Blue-tailed day gecko

Blue-tailed day gecko

Blue-tailed day gecko

Phelsuma cepediana

The blue-tailed day gecko (Phelsuma cepediana ) is a diurnal species of gecko, a lizard in the family Gekkonidae. The species is endemic to the island Mauritius. It typically inhabits warm and humid places and dwells on different trees and bushes.

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Additionally, it is noteworthy that the blue-tailed day gecko can change colors and patterns ontogenetically. Depending on the activity, coloration can differ.

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Animal name origin

The specific name, cepediana, is in honor of French naturalist Bernard Germain de Lacépède.


P. cepediana is a mid-sized day gecko. It can reach a total length (including tail) of 3.75-5.5″ (9.5-14cm). Female blue tailed geckos are usually smaller in size than the male.

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Male blue tailed geckos are typically more vivid than female blue tailed geckos. The male body colour is light green or bluish green. The backs of males have a bright blue colour and are covered with dark red spots and dashes. The males have deep blue tails; this blue color may also be found on their face. Females lack the brilliant blue colour of the males. They have a bright green back and rust-coloured spots. There is always a dorso-lateral stripe present, which may be broken. A red stripe extends from the nostril to the shoulder.

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Introduced Countries
Biogeographical realms

Blue tailed geckos and other reptiles are sensitive to artificial light at night and will change their behaviors as a result of being exposed to this light. These geckos are primarily diurnal, as are most of the geckos in their genus (Phelsuma). It has been found that blue tailed geckos will change their foraging behavior from diurnal to nocturnal in cases where they have artificial light sources at their disposal. Nocturnal activity includes agonistic or aggressive behaviors, courtship, and foraging. When artificial lights are used in nocturnal situations, it alters the amount of time and effort that visual predators will spend foraging.

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The Phelsuma cepediana is one of only seven species of the Mascarene species that is still alive. This species is the sole pollinator and seed disperser of a climbing shrub, the Roussea simplex, which is endemic to the mountains of the Mauritius. They can typically be found on trees and bushes that produce fruits, such as coconut palms, banana trees, and papayas. These locations are warm and moist climates, which are preferred by this gecko.

The blue-tailed day gecko inhabits the island Mauritius where it is widely distributed. P. cepediana may also have been introduced to Madagascar where it has been reported a few times, amongst others in the region of Iviloina. These observations have not been confirmed, however. Although these lizards seem to be unable to colonize agricultural areas, they can survive in suburban gardens that are heavily watered and planted as long as these gardens are near trees that produce fruit or flowers throughout the year.

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Blue-tailed day gecko habitat map
Blue-tailed day gecko habitat map

Habits and Lifestyle

This Phelsuma species can be quite aggressive both toward its own and to other Phelsuma species. In captivity, where the females cannot escape, the males sometimes seriously wound the female. In this case, the male and female must be separated.


Diet and Nutrition

The blue-tailed day gecko feeds on various insects and other invertebrates. It also licks soft, sweet fruit, pollen, and nectar. The flowers of the now critically endangered liana Roussea simplex produce copious amounts of nectar and are pollinated only by the blue-tailed day gecko. The blue-tailed day gecko plays a role by licking up a gelatinous substance secreted by the fruit which contains the minute seeds. It disperses the seeds in its droppings.

Mating Habits

Blue tailed geckos lay eggs every 3-4 weeks. They typically lay 2 eggs.

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The females will lay their eggs in a location that they feel is safe and protected. The geckos will glue their eggs in order to increase safety. When they are kept at a temperature of 28 degrees Celsius, the eggs take between 40 and 45 days to hatch. When the new borns are measured, they are normally around 40 mm or 1.6 inches.

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1. Blue-tailed day gecko Wikipedia article -
2. Blue-tailed day gecko on The IUCN Red List site -

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