Phelsuma cepediana information
Scientific name: Phelsuma cepediana
Higher classification: Phelsuma
Maximum longevity 9.3 years (captivity)
Data quality: Acceptable
Observations: No observations are presently available
The Phelsuma cepediana Merrem (blue-tailed day gecko) is a diurnal species of gecko, which is endemic to the island Mauritius. It typically inhabits warm and humid places and dwells on different trees and bushes.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Reptilia
- Order: Squamata
- Family: Gekkonidae
- Genus: Phelsuma
- Species: P. cepediana
- Binomial name: Phelsuma cepediana
Phelsuma cepediana Distribution
Phelsuma cepediana is endemic to Mauritius island, where it is wide spread and eurytopic. This gecko inhabits the entire island but is absent on the many satellite islands and islets except on Île aux Bénitiers. Phelsuma cepediana has the largest distribution area and highest population density of all Mauritian members of the genus.
A recently established population is present on Rodrigues near Anse aux Anglais (Reuthe, 1997), probably through anthropogenic dispersal. Several records of Réunion exist, the species was introduced near St. Marie in the 1960’s and later near La Montagne but there is no confirmation of established populations.
Phelsuma cepediana is a medium-sized gecko. Males are between 116-136 mm in length from snout to tail tip (58 mm maximum snout-vent length), while females are 77-119 mm in length from snout to tail tip (40 mm maximum snout-vent length).
Phelsuma cepediana Habitat
Cepediana is mainly found on bushes and trees such as coconut palms, traveler’s palms, banana trees and papayas. They also inhabit gardens and houses in suburban areas. These geckos prefer a moist and warm climate. McKeown (1993) mentions that the original vegetation of Mauritius has been largely replaced with agricultural crops where these day geckos cannot live.
Blue-tailed day geckos feed on various insects and other invertebrates. They also like to lick soft, sweet fruit, pollen and nectar. The flowers of the now critically endangered liana Roussea simplex produce copious amounts of nectar and are pollinated only by the blue-tailed day gecko. The blue-tailed gecko later on plays a role by lincking up a gelatinous substance secreted by the fruit which contains the minute seeds. It disperses the seeds in its droppings.
Phelsuma cepediana Behaviour
This Phelsuma species can be quite aggressive both toward their own and to other Phelsuma species. In captivity, where the females cannot escape, the males can also sometimes seriously wound a female. In this case the male and female must be separated.
Fruits and Baby Food
In captivity the nectar and pollen eaten by wild Phelsuma geckos is substituted by pureed tropical fruit or fruit baby food. The latter is more convenient to use and easier to mix with powdered vitamin and calcium supplement. Flavours that are enjoyed by geckos include banana, mango and peach, but you can try other tropical fruit. Some species, such as P. cepediana, gimbui and ornata seem to require more fruit, feed it twice a week and crickets only once a week.
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