Orange-spotted Day Gecko
Scientific Name: Phelsuma guimbeaui / Common Names: Orange-spotted Day Gecko
In addition to the dazzling bright green body color and orange markings common to most day geckos, the Orange-spotted Day Gecko’s most distinguishing feature is a wash of powder blue color on the back of the neck and shoulders. A medium sized species, adults are between 5 - 7 in. (13 -18 cm) TL, and like all day geckos, it has expanded toepads, immoveable eyelids, and round pupils. The skin, which is covered with small, granular scales, is very delicate and easily torn. Hatchling Orange-spotted Day Geckos are 1.1 - 1.5 in. (29 - 33 mm) TL. Juveniles are gray with white spots, adult coloration developing as the lizards grow.
Habitat and Range
In Hawaii, the Orange-spotted Day Gecko is well established on Oahu, where it is found on large trees and palms in suburban neighborhoods. Its native range is limited to Mauritius, a small island east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean.
In addition to feeding on small insects, day geckos lap nectar and pollen from flowers. Sweet sap and juices from over-ripe fruit are also eaten. Females lay clutches of two eggs (or occasionally single eggs) on plants or in crevices. The eggs adhere to the surface as they dry, and cannot be removed without damage. More than one female may use the same site, resulting in a half dozen or more eggs being found at one time.
The Green Anole (Anolis carolinensis) and Knight Anole (Anolis equestris) are also bright green and have toepads. Green Iguanas (Iguana iguana) and Jackson’s Chameleons (Chamaeleo jacksonii) are also green, but lack toepads. All these species have moveable eyelids and lack the blue patch or orange markings found on Orange-spotted Day Geckos. The Orange-spotted Day Gecko can be distinguished from Gold Dust and Giant Day Geckos by the blue patch on the neck and shoulders. It is much smaller than the Giant Day Gecko and lacks the gold spots of the Gold Dust Day Gecko.
Conservation & Other Threats
It seems certain that most, if not all, day gecko populations in the United States are the result of deliberate releases by hobbyists or animal importers. It is uncertain whether day geckos will be able to invade Hawaiian forests, but they could be a problem for native invertebrates.
This species profile relies heavily on: Henkel & Schmidt 2000; McKeown 1996