Gold Dust Day Gecko belongs to the celebrities of the tropical fauna because of its amazing appearance. It has the unique ability to change body color depending on ambient temperature and light. In the sun, Gold Dust Day Gecko is deep green, and in the shade, it can easily turn olive, brown, or even lose its greenery and put on a gray outfit. In bright sunlight, the body of the lizard acquires a lemon shade, but if you look at it against the light, the gecko is already aquamarine with a deep blue tail. And although Gold Dust Day Gecko is also classified as a Madagascar species, its range is not limited to this island. Gold Dust Day Geckos are also found in the Seychelles and Hawaii, although scientists believe that the reptiles were introduced there, while Madagascar is their natural homeland. In terms of size, Gold Dust Day Geckos are inferior to ordinary ones, otherwise, they have similar characteristics. These lizards are popular “exhibits” in terrarium collections. But for Gold Dust Day Gecko to always be vigorous, healthy, and bright, it is especially necessary to maintain a suitable level of moisture in the environment.
Gold Dust Day Gecko is a small lizard that grows up to 10-12 cm in length. If you look at it from above, it all seems as if flattened. The head of the gecko, tapering at the end, almost immediately passes into the body, which also smoothly flows into a long and flat tail. The color of the lizard, as mentioned above, is quite variegated, but mainly varies from light to dark green in color with yellow spots on some parts of the body, red stripes on the head, and the same spots on the back to the tail. The throat of the reptile is slightly lighter, yellowish, and the abdomen is almost white. Round eyes have blue edging and soft-ringed eyelids. In the sun, it sometimes seems that the Gold Dust Day Gecko is all surrounded by a bluish glow, in fact, under intense light, the legs and edge of the tail of a reptile cast such a shade.
The edges of the tail of the Gold Dust Day Gecko have jagged scales. Five toes on its paws do not have claws. Paws grip the surface well because this lizard lives in trees. This tenacity is due to the special coating of the fingers on the underside. They have wide plates with attachment brushes arranged in transverse rows. This is why Gold Dust Day Geckos can easily walk on terrarium ceilings. Males differ from females by their large size, but “girls” also have their own interesting feature – on the throat near their cheeks, they have small swellings on both sides, called “lime stores”, where calcium useful for lizards is deposited. These swellings are especially noticeable during the breeding season. You can track the color change of a gecko if you observe it during the day. In open places, where the temperature is higher, the lizard appears in all its glory in its various shades, and in the shade, it mutes the brightness of the outfit.
Even though this reptile is called Madagascar, this gecko has settled not only on this island. More precisely, in Madagascar, he lives in the eastern area, and also lives in adjacent Comoros, already mentioned Seychelles and Hawaii. For habitat, Gold Dust Day Gecko chooses forests in the coastal zone. It can settle on a coconut tree or an exotic banana tree. And just like other day geckos, the Gold Dust Day Gecko does not avoid settlements. You can meet him in the cities of Madagascar, but more often he hides in the shelters of various buildings. In terms of climate, Gold Dust Day Gecko prefers areas with high humidity, where the annual rainfall is 900-1500 ml. Such high humidity is necessary for a lizard for normal molting, therefore it is recommended to create appropriate conditions in terrariums.
Behavior and Lifestyle
Gold Dust Day Geckos are territorial and aggressive towards strangers. For example, if you keep geckos one by one for a long time, and then plant them together, then a bloody collision with victims may occur. Therefore, it is recommended to keep them in the terrarium in groups – one male and several females. In nature, a similar thing happens, only there, of course, there is more space for geckos to live, therefore each individual has its own territory, but the areas of the male and female usually intersect.
The females of Gold Dust Day Geckos are also hierarchical, but they can be kept together as they are calmer than males. During the day, these lizards lead an active life, deftly climbing their tree or along the walls of the terrarium, if it is a nursery. Therefore, without plants, they simply cannot survive. And Gold Dust Day Geckos drink very interestingly. To replenish moisture reserves, they lick off the water accumulated on the leaves of plants.
Therefore, nurseries do not put drinkers, but simply periodically spray the plants planted for them in the terrarium. During the day they are vigorous and active, and darkness for them is a signal to fade. In the dark, Gold Dust Day Geckos do not feed, do not drink, and hardly move, so they prefer to meet the night in shelters or frozen on the trunk. In the terrarium, the length of daylight hours is artificially regulated.
