With their amazingly bright colors and active nature, day geckos are extremely charismatic lizards. But while they make excellent display pets, they may not be the pet for everyone. This holds especially true for those who want a lizard that they can take out of their enclosure and handle.
These interesting geckos make great display pets for several reasons.
First, and most obvious, are their colors and patterns: from the greens and reds of the giant day gecko (Phelsuma grandis) to the blues of the electric blue day gecko (Lygodactylus williamsi); from the conspicuous blue and black spots behind the arms of the aptly named peacock day gecko (Phelsuma quadriocellata) to the golden sprinkling indicative of the gold dust day gecko's name (Phelsuma laticauda), you will be hard-pressed to find someone who would deny that they are some of the most beautiful geckos around.
Their common name, day gecko, actually reveals an unusual trait for these geckos. Whereas most gecko species are nocturnal, or active at night, day geckos are active during the day. For someone looking for a gecko that they want to observe during the daytime, lights and all, day geckos are the perfect choice.
And these lizards are truly a joy to watch: you'll find them basking, jumping and climbing around leaves, bark, and branches, and sometimes even observing you as curiously as you observe them.
Day geckos don't just make great display animals because of their colors and behavior. The captive environment in which they thrive allows for a beautiful display. Whereas some species require relatively little in way of a working setup, day geckos enjoy lots of vertical and horizontal climbing space, and they'll flourish in a vivarium decorated with plants, branches, bamboo, and bark.
Creating an enclosure that looks as though it's housing a slice of a forest or jungle will do justice to such an incredibly colored animal. As an added bonus, day geckos who are comfortable in their environment because there are plenty of hiding places will display brighter colors than a day gecko that is constantly exposed and stressed.
When designing your day gecko enclosure, be sure to include a source of UV lighting. Not only will this help your plants flourish, but it's also highly beneficial to your day geckos and will bring out their gorgeous colors even more!
Day geckos are undoubtedly great display animals, but much like many species of frogs, they aren't great candidates for handling. They have a very quick and flighty nature that is difficult, if not impossible, to tame. Most keepers' interactions only go so far as offering an insect from tongs or even some gecko diet mix from their fingers. Of course, all of this is within the gecko's enclosure.
Any notion of a threat will often send day geckos scurrying away. Given their speed and agility, capturing them is no easy feat. Add to that their ability to let go of their tail if grabbed, and for even some species' delicate skin to give way when rubbed too roughly, and you have a gecko that you should never risk handling unnecessarily.
Bearing beautiful colors and being a look-don't-touch animal, day geckos can certainly be considered the lizard version of poison dart frogs. Provide them with a spacious enclosure and lots of climbing material, however, and you will be rewarded with one of the most interesting and vibrant geckos around.
Think day geckos are the right pet for you? We are currently working with several species, both captive bred and from our certified breeder program. Look here to see what day gecko species we currently offer!
Looking for an easier gecko species to start with, or a gecko that you can handle? Check out our blog on why crested geckos make excellent beginner pet lizards!