Day Geckos
Phelsuma
Pronunciation: fell-soo-muh
43 Described Species; 27 Described Sub-species, 0 undescribed
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Basic Range Map
Described Species:
Sub-species:
3
Sub-species:
2
Sub-species:
2
Sub-species:
Sub-species:
5
Sub-species:
3
Sub-species:
2
Sub-species:
Sub-species:
3
Sub-species:
2
Sub-species:
3
    Arboreal and diurnal geckos with round pupils.  Many species that inhabit humid areas have a conspicuous green coloration with reddish markings and spots.  Species from drier regions (P. madagascariensis kochi, P. mutabilis, P. standingi, P. breviceps, P. leiogaster) tend to have a more greyish coloration.
    Parts of the coloration patterns of Phelsuma are obviouslyl non-cryptic.  The ocellae of P. quadriocellata, other colorful markings, such as the red spots of different species, and even the conspicuous green color of P. madagsacariensis grandis (that differs strongly from the coloration of leaves) may mainly be important for intraspecific recognition and communication.  The real value of coloration patterns for Phelsuma systematics is not known, but many taxa - especially subspecies - have been described based only on coloration patterns of local populations and some are poorly defined.  In many cases, color transitions have been found.  For these reasons some subspecies (especially in the lineata-quadriocellata-complex) may include artificial taxa based on local color morphs of continuous clines.  Another possibility is that speciation in Phelsuma is quite rapid.  In some cases aberrantly colored specimens could be the result of interbreeding. 
    On the other hand, the coloration pattern of some species seems to be very constant (e.g. P. laticauda) and in some better known species (e.g. P. madagascariensis) the distribution of subspecies is in accordance with the biogeographical zonation of Madagascar.
     Currently over 20 species can be clearly identified from Madagascar alone.  Some species, such as P. laticauda, P. madagascariensis grandis and P. lineata, are generally regarded to be absent outside of cultivated areas.  In fact, the mentioned species also occur rarely, but regularly, in light areas deep inside primary forest.  They probably benefit from deforestation.
     Regarding the egg deposition, different groups of Phelsuma species do not attach their eggs; the females often hold the eggs with their hind legs until they are hardened.  P. seippi and P. guttata burrow their eggs in the ground.  One clutch generally consists of two eggs, often attached one to the other.

( Source: "Glaw, Frank" in "Bibliography & Links" link above)