Gold Dust Day Gecko
Common Group: Day Geckos
Common Name: Gold Dust Day Gecko
Scientific Name: Phelsuma laticauda; also P. laticauda angularis (subspecies)
Distribution Area: Madagascar
Adult Size: 4 to 6 inches
Range: Northwestern Madagascar
Habitat: Moist to semi-arid forests, often at the edge zones with clearings
Captive Lifespan: 5 to 8 Years
Dangerous: Care Level: Beginner
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Reptilia
- Order: Squamata
- Family: Gekkonidae
- Genus: Phelsuma
- Species: P. laticauda
- Binomial name: Phelsuma laticauda
History Gold Dust Day Gecko
These are smaller sized geckos from the genus Phelsuma, and hail from the islands surrounding Madagascar. They are primarily green in color, with red spots between their eyes and nose and in the middle of their back.
They get their common name from the beautiful gold speckling they develop on their necks, legs, and hindquarters down the length of their tails.
A few exceptional animals may even have blue toes! They are commonly available in the pet trade, although most specimens are not captive bred in the US.
Although captive bred babies seem to be few and far between, this species readily breeds and lays eggs in captivity, so perhaps in the future captive bred animals will be more readily available.
Gold Dust Day Gecko Habits
Day geckos feed on small insects, and lap nectar and pollen from flowers. Sweet sap and juices from over-ripe fruit are also eaten. Females lay clutches of two eggs (occasionally single eggs) on plants or in crevices. The eggs adhere to each other as they dry, but unlike the Orange-spotted Day Gecko, they can be moved without damage once they have dried. More than one female may use the same egg laying site, resulting in a half dozen or more eggs being found at one time.
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 Gecko Habitat and Ecology
The Gold Dust Day Gecko can be found in a variety of habitats, but is absent from denser forest regions. Palms and banana trees are the preferred vegetation, but they can also be found on traveller’s palm, smaller deciduous trees, and often in gardens and on houses. It is an egg-laying species.
Gold Dust Day Gecko Size
Gold Dust Day Geckos reach lengths of 4.5” to 6”, depending on subspecies. With good diet and proper lighting, these geckos can easily live 10 years or more in captivity.
Heating and Lighting
In order to achieve and/or maintain the beautiful coloration these geckos naturally develop in the wild, the use of high quality lights is an absolute must. Without proper heat AND light, Gold Dust Day Geckos will eventually turn drab and dark, even if you purchased the most brilliantly colored specimen in the store. With this in mind, there are a few different ways to light and heat the cage, depending on your budget and preference.
The first and most traditional method is with fluorescent strip lighting, such as a ZooMed Reptisun bulb, used in combination with a basking light, such as a ZooMed Basking bulb or Halogen Light. In smaller cage setups, this is usually the best way to go, as you can use lower wattage basking bulbs in order to ensure you do not overheat the cage. Basking spot temperatures can and should reach into the low 90s, while the coolest side of the cage can drop down into the low 70s.