Terrariet. 2000, Nr.5,(3-12).           Daggeckos av släktet Phelsuma.
Terrariet. 2001, Nr.6,(3-9).             Phelsuma borbonica gruppen.
Terrariet.                                     Bevarandeprojekt. P.klemmeri.
IG-Phelsuma.                               Captive care of Phelsuma rosagularis.
IG-Phelsuma. 2002, Nr.41,(21-24).   Captive care of Phelsuma barbouri.
IG-Phelsuma.                                Cloosed studbookproject. P.klemmeri.
IG-Phelsuma. 2002, Nr.41,(25-27).   Species 2.5. Breedingstat. software.
Nordisk Herpetologisk Tidskrift.        Daggeckos av släktet Phelsuma.
2002, Nr.5,(130-136).
Nordisk Herpetologisk Tidskrift.       Phelsuma borbonica. Captive care. 2003, Nr.5,(152-156).
Reptilia. 2004, Nr.34,(34-38).         Phelsuma mad. boehmei.
Reptilia. 2004, Nr.36,(43-47).         Phelsuma dubia.  
Reptilia. 2005, Nr.41,(58-65).         Phelsuma borbonica subspecies        
Chit Chat. Nr.12,(13-15)               Captive care of Phelsuma barbouri.


Captive care and maintenance of Phelsuma barbouri
Magnus Forsberg

Phelsuma barbouri ( Loveridge 1942 ) origin from the mountains Ambohimirandrana and Mantsina, Madagascar. They only appere on high altitudes up to 2600 meter. The klimat on this altitudes is the main reasoon that this specie are considered a bit difficult to keep and breed in captivity. The average temperature on yearly basis is 13,9° C. The average temperature the coldest month is 10,2°C, and the hottest month 16,1°C. The yearly rainfall is around 1700 mm. Normally the days are hot and dry and the nights cool and moist. On these altitudes sunshine and UV radiation is very intensive, and this together with the almost allways windy conditions makes important parameters for a successful captive care of this specie.

The Terrarium
Today I have two terrariums with Phelsuma barbouri. In one I keep 1.1 and in the other 1.2. The terrariums messure 50X60X50 ( length, width, hight). 
Exept from the interior, two things are different from all my other Phelsuma terrariums. Normally a third part of the top is covered with screen for ventilation. 
On the terrariums for Phelsuma barbouri the whole area of the top is sreened. This to provide for as much ventilation as possible. The second thing is the lightning. Normaly I use 1-2 full spectrum tubes with UV radiation for my Phelsumas as only light and heatsourse. For P.barbouri I use three tubes, and also one halogenspot. The tubes are on for 14 hours between mars and october


and are reduced to 10 hours between november and february. The halogen spot are turns on at 11 and goes of at 14 the whole year. This gives the animales a chance to bask and digest food better even under the cold winter months. 
Every evening the cage is sprayed to increase humidity. The humiditylevels varies between 50-85% (day/night). The average temperatures in the cages is during summertime 24°C and in winter 16°C. 
Nightime temperatures in summer drops to 18°C, and in winther to 13°C. Under the halogenspots temperature is 29-30°C all year. As substrate I use 6 cm of sand that is sprayed every evening to hold humidity the night through. 
For climbing steady rocks and a few branches are used. A Sansiveria plant is also included, mostly to give the terrarium a nicer look. One of the branches reaches all the way to the top to give the animales a chance to bask close to the tubes and the halogenspot. Even if this specie normally lives on the ground in the wild, there behavior in terrarium looks like most Phelsumas. They spend most of there time climbing on the branches or the glasswalls. No bambustalks are used as the animales seams to prefer hiding between the rocks instead of in tubes. 
They also very rarely use tubes for egglaying, and therfore I see no reasoon for using them. As with all Phelsumas this specie benifits highly from a outdoor summervacation in screened terrariums. They do well outside in screened terrariums even if the temperature occasionally should drop below 0°C.

