The large size and bright colors of Phelsuma grandis give these geckos their two common names: the crimson day gecko and the giant day gecko. Like others in its genus, these geckos are a sight to behold.
This arboreal species live in humid forests in northern Madagascar. While these geckos can tame down enough to be hand-fed, their general nature is similar to other day geckos: they are flighty, quick, and do not enjoy being handled. That said, their diurnal nature and brilliant colors make them excellent display animals, and it’s no wonder their species name translates from Latin to mean “great”!
Giant day geckos are green with red lines and spots adorning their head, back, and tail. Like other day gecko species, their colors are very bright; however, stressed out individuals will take on darker shades of green.
Due to their large size, adult giant day geckos require more space than other day gecko species. A 18x18x24 enclosure can house an adult pair. Males are territorial and should not be housed together.
Josh’s Frogs Tropical BioBedding works very well with this species; in addition to holding moisture, it will help propagate and maintain live plants and isopod populations in the setup (both highly recommended with this species).
As an arboreal species, these geckos will enjoy a setup filled with pieces of cork bark, branches, large bamboo sticks, and live or artificial plants. Be sure to use robust plants, as adults will trample weaker plants due to their larger size. Providing an enclosure with plenty of climbing material is key to keeping this species in captivity.
Giant day geckos can be kept at ambient temperatures ranging 75-80°F. A basking area of around 85-90°F should also be provided using a halogen light. As with all day geckos, which are diurnal, UV light is recommended.
Ambient humidity for this species should remain around 60-70%. Daily misting is strongly recommended to keep the substrate moist, maintain higher humidity within the enclosure, and also provide water droplets from which the geckos can drink. Make sure that there is enough ventilation such that any water droplets on the walls of the enclosure dry out by the next day. A shallow water dish can be supplied but is not necessary if these geckos are misted every day. Both temperature and humidity can be monitored with a thermometer/hygrometer.
Giant day geckos are fine housed alone. As juveniles they can be housed in groups, but this may result in the occasional geckos losing its tail, which fortunately will grow back.
Adults can be housed in groups given enough space, but no more than one male should be housed per enclosure.
Giant day geckos are aptly named, as adults can reach up to 12 inches! At hatching, they measure approximately 1-2 inches.
Giant day geckos are omnivorous. In the wild, they eat nectar or soft fruit in addition to insects. In captivity, a staple diet of crickets and gecko diet mix work well. A good rule of thumb for feeder size is to only offer insects whose length does not exceed the space in between the gecko’s eyes. Generally, hatchling giant day geckos should be fed 1/8 inch crickets and gecko diet mix as hatchlings.
As they grow older, 1/4 inch crickets, and later 1/2 inch crickets and black soldier fly larvae, can be added to their diet. As adults, they can continue to be offered gecko diet mix once a week as well as 3/4 inch crickets.
Giant day geckos can be sexed by looking for femoral pores between the hind legs. Males will have a row of these pores, whereas females will not.
Breeding mature giant day geckos is easy. Females will lay 2 eggs at a time during the breeding season. The season runs from December to June.
Check out the day geckos we have for sale at Josh's Frogs today!