Neon day geckos (Phelsuma klemmeri), also known as the yellow-headed day gecko, are a brightly colored species that inhabits the coastal bamboo forests in northwestern Madagascar. While endangered in the wild due to habitat loss, they are widely bred in captivity, which, according to the IUCN, has contributed to the end of their export for the pet trade. Like all day geckos, they tend to be too flighty for handling, but their bright colors and diurnal nature, both characteristic of the genus, make them great pets to observe!
As with all geckos in the genus Phelsuma, these geckos exhibit bright and attractive colors. Neon day geckos have a bright yellow head and a blue body and tail. They have a black line on both sides of their body which extends from their eyes down to their tail.
A 12x12x18 Exo Terra enclosure can house a pair of neon day geckos. Larger enclosures can house more individuals, but it is recommended that males are not housed together in order to avoid aggression. A variety of substrate mixtures can be used with coco fiber or peat moss as a base. Josh’s Frogs 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 thrive in a setup filled with pieces of cork bark, branches, large bamboo sticks, and live or fake plants. It is essential to provide an enclosure with plenty of climbing material, and they will especially feel at home with the addition of bamboo to their enclosure. Neon day geckos can be kept at ambient temperatures ranging 72-78F. A basking area of around 85F 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 and also provide water droplets from which the geckos can drink. There should be 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.
These day geckos are one of the smaller Phelsuma geckos and will grow to be around 3-4 inches as adults.
Neon day geckos are omnivorous. In the wild, they consume insects as well as nectar or soft fruit. In captivity, they enjoy a staple diet of small crickets and gecko diet mix. A good rule of thumb for size is to only offer insects whose length does not exceed the space in between the gecko’s eyes. Generally, hatchling day geckos should be fed melanogaster fruit flies and gecko diet mix, adding ⅛-inch crickets as they grow older. Reaching adulthood, they can continue to be offered gecko diet mix once a week as well as ¼-inch crickets. Feeder insects should be dusted with a vitamin/mineral supplement.
Neon day geckos can be challenging to sex when young, but are fairly straightforward to sex when they are mature. Females are larger, and tend to have prominent calcium sacs under their chin. Males have a row of enlarged femoral pores on the underside of their thighs, flanking the cloaca. The scales around these pores are often yellow.
During the breeding season, these geckos will lay a pair of eggs every month or two. Eggs are often glued to plants, bamboo, or the enclosure walls, and no attempt should be made to remove them from what they are adhered to.
Links of Interest:
[button-green url="https://new.joshsfrogs.com/p/neon-day-gecko-phelsuma-klemmeri-captive-bred-geck024" target="_self" position="center "]Neon Day Geckos at Josh's Frogs [/button-green]