As with all Phelsumas the diet contains of both insects and different kind of fruitmixtures. I use crickets as base insect food, varied with waxmoths and fruitflies. The fruit I use is mostly papaya, and to give the animales some variation, yougurt, mango, banana and babydeserts are used. The adults are feed twize a week with insects and once a week with fruit. Every other feeding the fooditem is dusted with Minerall 1, that I consider is the number one multivitaminpouder.

Breeding and incubating the eggs

My females normally lays there first clutch in the middle of september. They continue to lay eggs once a month until the temperature get to hot, normally at the end of june. Then they make a break and continues again in september. Phelsuma barbouri is an egg-gluer, but not to the point as for instance the Mauritius and Reunion species. My animales prefer to lay eggs high up in the terrarium, mostly on the leaves of Sansiveria but sometimes also on the glass walls. When the eggs are deposited on leaves they can normally be removed without breaking them, and putten into an incubator. When deposited on the glass walls they must be incubated in situ. As egglaying perioud for my animales is during the coldest months, incubating the eggs in situ automaticly means a very long incubationperioud. As you can see in the diagram below the normal incubationtime is 67-74 days in a incubator, but the eggs incubated in situ took as much as 136 days to hatch. In the diagram you can see the incubation datas for one of my females.


Phelsuma barbouri
Female Ho 82

Data for incubation:

Daytime temperature: 30,5
Nighttime temperature: 26
Relative humidity: 70-80 %.

Eggs Date Hatched Days of inc Hatchlings

1 in situ

2001-10-21 2002-03-06 136 1


2001-11-22 2002-02-04 74 1+1Ob


2001-11-23 2002-03-01 67 2


2002-01-25 2002-04-02 67 2


2002-01-27 2002-05-07 69 2


2002-04-17 2002-06-27 71 2


2002-05-26 2002-08-05 71 21+1Ob


2002-06-23 2002-09-02 71 2



Based on these data, the average incubationtime for Phelsuma barbouri is 70 days. The one egg incubated in situ is not included. From a total of 15 eggs, 13 hatched and 2 was unfertilized.

Raising the hatchligs
As for all my Phelsumas I raise the hatchlings in modified so called petboxes. The interior is minimal with barchmulch-substrate to be able to maintain humidity, something to hide in and a pice of artificial plant for climbing. All hatchligs are kept separately. This to prevent agressivness and to easily monitor each animal. Hatchlings from Phelsuma barbouri messure 3,2-3,5 cm and seams to be very delicate the first two months. Two things seams to be very important to succesfully get them pass this period. The first thing is as with the adults: good ventilation. This can of course be satisfied in a terrarium, but it is much easier to make small screened containers for each hatchling. These can be brought outside in good wether. But what I have experienced to be even moore important is frequent feeding. I feed my hatchlings with insects like small crickets and fruitflies four times a week, and at all time they have access to some kind of fruitmixture. If these two things are neglected the hatchlings often die after two to three month without any visible reasoon. They look healthy one day and die the other. Sometimes slight sheddingproblems are a early sign of trouble. When cared for correctly the young Phelsuma barbouri reach adult size in 8-9 months.

Hallmann,G.,Krüger & G.Trautmann 
( 1997)
Faszinierende Taggeckos.
( Natur und Tier Verlag )


Captive care and maintenance of Phelsuma klemmeri 
Magnus Forsberg



Phelsuma klemmeri
was first described by Robert Seipp in 1991.It was named after K.Klemmer.

The specie origin from only three small lokalitys in Northwestern Madagascar.All three are near the coast at altitudes between 25-150 meters.It is mostly living on Bambu,but can be found also on other trees.Just right to P.klemmeri also P.mad.grandis,P.abbotti checkei and P.seippi can be found.From the area the followin klimatedatas was recorded(Sick 1979):Average yearly rainfall 2232 mm,Average temperature 25.7 deg.C,season variation 3.9 deg.C.The dry period is July to August and the rainseason from November to mars.

