Giant Day Gecko
Common Name: Giant Day Gecko
Scientific Name: Phelsuma madagascariensis grandis
Size: 5-9 inches
Life Span: 8-20 years
This care sheet is also appropriate for similar Day Gecko species of the Phelsuma genus, such as the Gold Dust Day Gecko and Koch’s Giant Day Gecko.
Giant Day Geckos are large, beautiful geckos. They are diurnal which means that they are active during the day. While these geckos make fascinating terrarium animals, they are speedy creatures and should not be handled regularly. They can be a joy to observe and add color and activity to a planted terrarium.
- Day Geckos are arboreal and should be kept in a vertically oriented enclosure. Zoo Med’s Naturalistic Terrariums® come in a variety of sizes that can benefit your Day Gecko throughout all stages of its life. Make sure to update their habitat appropriately to their size.
- Hatchlings should be kept in groups of no more than 5 per 20 gallon enclosure. As adults, these animals should be housed singly as they may become territorial and fight.
- Offer plenty of climbing and cover choices with Zoo Med’s Twisty Vines, Flexible Vines, Cork Rounds, Mushroom Ledge™, Bush Plants, and other cage decor. The Addition of plants like a Ficus tree can also be a good way to provide climbing space and cover. Make sure all terrarium decor are pesticide and chemical free, and have been rinsed throughly.
- Daytime Terrarium Temperature: 80-85°F
- Basking Spot: 85-90°F
- Nighttime Temperature: 70-75°F
- Day Geckos come from a tropical climate and their terrarium must be maintained at the proper temperatures. Always use a thermometer to monitor enclosure temperatures – Don’t guess!
- A heat bulb such as the Daylight Blue™ or Basking Spot Lamp is a good way to provide daytime heat for Day Geckos. Use a Nightlight Red™ or Nocturnal Infrared Heat Lamp to provide night time or 24 hour heat.
- Zoo Med’s Naturalistic Terrarium® Hood, Mini Deep Dome™, and Mini Combo Deep Dome™ are good choices for accommodating these lamps.
- A ReptiTherm® Under Tank Heater can be attached to the tank to provide additional heat as needed.
- ReptiSun® 5.0s can be great for Giant Day Geckos. Exposure to the proper levels of UV light is essential to their overall health and encourages natural behaviors. Always check to make sure your lighting is set up correctly and at the recommended distances.
- A NatureSun® can be added to enclosures with live plants as it will help encourage plant growth.
- Provide visible light for 12-14 hours during the day. Use of a timer such as a Repticare® Terrarium Controller or ReptiCare® Day and Night Timer makes providing the proper day and night cycle easy.
- Forest Floor™ and Eco Earth® are great substrates that can help maintain humidity, which is important for Giant Day Geckos.
- Zoo Med’s New Zealand Sphagnum Moss, Terrarium Moss, or Frog Moss can be added as substrate topper to hold additional moisture if needed.
- It is strongly recommended that hatchling Giant Day Geckos not be kept on any type of loose substrate. Eco Carpet™ is the safest and cleanest substrate for young geckos.
- Day Geckos are omnivores that eat a variety of foods and need to be offered a well balanced diet. In nature, Day Geckos live on insects, small vertebrates, and flower nectar.
- Zoo Med’s Day Gecko Food is an excellent choice as a supplemental food. Zoo Med’s Tropical Fruit Mix-Ins are a great treat for Day Geckos.
- Feeder insects should be soft-bodied and no longer than the width of the gecko’s head. Crickets, Mealworms, and the occasional Wax Worm are good choices.
- ReptiVite™ and Repti Calcium® should be added to foods as directed to ensure complete nutrition.
- If possible, it can be beneficial to offer foods off the ground as Day Geckos naturally feed in the canopy of trees and try to avoid ground predators.
- Provide a clean water dish with shallow fresh water at all times.
- Always add ReptiSafe® Water Conditioner to remove Chlorine and Chloramines. Day Geckos prefer to drink or lap water from leaves. This can be accomplished in a terrarium by offering a Big Dripper™ drip system or a ReptiRain® misting system.
- Terrariums should be kept at moderate to high relative humidity (65%-70% RH). Use a Hygrometer to monitor relative humidity within the enclosure.
- Spray or mist your terrarium daily to help maintain humidity.
- The ReptiFogger™ and HygroTherm ™ can be used to regulate humidity.
- A Waterfall Kit or Repti Rapids LED Waterfall can be used in a Naturalistic Terrarium to provide a constant source of running water and help maintain humidity for Day Geckos.