Definitions

standing

megalith

[meg-uh-lith]

Huge, often undressed stone used in various types of Neolithic and Early Bronze Age monuments. The most ancient form of megalithic construction is probably the dolmen, a type of burial chamber consisting of several upright supports and a flat roofing slab. Another form is the menhir, a simple upright stone usually placed with others to form a circle, as at Stonehenge and Avebury in England, or a straight alignment, as at Carnac in France. The meaning of megalithic monuments remains largely unknown, but all share certain architectural and technical features suggesting that their creators sought to impose a conspicuously human design on the landscape and imbue it with cultural symbols. Seealso rock art.

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The Standing's day gecko (Phelsuma standingi Methuen & Hewitt, 1913) is an arboreal and diurnal species of gecko, native to southwest Madagascar. Standing's day gecko feeds on insects and nectar.

Description

This lizard is the largest living day gecko. It can reach a maximum length of about 28 cm. The body colour can be quite variable, depending on light intensity. It can be brownish grey or bright green or turquoise with grey to blue reticulated markings on its body and head. The head and tail are often turquoise. Hatchlings have a yellowish green head and typical light bands and bars on the back.

Distribution

This species is restricted to southwest Madagascar, including the region around Andranolaho and Sakaraha.

Habitat

Phelsuma standingi is found in the dry southwest part of Madagascar which has a unique thorn forest vegetation. The daytime temperature never drops under and between January and December, the temperature can be as high as in the shade. In July and August, the night temperature can drop to .

Diet

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

Behaviour

This species lives in pairs on trees.

Reproduction

At a temperature of , the young will hatch after approximately 60–70 days. The juveniles measure 80 mm and reach sexual maturity after one year.

Care and maintenance in captivity

These animals should be housed in pairs and need a large, planted terrarium. The daytime temperature should be around . A spot lamp should provide the animals with a basking spot and a local temperature of . At night, the temperature should be dropped to . In captivity, these animals can be fed with crickets, wax moth larvae, mealworms and houseflies.

References

  • Listed as Vulnerable (VU A1cd v2.3)
  • Henkel, F.-W. and W. Schmidt (1995) Amphibien und Reptilien Madagaskars, der Maskarenen, Seychellen und Komoren. Ulmer Stuttgart. ISBN 3-8001-7323-9
  • McKeown, Sean (1993) The general care and maintenance of day geckos. Advanced Vivarium Systems, Lakeside CA.

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