Captive care

A suitable terrarium for a pair or a group of adult animales (1.2-4) should be at least 30x30x50.(LxWxH).To provide the animales with natural light,both regarding amount of light and the quality of light,tubes with an Ra of over 90 and 6500 kelvin should be used.There are a lot of different tubes like Reptisun,Vitalight,Iguana light and similar.Important is the abouve ratings and UV B output from the tubes.Of course they should be put over the ventilation and not abouve glass.This it to provide the animales with UV B that can not pass the glass.Since this is a rainforrest specie no other heatsourses then the tubes should be used(exept for very large vivaria).Ideal for the abouve terrarium is two tubes.As substate the top two are pottingsoil and barkmulch.No artificial substrates should be used,like papertowels, newspaper and similar.The reason for this is that these small and flat animales very easily dehydrate, kept under those premisses.Ideal temperatures are during the day 28-29 deg.C ,that is allowed to drop to 21-22 deg.C at night.The humidity should stay between 70-85 %.With daily misting and the abouve guidelines this is easily maintained.A diverse of plants are suitable for this kind of terrarium,but Orchides and Bromelidaes are prefered.The bromelides gives the animales somewhere to find water and suitable egglayingplaces.All live plants of course helps to keep humidity at a stable level.Very important in any Phelsuma terrarium are a lot of vertical and a few horisontal Bambutubes.These serves a lot of purposes.They gives the animales ability to establish territorys,provide them with hidingplaces and good egglayingspots.If a hole is cut in one or a few of the vertical ones this will be the prefered place to lay eggs.This makes it easy to look for eggs without disturbing the animales to much.One or two Bambutubes should also be set horisontal very close (5-10 cm) to the ceiling to provide the animales with a good basking place.Getting this close to the lighttubes will also give them sufficient amount of UV B.

Like almost all Phelsuma species they eat both insects and fruit.As base one to two week old crickets and waxmoth are prefered.Care should be taken when feeding with crickets.Since P.klemmeri is a very small Phelsuma no crickets shoud get allowed to grow in the terrarium.All shoud be eaten the same day as offered.An adult cricket can easily injure the lizard.Fruiteflies are aslo suitable as a complement in the adult P.klemmeris diet,even if they are best for the hatchlings.The prefered fruits are all sweet fruits,but Papaya and Mango are the most popular.Feeding the animales three times a week, with insects twice and fruit once is enough.Once a week a high quality multivitamin supplement shoud be added to the food.The easiest way is to mix it with the fruit.The last six years I have used Miner-all that works great with all Phelsuma species.

This is despite its rarity one of the hardiest and easiest Phelsumas to breed.They nomally get mature in 8-10 month.When the terrariums are lightened 14 hours a day between February and November,and is decreased between November and February to 10 hours a day, they normally lay there first clutch in late mars or the beginning of April.Normally the females after the first clutch will lay two eggs every 27-30 days until november.They are non-gluers so the eggs can easily be removed and placed into an incubator.The eggs are allmost allways laied two glued together to oneother.Do not try to separate them.If kept in an incubator that is set to a constant temperature of 28 deg.C ,and a relative humidity set to 75 %, the eggs will hatch after app.50 days.When kept in an inqubator with 30 deg.C during the day and 24 deg.C at night,and humidity during the day at 65 % and nightime at 80 % the eggs will hatch after 50-55 days.This seams to give a moore even female to male ratio.One important thing with hatching Phelsuma eggs is the incubationsubstate.The eggs should be kept on slightly moist medium like Vermaculite as all reptile eggs,but they should never be placed directly on the moist substrate.Put them on a piece of plastic or anything that separates them from the substrate.Since all Phelsuma eggs are hard shelled,just like a chicken egg the lack the ability to swell like most other reptile eggs.If putten directly on the moist substrate the eggs will propably go full term,but never hatch.

Rearing the hatchligs follows exacly the guidelines of the andults with a few exceptions.They can easily be kept several together up to 6 month of age.The base insectfood is fruitflies that should be offered two times a week.Regarding fruitmixture I prefere to give them free acsess all days of the week.In the fruit mixture multivitamins should be mixed three times a week to prevent vitamin and mineral deficiency for the fast growing neonates.

Good luck with the keeping and breeding of P.klemmeri.

Magnus Forsberg


 Copyright © 2002-2008. Magnus Forsberg Sweden.