The Surprising Truth About Madagascar Day Geckos

 The Surprising Truth About Madagascar Day Geckos

Are Giant Day Geckos Good Pets?


The Madagascar or Giant Day Gecko is a good display animal. Most day geckos do not like to be handled and they are very skittish. They are not good pets for beginner reptile owners.

Temperament and handling 


The truth is that they prefer being left alone and the males are very territorial. Day geckos move incredibly fast as well which can make them very hard to catch. They will even drop their tail if they feel threatened enough or trying to escape a predator. 


Their scales are also very delicate and too much handling by hand could damage their skin. Day geckos should be handled only when necessary. While other geckos are more hands on, day geckos need to be more of a display animal. These geckos should also be with experienced owners as well. 


It is a possibility for a day gecko to feel comfortable enough to sit on their owner’s hand. This takes a lot of time and patience. It might also depend on how young the gecko was when the owner brought it home. However, frequent handling should not be the norm because it can be stressful for the gecko. 



Day geckos will need a terrarium that is taller than it is wide. They spend most of their time in trees and climbing. The taller the tank, the more your gecko can climb. 


Day geckos have strong toe pads that allow them to climb up and down the glass. They can also be little escape artists. Make sure that you keep your enclosure completely sealed on the top. You can even use a lock on the doors as an extra preventative. 


The tank needs to be well ventilated. A tall glass enclosure with a mesh top that locks in place is the most ideal type of housing that you will want. Inside the enclosure you need a lot of branches, vines, hides, and foliage. They love to hide in the trees so giving them a lot of foliage will make them happy. 


The substrate you will need is soil without any fertilizers. This type of substrate will also help with holding in humidity. Peat moss is another safe substrate. Whatever substrate you use, make sure that it is not something that can be ingested by your gecko. Sometimes they can accidentally swallow substrate if they are hunting for insects.  

Lighting and humidity


Giant day gecko temperature should be between 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 70-79 degrees Fahrenheit at night. 


Their humidity also needs to stay between 55%-85%. This humidity can be achieved using live plants in the enclosure along with the soil or moss substrate. If you use fake foliage, you can mist the tank more often. Either way, you will have to regularly mist the tank. 


You can use a digital thermometer and humidity gauge to accurately keep track of the humidity. The gauge is extremely important because low humidity could lead to problems with shedding or other illnesses. 


The lighting you will need to maintain temperature and humidity are UVA/UVB bulbs and a ceramic heat bulb. There are hoods with built in lights that can fit your enclosure. The hoods keep the lights from touching the mesh top of the tank and prevent your gecko from getting burned.  The hoods also help lock in the heat and allow more light to go directly into the tank. 

Diet And Water


Giant day gecko diet consists of fruit and insects. The easiest way to feed them tropical fruit is through baby food. You can also feed them the powdered gecko food. 


The insects that they eat are small crickets and fruit flies. The insects should be dusted with reptile calcium powder as well. Day geckos will need to eat every other day. 


A shallow water dish can be provided for water. They can also drink water droplets off of the glass or plants. 

Wrapping Up


The truth about the Madagascar day gecko is that they are extremely fast and little escape artists. They love hiding in foliage and prefer to be left alone. Handling them is very difficult because they are delicate and they need to be with an experienced owner. If you have never owned a reptile, a day gecko is not going to be the right fit for you. 

Jade Messieh

Proud bearded dragon, tortoise, crested gecko, and green tree python mom. I've always been passionate about animals and hope to help other reptile & amphibian enthusiasts along their journey!

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