Peacock day gecko, Phelsuma quadriocellata, care sheet
The Peacock day gecko is a small species of gecko originating from Madagascar, Mauritius and Reunion Island, in the South-West Indian Ocean. Day Geckos are known for their vibrant colours, and the Peacock can be defined by a bright green and yellow body, with dark spots on their sides, outlined with a light blue and are sought after because of their amazing colouration.
Sadly these geckos are not for handling however, due to their very skittish nature, rapid movements and sensitive skin, but are impressive animal to keep for any reptile enthusiast.
As the name suggests, Day Geckos are diurnally active (active in the day) so they can be enjoyed in daylight hours. They are arboreal by nature, residing in trees and foliage so a good enclosure height is essential. A minimum of 45 x 45 x 60cm is recommended to give adequate opportunity for exercise.
Within this space, a variety of branches, logs, vines and foliage should be used to create a secure climbing structure which will ensure your gecko can make use of all areas of the enclosure. The height also provides good opportunity for the growth of live plants.
Being skittish, the more hiding places that are available the better, like coconut hides and cork bark as well as dense vegetation. This won’t impact on your viewing and the gecko will still come out for feeding and basking, but will feel more comfortable at the same time.
Heating and lighting
Being a reptile, your gecko will need to be provided with sufficient heating and lighting. They require a basking temperature of between 30-32C in an arboreal spot, so its best reached with a basking bulb or ceramic heat emitter. Any heat source will need attaching to the relevant thermostat to prevent overheating and to keep the animal safe. Temperatures can be measured with an accurate digital thermometer to ensure your system is running correctly.
Temperatures can drop to around 15C during the night - which may not require additional heating. This is to mimic a natural temperature drop seen in wild habitats. It is also a necessity to provide UVB which is best in the form of a strip bulb such as Arcadia's 6% T5 (enclosure height dependent). This bulb will be used in a 12-hour cycle, going off as the temperature drops to create an adequate day/night cycle. All UVB bulbs have a lifespan between 6
and 12 months, after which the UV would have faded and even if the bulb is still glowing, so it is vital that this is kept on top of. Life span is bulb and brand dependent.
UVB enables your gecko to metabolise key nutrients in the body, so they can be used in development and general health and if UVB is not provided with it could prove detrimental or even fatal.
Being from rainforest habitats, your gecko will also need a decent level of humidity in the enclosure, which can be achieved with moisture-holding substrates, regular spraying and foggers. Using an accurate digital hygrometer, your humidity should sit between 60 - 70%.
Day geckos will rarely come to the floor even to drink, so we recommend an arboreal placed water dish, waterfall and broad-leaved plants on which water can collect when spraying. Waterfalls can contribute to good humidity as well as making the environment look more natural. Ensure water sources are kept clean to avoid bacterial growth.
Being omnivorous the Day Gecko will naturally feed on a variety of insects and forest fruits. To replicate this in captivity, live food such as small crickets, calci worms or soldier flies can be offered (many prey items may be too big so be careful which you choose), fruits such as banana, strawberry and mango and a good quality powder mix such as Repashy or Sticky Foot.
All food will need to be supplemented with calcium, multivitamins and D3 ensuring your gecko is receiving everything nutritionally required of its body.
Peacock day gecko factfile
- Scientific name - Phelsuma quadriocellata
- Adult Expected Size - 4 - 6 inches
- Habitat - Rain forests of islands of the South-West Indian ocean. Arboreal living.
- Required Enclosure Size - 45 x 45 x 60cm
- UV Lighting - 3 - 4 UVI (6% T5 - Height Dependent)
- Expected Lifespan - 8 - 10 Years
- Temperature Gradient - 22 - 32C
- Humidity Levels - 60 - 70%
- Feeding - Omnivores - Live food such as crickets, calci worms and soldier flies, fruit and powder mixes such as Repashy and Sticky Foot
- Handling - Not for handling due to extremely skittish behaviour, rapid movement and skin sensitivity.
Peacock day geckos are available via the Swell Superstore