Nonnatives - Giant Day Gecko

Giant Day Gecko - Phelsuma madagascariensis grandis


Florida's Nonnative Wildlife. Species detail.

First year: 1990s

Extirpated year:

Established status: Populations are confirmed breeding and apparently self-sustaining for 10 or more consecutive years.

Estimated Florida range: 1 county  Less than 10 years, 3 counties  Not reported breeding

Statewide trend: Expanding

Giant Day Gecko
Photograph by Kevin Enge © 2003

Threats to natives: None known.

Species Account: This beautiful gecko is native to Madagascar and commonly seen in the pet trade. Adults are bright green with an orange stripe between the eye and nostril. Additional orange spots may be present on the head and back. The scales on the back and sides are granular, and the belly is whitish. The skin is very delicate and easily torn. Males may exceed 28 cm (11 in) in length) and are aggressively territorial. This diurnal species is highly arboreal and can be observed on the walls of buildings and on tree trunks. They feed on insects, pollen, sap, and exudate from overripe fruit (Bartlett and Bartlett 1999). The species has been released in several areas of Florida, but the only population that appears to be established occurs in the Florida Keys (Krysko et al. 2003a).

Habitats: Low density suburban development, areas peripheral to core urban areas, and small towns, Rockland Hammock

County First Year Extirpated Year Breeding status Notes


Not reported breeding Hollywood (Bartlett and Bartlett 1999); apparently not an established population (Krysko et al. 2003a)


Not reported breeding Bartlett and Bartlett 1999, Krysko et al. 2003a)


Not reported breeding (Bartlett and Bartlett 1999)
MONROE 1990s


Less than 10 years Restricted populations are established on Little Torch, Grassy, Big Pine, and Plantation keys (Krysko et al. 2003a)


Bartlett, R. D., and P. P. Bartlett. 1999. A field guide to Florida reptiles and amphibians. Gulf Publishing Company, Houston, Texas. 278pp.

Krysko, K. L., A. N. Hooper, and C. M. Sheehy III. 2003. The Madagascar giant day gecko, Phelsuma madagascariensis grandis Gray 1870 (Sauria: Gekkonidae): a new established species in Florida. Florida Scientist 66:222-225.

Links to more information

Bowling State University Info

Back to Nonnative Reptiles

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