Phelsuma laticauda gecko



Phelsuma laticaudaPhelsuma laticauda is a
small gecko, measuring
54.8 mm as an adult male
and 50.6 mm as an adult
female. They have very
unique coloration, consisting
of shades of yellow-green,
blue and red. The main body
and tail of the Gold Dust Day
Gecko is a vibrant light green,
with small, yellow spots
speckling the area. Near the
back legs on the body there is
a bright, light blue patch lightly
speckled with yellow coloration.       
Photo courtesy of Sarah R. Nichols
This blue coloration also appears on
the feet, near the eyes, and just above the mouth. Some males have a blue colored tails; however this is typically rare, as it is normally green with yellow spots. On the mid-section of the P. laticauda there are three teardrop-shaped patches of red spread laterally. Two red stripes also appear going across its face, one forming the shape of a “V” just before the eyes, and the other goes horizontally in between the eyes. On occasion, the Phelsuma laticauda will have a third red stripe going horizontally just behind the eyes (Saenko, S.V., Teyssier, J., van der Marel, D., and M.C. Milinkovitch, 2013).                                     

Phelsuma laticaudaThe Gold Dust Day Gecko has four toes, uniquely designed to grip flat and vertical surfaces such as trees. Their foot adaptations allow them to climb vertically to avoid ground predation, and to find food such as fruits, nectars, and insects. Their lack of teeth makes fruit and nectar an ideal diet, while still allowing the gecko to consume small insects whole. Their general green coloration allows them to blend in with the vegetation and leaves of the bamboo, palms, and banana trees (Van Heygen, E., 2004).

Both photos courtesy of Samantha RakotoparePhelsuma laticauda

The Phelsuma laticauda can sense changes in its environment through sight; however, this is not its primary form of sense. It often feels movement and vibrations of nearby animals through its body, most specifically its feet. Its sense of smell is essential to this gecko, as animals often leave scent markings outlining their territory, and also to alert it to any potential predators in the area. Additionally, it can sense environmental changes such as temperature and precipitation through the sensory receptors in the gecko’s skin (Van Heygen, E., 2004).