Definitions

Mauritius ornate day gecko

Mauritius ornate day gecko

Mauritius ornate day gecko (Phelsuma ornata Gray, 1825) is a diurnal species of geckos. It occurs on the island Mauritius and some surrounding islands and typically inhabits different trees and bushes. The Mauritius ornate day gecko feeds on insects and nectar.

Scientific synonyms:

  • Phelsuma ornatum Gray, 1825
  • Phelsuma vinsoni Mertens, 1963
  • Phelsuma ornata vinsoni - Heselhaus, 1980
  • Phelsuma Phelsuma vinsoni Mertens, 1963

Description

This lizard is one of the smallest day geckos. It can reach a total length of about 12 cm. The back of the neck and head are greyish brown and bordered by white neck stripes. The body colour is quite variable. It can be bluish green, green with a blue area on the front back, or completely blue. The flanks are brown. The snout is partly dark blue. The back is covered with red coloured dots. The tail is turquoise with red tranversal bars. The ventral side is off-white.

Distribution

This species is found on Mauritius, Round Island, Isle aux Aigrettes and Coin de Mire. It is found in the coastal areas.

Habitat

Phelsuma ornata typically lives in the drier areas of Mauritius at low- and mid-elevation. It can be found on trees, other pantropic vegetation or on rocks where the original vegetation has been cleared.

Diet

These day geckos feed on various insects and other invertebrates. They also like to lick soft, sweet fruit, pollen and nectar.

Behaviour

This Phelsuma species can be quite shy in captivity. These day geckos are also surprisingly speedy.

Reproduction

At a temperature of 28°C, the young will hatch after approximately 40 days. The juveniles measure around 35 mm.

Care and maintenance in captivity

These animals should be housed in pairs in a well planted enclosure. The temperature should be between 26 and 28°C (78.8 and 82.4°F) during the day and dropt to around 20°C (68°F) at night. The humidity should be maintained between 50 and 60% during the day and 80–90% at night. In captivity, these animals can be fed with crickets, wax moth larvae, fruit flies, mealworms and houseflies.

References

  1. Henkel, F.-W. and W. Schmidt (1995) Amphibien und Reptilien Madagaskars, der Maskarenen, Seychellen und Komoren. Ulmer Stuttgart. ISBN 3-8001-7323-9
  2. McKeown, Sean (1993) The general care and maintenance of day geckos. Advanced Vivarium Systems, Lakeside CA.

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