Maintenance and Care
Gecko breeders claim that the reptile is not whimsical to care for. Nevertheless, for her initially, it is necessary to create certain conditions in which will be comfortable. Arranging a terrarium means choosing the correct size of the container, providing it with lighting, filtration, the right air temperature, and other amenities:
- the size. For one or two animals, an aquarium 50 by 30 cm in size, 70 cm high will be enough;
- temperature. The required degree is maintained using a special thermometer or incandescent lamp directed from top to bottom. During the day, the air should be warmed up no more than 30 degrees, and at night – +24 … + 25 ° С. At the point where the heating is maximally directed, it will be useful to place pieces of wood or branches on which the Gold Dust Day Gecko can bask. Also, inside the terrarium there should be places remote from heating, in which the amphibian will be cooled;
- lighting. To create the most similar weather conditions as in the wild, the gecko needs to be provided with a lot of light and ultraviolet radiation. The UV lamp does an excellent job with this task;
- decor. As for accessories for climbing, the terrarium can be diversified with shelves, houses, and crust material;
- vegetation. You can decorate the container with live or artificial plants. Begonias, philodendrons are suitable for this. Sand, coconut flakes, or sphagnum are used as soil. The main thing is that they are of such size that they will not allow the reptile to swallow them;
- humidity. Gold Dust Day Geckos are accustomed to a humid habitat, therefore, in an artificial dwelling, a humidity of at least 50-60% should be maintained. This is done by spraying.
Gold Dust Day Geckos are real little gluttons. If you feed them abundantly, then they can easily get fat, which negatively affects the health of the lizards, so it is recommended to give them food no more than three times, and in winter and twice a week. The diet of Gold Dust Day Geckos should be mixed, since in nature they adhere to a fruit diet, diversifying it with small insects. These lizards are unlikely to eat meat. Their size does not allow them to catch larger invertebrates.
As for feeding in captivity, it is advised to accustom them to plant food from childhood, otherwise, the lizard will refuse it and eventually die from a lack of plant protein. Small Gold Dust Day Geckos are especially fond of various pleasant-smelling sweets, for example, honey or sweet fruit puree. People who are already familiar with the behavior of Gold Dust Day Geckos, in case of lack of appetite or indifference to food, advise gently and lightly smear honey on the lizard’s face so that it tastes sweet. Bananas, mangoes, persimmons are recommended – anything soft and sweet. It is better to choose smaller insects – crickets, butterfly larvae. And supplements containing calcium and vitamin D3 are very important for geckos. Lack of calcium can lead to the fact that one day the gecko simply cannot move along the walls of the terrarium or he will develop rickets. You can mix vitamin supplements with fruit gruel.
Mature males, as befits the daytime Gold Dust Day Geckos, are larger than females. They grow up to about 15 cm. And lizards become mature within a year after birth. Their breeding season is tied to the seasonal cycles of nature and begins as soon as the temperature rises and the day lengthens. For male Gold Dust Day Geckos, harems of several females are characteristic in the wild. And they would never allow another male to approach their family, and if one approaches, then a fight will happen. There are cases when a gecko who lived for a long time alone, after a fight with a female attached to it, killed her. For such situations, they found a rather witty way out. They put a larger female to a small male, capable of giving a worthy rebuff, then reproduction has more chances to happen.
If mating nevertheless occurs, the female walks pregnant for about 3-8 weeks, and then carefully hides her clutch in some secluded place – a folded leaf of a tropical plant or a depression in the trunk. The fertility of Gold Dust Day Geckos is estimated at 4 pairs of eggs per year. During pregnancy, the female eats especially a lot, in terrariums, such lizards are fed more often and in the same place, people managed to track how interestingly females of Gold Dust Day Geckos make a clutch. First, the lizard lays 2 eggs and then holds them with its hind legs until the shell hardens. So the female can hold the clutch for 3 hours! And after laying, the Gold Dust Day Gecko is almost immediately ready for further reproduction.
Newborn Gold Dust Day Geckos are very tiny – no more than 4 cm. In the terrarium, it is better to remove them from adults immediately, otherwise, competition for food will subsequently begin.