Gold Dust Day Gecko—Breed Overview
Gold Dust Day Geckos are known for their attractive appearance and vibrant colors. Found mostly in the humid forests of Madagascar, these geckos are perfect for beginners and first-time reptile owners. But there is a lot more to know about these unusual geckos. So, let’s get to learn more about this gecko and its natural habitat, origin, appearance, and temperament.
Origin of a Gold Dust Day Gecko
These geckos are scientifically known as Phelsuma laticauda, and they are native to northern and western Madagascar. Although they are native to Madagascar, they are also found in other islands around the U.S., such as the Hawaiian Islands, Comoros, and The Seychelles. They belong to the class Reptilia, and their family is Gekkonidae. They are diurnal creatures—awake and active during the day.
The Gold Dust Day Gecko is an arboreal creature—living on trees. These terrestrial geckos are social and can often be seen flocking together in groups when hunting or feeding. The male geckos are aggressive and hostile.
Gold Dust Day Gecko—At a Glance
|Common Name||Gold Dust Day Gecko|
|Species Name||Phelsuma laticauda|
|Life span||10 years in captivity.|
|Length||15 – 22 centimeters|
|Diet||They are Carnivores and Herbivores.|
|Tank Size||12″ x 12″ x 12″ for housing one or more juvenile geckos. 18″ x 18″ x 24″ for housing one or more adult geckos.|
|Temperature Ranges||90 degrees Fahrenheit for the warmer portion. 72 degrees Fahrenheit for the cooler portion of the tank.|
|Humidity Range||80 %|
Appearance, Weight, and Size of Gold Dust Geckos
A Gold Dust Day gecko doesn’t get its name because of its color but the small golden spots on its body that qualify it for such a name. These geckos are bright or yellowish-green in color with red bands across their necks, upper backs, and above the tails. There are also three horizontal red bands on their heads. They have broad and flattened tails, large heads, and expressive, wide eyes. Another distinct feature that adds to their beauty is a blue hue around their eyes.
The Gold Dust Day is a small gecko—measuring about 15 – 22 centimeters (4 to 6 inches) from head to tail. Due to their small size, these geckos are popular among reptile owners who do not have a lot of space to set up large-sized tanks or enclosures. As they are small in size, they also don’t weigh much.
Habitat and Substrate—Living Needs of a Gold Dust Day Gecko
Although these geckos are small, you still need to provide them with an appropriate tank so they can live comfortably.
A juvenile Gold Dust Day Gecko should be kept in a tank measuring 12″ x 12″ x 12″. A tank of this size is enough to house more than one juvenile geckos together. But they should be separated before they grow up.
When they are adults, they can be housed in a tank that measures 18″ x 18″ x 24″. The best pairing order can be one male and two females together. As we know, the male geckos are very aggressive and hostile, they cannot be housed together, so it is always better to keep one male in a pair.
To keep them entertained and active, you should include real or faux plants, branches, and creepers in their enclosures. This will provide them with extra hiding places and also allow them to climb up and stay active.
Heating and humidity levels also need to be properly maintained inside a gecko’s enclosure, so they can thrive and live happily. To accomplish and maintain a balanced temperature, you can use a heat bulb and install it above their tank. It should be connected to a thermostat to maintain the temperature inside the enclosure. By installing a heat source at the top, you will be able to create a temperature gradient for your gecko.
The tank’s temperature will be the highest at the top, becoming cooler towards the ground. To make it more clear, it is important to mention that the temperature of the warmer area in the enclosure should be kept around 90 degrees Fahrenheit while for the cooler area, it should be kept at 72 degrees Fahrenheit.
Lighting is also very important for these geckos to be healthy and maintain their vivid body color. If they do not have access to enough lighting, their body color turns dull.
The type of lighting you should use depends upon the size of the tank. If the tank is small, you can use a UVB bulb, but for a long tank, you would need a UVB tube light.
As mentioned earlier, the Gold Dust Day Gecko is a species of humid forests of Madagascar that receive abundant rains round the year. Thus, when in captivity, these geckos should be provided with the same level of moisture. The humidity level inside their tank should be maintained at around 80 %. To achieve this, you should spray some water in the morning and evening.
The type of substrate inside the tank also plays a significant role in maintaining the level of humidity. In order to keep the tank humid and the geckos well-hydrated, you can use Sphagnum Moss inside their hiding caves to provide them with the required moisture.
Do They Make Good Pets?
Gold Dust Day Gecko is considered a suitable reptile for novice keepers because it is low maintenance. Also, they are small in size, which makes them ideal for people who don’t have large living spaces. Their vibrant colors, strikingly beautiful appearance, and expressive eyes make reptile owners fall instantly in love with them.
How Much a Gold Dust Day Gecko Costs?
A Gold Dust Day gecko can be found for a price of $80 – $100 from pet or morph markets. You can also buy them through numerous online morph markets.
Gold Dust Day Gecko Diet
As these geckos are herbivores as well as carnivores, their diet includes a variety of foods. In captivity, you can feed them small insects, such as crickets, Dobia roaches, live bugs, wax worms, locusts, mealworms, and other types of small worms.
They can also consume fruits, but you should mash the fruits to make them easy to digest for them. However, they shouldn’t be fed fruits more than once a week. The main source of their nutrition should be insects. You can also feed them with commercial gecko diets.
Their diet in the wild consists of a wide variety of foods that can’t be provided in captivity. Thus, it is important to fulfill their body requirements through multivitamins and reptile calcium when you are keeping them as pets.
Pros and Cons of Keeping a Gold Dust Day Gecko
Although this gecko is considered a low-maintenance pet, there are certain things you need to bring into consideration before you decide to own one. Below, we have listed down the advantages and disadvantages of owning a Gold Dust Day gecko.
Pros of Keeping a Gold Dust Day Gecko:
- They are very attractive and excellent for those fond of display pets. Their colorful appearance makes them appealing, and merely watching them is a treat.
- These geckos are shy but become friendly and comfortable with time.
- They are low-maintenance pets and don’t need huge living enclosures.
Cons of Keeping a Gold Dust Day Gecko
- These geckos are very sensitive and become easily frightened.
- They don’t like to be held. If held forcefully, it can become scared and drop its tail.
- The male geckos of this morph are very aggressive, which makes housing them together difficult. The only suitable order for housing them is two females and one male.
Gold Dust Day Gecko Common Health Issues
A Gold Dust Day Gecko can face some common health issues, so it is always a good idea to be in touch with a veterinarian. He can guide you on what needs to be fed and how to look after your gecko to keep it healthy. Some potential health risks your gecko may face are;
- Skin infections are very common in these geckos because they shed. If they are living under poor hygienic conditions, their skin can easily become infected during the shedding season.
- Metabolic Bone Disease is also a common health issue faced by these geckos when they don’t have enough Calcium and Vitamin D3 in their bodies.
- Parasitic infection can also be a common health issue in a gecko. If your gecko is vomiting, lethargic, or is losing weight, these may be the signs of a parasitic infestation.
How to Keep Gold Dust Day Gecko Happy?
A Gold Dust Day gecko has a shy and docile demeanor. To keep your gecko happy and thriving, you should provide it with a private and comfortable living space. With healthy and nutritious food, well-maintained temperature and humidity levels, and cozy substrate, these geckos will become an appealing and exotic addition to your house.
Although these geckos are considered easy to care for and are undemanding, they still need specific living conditions, which can be best provided by experienced reptile owners. If you have any experience in caring for a reptile, such as another gecko or lizard, you can easily look after the Gold Dust Day Gecko. Keeping them as a pet is a fun and rewarding experience to have.