Phelsuma quadriocellata: Peacock Day Gecko



  • Temperature:
    • Day: 70-84ºF / 21-29ºC, with a small low wattage basking spot
    • Night: 55-65ºF / 13-18ºC
  • Relative Humidity: 60-80%

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Much of P.quadriocellata’s range extends inland and often to quite high elevation; they enjoy a higher night time and seasonal temperature drop than most species restricted to the coastal habitats.

There are a handful of subspecies; ours are the nominate form, P.q.quadriocellata.

This is a small day gecko and, like klemmeri, this means that they and their food can get out of the tiniest gaps; mesh should be of a fly screen density. Because of their small size, placid nature, high humidity requirements and the nature of their food – quadriocellata are an ideal candidate to mix with large dart frogs, as they frequently are in Europe with great success. Also like klemmeri, their inquisitive and outgoing personalities mean that they often become very used to their keepers and will ‘come to the glass’ when they see you around (if you’ve ever spent hours trying to ‘hide’ to observe a shy species like P.ornata, you’ll know what a joy that is!). Give them a planted glass tank (30 x 30 x 45 cm minimum).

Zonal lighting (areas of light and shade) allows heliocentric (sun-seeking) thermoregulation. In captivity this is best provided by full spectrum metal halide lighting mounted in a reflector above the top mesh of the vivarium, providing a deep column of light to the vivarium floor for animals and plants.

No thermostat is required for such lights (though a specific ballast unit is), and the animals will shuttle in and out of the light as they would in nature (UV tubes diffuse light and work against this behaviour; they also have poor light penetration, leading to Phelsuma clustering just around the top of the viv craving light – see also lighting recommendations in ‘General Care’).

quadriocellata need smallish food. Any insect around 1cm should be of interest to adults, while fruit flies, springtails and micro crickets suit babies. Pollen, nectar, fruit and baby food are also greedily taken. Like all species of Phelsuma, females and young should have continual access to a source of calcium and insects should be regularly dusted.

Keep them in compatible pairs. Watch the female doesn’t get bullied and has plenty of calcium. Insects, fruit, nectar etc should be available daily.

These aren’t common geckos and demand for this species is always high. They’re not hard to keep, but not a cinch to breed, so there is often a waiting list.

© Phelsuma Farm, 2004; edited 2015