Thursday, January 5, 2017

Observations on the Dietary Habits of the Common Gold Dust Day Gecko

Today I learned, much to my amazement, that gold dust day geckos (a species originally from Madagascar, now established in Hawaii) like pecans.

Let me back up: yesterday I noticed a rather fearless member of the species Phelsuma laticauda hanging around my computer desk: it crawled down the side of my right monitor and decided to hang out in the lower-right-hand corner of the screen. I had a little fun getting it to try to bite my cursor, but unlike last time it didn't seem disposed to leave so after a while I got bored and left it alone, and it wandered off on its own after a few minutes.

Today what I presume to be the same gecko showed up again, as it took up exactly the same position on my screen for a minute or two before crawling all the way across both monitors to the other side of my desk, jumping down, and homing in on a Ziploc bag of caramel-and-pecan turtles from a family friend that I brought back from my Christmas trip. It started nosing at the bag and showing an obvious interest in the contents, so when it moved away after half a minute or so of unsuccessful nosing I took a small piece of pecan out and laid it on a card nearby.

Soon enough, the inquisitive gecko came over and started licking the pecan, which is what I've seen geckos do with food in the past. I started taking a small video as it was quite fun to watch its obvious enjoyment of a treat it almost certainly had never had before, when to my astonishment it grabbed the pecan in its mouth and attempted to break a chunk off.

I then crumbled another piece into smaller, gecko-bite-sized chunks and placed a few down, and it proceeded to eat several over a period of perhaps ten minutes before getting full and wandering off again.

Going for some of the smaller pieces…

Just tell me that isn't a happy lizard.
I'm rather interested in this, as I've never heard of these geckos (or any geckos for that matter) eating nuts. I'm fairly certain that pecans are not native to Madagascar, so I can't imagine this gecko had ever seen one before. Wikipedia lists their diet as “various insects and other invertebrates, other smaller lizards, soft, sweet fruit, pollen, and nectar from flowers.” Which doesn't rule out nuts, of course, but doesn't exactly suggest it either. All very interesting. A hui hou!


  1. Wonderful and curious! Perhaps, like us, geckos have different tastes. Maybe you could get some mixed nuts and see what else it might go for. :)


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