar Day Gecko
Phelsuma grandis
Greater Madagascar Day Gecko (Phelsuma grandis)
Name Greater Madagascar Day Gecko
Name Lat. Phelsuma grandis
Synonym Gekko madagascariensis
Family Geckos
Family lat. Gekkonidae
Order Scaled Reptiles
Order lat. Squamata
Origin Madagascar
Habitat Forests
Diet Insects, fruits
Humidity 70-90 %
Behavior ♂ territorial
Keeping Pair, harem
Care Level Difficult
Reproduction Oviparous
Housing Humid terrarium
Life Span 8-10 years
Protection CITES Appendix II; EU Annex B
Metric Units
Size 25-30 cm
Temperature 24-30 °C
Temperature Local 35 °C
Housing Size 80 x 80 x 110 cm
US Units
Size 10"-12"
Temperature 75-86 °F
Temperature Local 95 °F
Housing Size 30" x 30" x 45"

Distribution and habitat

The Great Madagascar Day Geckos occur in various habitats in northeastern Madagascar and have also been displaced to Mauritius and Reunion. They mostly live on trees in forests as well as in gardens, on walls and houses in villages and cities as cultural successors.


Minimum dimensions for the terrarium, according to the size and number of animals

1-2 animals 6KRL x 6KRL x 8KRL (L x W x H)

Head-torso length (KRL) is measured on the largest animal. For each additional animal, increase the footprint by 15%. A terrarium of e.g. 80 x 80 x 110 cm is recommended, which should be placed in a quiet and vibration-free place.

You need a terrarium with partly vertical climbing branches and branch cavities as well as plants, like Ficus, Bromeliads, Sindapsus etc. (hiding and shadow places), structured back and side walls (e.g. cork covering), a substrate of forest soil-peat mixture and a water basin (waterfall). The substrate should always be kept slightly moist. Several times a day the inside of the terrarium should be finely sprayed with water (humidity), but a rain or mist system is better

Temp. day: 24-30 °C Temp. night: 20-23 °C Temp. local: up to 35 °C Humidity: 70-90

Thermostatically controlled floor heating is recommended. Lighting duration must be 10-14 hrs depending on the season. They need high light intensity and daily UV irradiation as well as sunny places with radiant heat.


The diet consists of live insects, such as crickets, house crickets, grasshoppers, cockroaches, zophobas and mealybug larvae; alternatively, special ready-made food for geckos or insectivorous reptiles can be offered, supplemented with some fruit pulp, sweet fruits (e.g. bananas, papaya), flower pollen and honey (lick bowls). Wax moths should rarely be fed in very small amounts because of their large fat content. Young animals should be offered food daily, adults 4-5 times a week. Regular addition of minerals and vitamins (dusting of feed) is important. Drinking water must always be available, but is preferably taken in drop form from leaves or furnishings. A regular and varied diet promotes health and prevents deficiency symptoms.

Reproduction and breeding

Males are distinguished from females by enlarged scale seams (preanofemoral pores) that run from the cloacal opening along the inner thighs

The female lays her glued-together eggs (2 pieces) in hidden and protected places. The incubation period is strongly temperature dependent and is 50-60 days at about 28 °C. Small insects such as fruit flies and micro crickets are suitable as initial food for the young

The life expectancy can be 8-10 years.

Species protection

The animal population must be reported to the competent authority in writing immediately after the start of keeping. Your pet store will be happy to provide you with further information.

Protection of species: WA Appendix II; EU Appendix B. The proof of purchase is the required proof of origin for the animal. Please keep it safe!


With their lamellar toes (adhesive toes) they can also climb on smooth, vertical surfaces (e.g. glass). They are sun-loving and require appropriate sunny spots

Adult males are extremely territorial and incompatible with each other

For the resting phase, shorten the lighting duration by 2-3 hours and lower the temperature by 3-4 °C for about two months.

With fruit and honey water as food for the feeders, their quality can be upgraded.

The terrarium must have good ventilation without drafts and meet the species specific needs. Measuring devices such as thermometers, hygrometers, etc. are necessary. The lighting has to correspond to the species-specific day-night rhythm and has to be placed in such a way that the animals cannot injure themselves. The terrarium should be locked in such a way that neither unauthorized persons can open it nor the animals can escape. Contamination must be removed regularly.

Further literature can be found in your pet store.


Text: petdata; Image: petdata

Source: BMELV (1997): Tierschutzgutachten - Mindestanforderungen an die Haltung von Reptilien; ENGELMANN (2006): Zootierhaltung - Tiere in menschlicher Obhut: Reptilien und Amphibien, Harri Deutsch Verlag

  • Gemäß § 21 Abs. 5 Tierschutzgesetz idgF