Gold dust day gecko

The gold dust day gecko (Phelsuma laticauda) is a diurnal species of gecko. It lives in northern Madagascar, and on the island of Comoros; it has also been introduced to Hawaii and other Pacific islands.[1] It's typically seen in houses and various trees. The gold dust day gecko feeds on insects and nectar. It is commonly known as the mascot of GEICO.

Gold dust day gecko
Gold dust day gecko (Phelsuma laticauda) Nosy Komba.jpg
Island of Nosy Komba, Madagascar
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family: Gekkonidae
Genus: Phelsuma
P. laticauda
Binomial name
Phelsuma laticauda
(Boettger, 1880)
Phelsuma laticauda distribution.png

Pachydactylus laticauda Boettger, 1880

One subspecies is recognized (in addition to the nominate one): Phelsuma laticauda angularis.[2]


This lizard belongs to the smaller day geckos, and can reach a total length of about 15–22 cm (6–9 in). The body colour is a bright green or yellowish green or rarely blue. Typical for this day gecko are the red speckles on the neck and the upper back. There are three rust-coloured transverse bars on the snout and head; the upper part of the skin around the eye is blue. On the lower back there are three tapering red bars. The tail is slightly flattened. The under side is off-white. Juveniles lack the red colourations and the tail and limbs appear off-white.


Phelsuma laticauda laticauda licking nectar from the 'bird of paradise' flower of Strelitzia
Close-up of gold dust day gecko on the island of Hawaii

These day geckos feed on various insects and other invertebrates, and are also capable of eating other smaller lizards. They also eat soft, sweet fruit and pollen and nectar from flowers, often congregating in groups of many individuals to feed off of one plant.


Gold dust day geckos fighting on a banana plant in central Saint-Denis, Réunion

The males of this species are rather aggressive. They do not accept other males in their territory. In captivity, where the females cannot escape, the males may also seriously wound a female.


The females lay up to 10 eggs. At a temperature of 28 °C, the young will hatch after approximately 40–45 days. The juveniles measure 55–60 mm. They should be kept separately since the juveniles can be quite quarrelsome. Sexual maturity is reached after 10–12 months.

Care and maintenance in captivityEdit

These animals should be housed singly or in pairs and need a large, well-planted terrarium. The temperature should be about 28 °C during the day and drop to around 20 °C at night. The humidity should be maintained between 65 and 75%. In captivity, these animals can be fed with crickets, waxworms (wax moth larva), fruit flies, maggots, mealworms and houseflies. They will also eat fruits such as mango and so will also accept commercially available fruit mixes like Repashy fruit mix or Pangea.


  1. ^ a b Gerlach, J.; Ineich, I. & Vences, M. (2011). "Phelsuma laticauda". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2011: e.T61433A12483895. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2011-2.RLTS.T61433A12483895.en. Retrieved 26 December 2017.
  2. ^ Phelsuma laticauda at the Reptile Database. Accessed 6 June 2013.
  • Christenson, Leann and Greg (2003). Day Geckos In Captivity. Ada, Oklahoma: Living Art Publishing. p. 194. ISBN 0-9638130-2-1.
  • Henkel, F.-W.; Schmidt, W. (1995). Amphibien und Reptilien Madagaskars, der Maskarenen, Seychellen und Komoren. Stuttgart: Ulmer. ISBN 3-8001-7323-9.
  • McKeown, Sean (1993). The general care and maintenance of day geckos. Lakeside, CA: Advanced Vivarium Systems.

External linksEdit