Phelsuma laticauda gecko



There are twenty-nine extant Phelsuma lizards with twenty-five of them currently found in Madagascar, making them one of the most commonly found hatchinggenus of lizards in this area. Madagascar is the original founding location of the Phelsuma laticauda, although they are also found in coastal regions of Africa, and were later transported to the Hawaiian Islands. Phelsuma laticauda clings to coastal regions and lives solely in tropical regions. (Rocha, S., Vences, M., Glaw, F., Posada, D., and D.J. Harris, 2009) Phelsuma laticauda was not native to Hawaii, in 1974 eight lizards were transported to Hawaii on the island of Oahu and alsoto the territory of the Honolulu Zoo. Through just these few lizards they have now established themselves on most of the Hawaiian Islands. (Photo right: courtesy of Joe Farah). Today they are currently debating if this species could become invasive to this area (Goldberg, S.R., and F. Kraus, 2011).

Studies of reproduction of the Phelsuma laticauda have been done on a population found in Hawaii, due to the abundance of P. laticauda found in this area. Phelsuma laticauda reproduces sexually, with the female laying eggs and the male fertilizing them. They are able to reproduce when they are fully mature which occurs 9-12 months after they hatch. They are measured from the tip of their snout to the   posterior area of vent; snout-vent length (SVL) and they are measured in millimeters. The average size for an adult male is SVL=54.8 mm with the average female size being SVL= 50.6 mm (Goldberg, S.R., and F. Kraus, 2011). Gecko

For a study done on 88 P. laticauda found in four different museums in Hawaii, they removed the left gonad from each male lizard and placed it in paraffin. After being placed in the paraffin it was then sliced, stained, and viewed under a microscope. Based off of Goldberg’s study January and August are the most fertile times for female P. laticauda they have the highest number of oviduct eggs, early yolk deposition, and enlarged follicles. The hatchlings are usually born at 38-42mm SVL. Female lizards typically mate again shortly after laying their previous eggs and this happens two times a year which displays their high fecundity (Goldberg, S.R., and F. Kraus, 2011).

Photos courtesy of Samantha Rakotopare.