If you love having pets at home, then you probably already have a few reptiles. Geckos can be great pets to care for, and are really interesting animals.
Giant Day geckos are wonderful creatures, and will really brighten up your day.
Giant Day Geckos are also relatively simple to care for (see also “Tokay Gecko Care Sheet“), as long as you know the correct environment, nutrition and temperature that keeps these animals happy and healthy.
However, we would recommend only moderate reptile owners keep Giant Day Geckos. They are a little bit high maintenance, so they are not the best choice for beginners.
Luckily, we have all of the information you need to take proper care of a Giant Day Gecko in this guide (see also “Geckos Lifespan“).
About Giant Day Geckos
The Giant Day Gecko, or the Phelsuma Madagascariensis grandis is a rather large, striking gecko. It has a very bright, attractive appearance that will surely catch your eye.
They are an arboreal species that is native to the humid forests of Madagascar.
Giant Day Geckos tend to be naturally very bright green, with red lines and spots down their heads, backs, and tails. The colors are rather striking, but when this type of gecko is stressed, it can be known to turn a darker shade of green (see also “Types Of Geckos In Florida“).
They are muscular and thick bodied in appearance.
These geckos are diurnal, meaning that they are most active during the day, and will do their hunting and feeding during daylight in their natural habitat.
Giant Day Geckos are well renowned for their vibrant colors, and are the perfect size for a home terrarium, making them a popular choice among reptile enthusiasts.
They are now easily available in most pet stores, online breeders and reptile stores.
You can find a Giant Day Gecko for anywhere between $50 and $250 depending on the breed.
While some are still wild-caught, it is recommended that you only purchase a captive-bred Giant Day Gecko as they tend to be healthier and more vibrant than wild ones.
These geckos can be a little bit more complex as pets, as they do not really like being handled, but some can be tamed enough to be hand fed.
However, they are like other geckos in terms of being very quick, flighty, and unsure of being handled.
Giant Day Geckos Care
If you want to know more about the proper care and environment of Giant Day Geckos, then check out this handy care guide.
Most Giant Day Geckos will live for quite a long time. They live on average around 8-20 years. In some cases, they will live for about 15 years in zoo captivity, but some can live for more than 20 years!
For those bred in captivity and sold as pets, they typically live for around 6-8 years. These geckos will reach sexual maturity at around 1-2 years of age.
Most Giant Day Geckos will grow to around 10-12 inches in length from nose to tail, and will weigh around 2.5-3 ounces when fully grown. At hatching, these geckos will only be around 1-2 inches long!
Giant Day Geckos will truly thrive in a well planted natural habitat such as a terrarium.
They are arboreal, so the enclosure will have to be vertically oriented. It is best to use screen or glass enclosures measuring at least 24 inches tall and 24 inches long, by 12 inches wide.
These geckos will also enjoy natural light, and bamboo furnishings as they love to climb and bask upon them.
It is also a good idea to add natural plants as this increases the humidity, adds items for them to climb upon, and makes the enclosure more natural for them.
These geckos tend to be happiest when housed either individually or in pairs. That being said, it is not recommended that you place two males together as they will fight and could injure each other or even kill one another.
Some male and females can work well together, and can bond for life, and cannot be separated.
Lighting & Temperature
Giant Day Geckos love heat and humidity, as they are found in the tropical rainforests of Madagascar. Therefore, the right temperature for the terrarium in the daytime is around 80 to 85 degrees fahrenheit.
They will also enjoy basking, so you should have a basking spot with either natural sunlight, a heat lamp, or a UVB lamp that can provide around 85-90 degrees fahrenheit.
The night time temperature should sit between 70 and 75 degrees fahrenheit for the best results.
Ensure that you use a temperature to keep the heat just right for these geckos, and ensure there is a dedicated basking spot and cooler area so that they can thermoregulate and maintain the optimal body temperature.
Giant Day Geckos are omnivores, so they will need a variety of foods including proteins and vegetation to stay healthy and maintain a balanced diet. In the wild, these geckos will feed on live insects, flower nectar and small vertebrates.
They are opportunistic feeders in the wild, and will eat fruits, smaller lizards and small mammals if they can.
The feeder insects you use for these creatures should be soft bodied and no longer than the width of the gecko’s head. Giant Day Geckos love insects such as crickets, mealworms, cockroaches, and waxworms.
You can also use high quality balanced food supplements to provide the proper nutrients for these reptiles. In addition, ensure they have clean water in a dish at all times, and you can mist the terrarium daily to help maintain humidity.
Giant Day Geckos will also lick water droplets from plant leaves, and from the enclosure walls and decorations to remain hydrated.
For Giant Day Geckos, it is recommended that you use substrates designed for rain forest terrariums. These can be bark chips, peat/soil mixtures, or coconut fiber. You can also use moss substrate toppers to add moisture.
Just ensure that the substrate is not too small that it could be ingested and cause illness. You should also not keep Giant Day Gecko hatchlings on loose substrate as they can ingest it while eating.
Giant Day Geckos are not great when it comes to handling.
They are best enjoyed from inside of their enclosures. They can tolerate handling but this is often once they get to know their owner, and some will eat from their owner’s hand.
In summary, Giant Day Geckos are great pets. They are beautiful to look at, and are great for terrariums! These geckos are slightly more high maintenance than other reptiles, and do not really like to be handled.
But, with the proper care and attention, a Giant Day Gecko can be a wonderful pet.