| » Phelsuma`s
female Phelsuma klemmeri
(still working on this topic... be patient)
In my terrariums I use bamboo poles of different diametre. Phelsuma seem to prefer thick poles, they also like to hide inside the poles and often use the hollow poles as egg laying site. To prevent the Phelsuma (and food insects) from hiding in certain poles I seal the open ends of the bamboo using cork or silicone. For instance holes that are too narrow having the risk of an animal becoming trapped. The bamboo and branches are placed horizontal, vertical and diagonal throughout the terrarium. In each tank a bamboopole is placed horizonal near the basking spot.
terrarium inhabited by Phelsuma standingi
I use the same basic-setup for decorating and scaping my Phelsuma terrariums. However, there are differences based on the needs of a given species. For instance, larger species require larger bamboo and more robust decoration.
rocks and flagstones in a terrarium for Phelsuma barbouri
| » Terrariumclimate
light & temperature
I use plain E14 spots for heating the terrariums. These spots are controlled using a timer and burn 1.5 hours in the morning and 1 hour in the afternoon. On hot days the sunspots are switched off. During summer (March-October) the lightcycle is 13 hours, in the winter the lights burn for 10 hours. Only on very hot days the lights are shut down completely to prevent overheating of the animals. The average temperature in the terrarium is 27°C in the higher regions and 20-23°C near the bottom.
Different temperature ranges in a terrarium are important for reptiles (thermoregulation). Under the sunspot temperature can reach up to 35°C. At nighttime temperatures drop to room temperature (22°C in summer, 15°C during cold winternights).
I mist my tanks daily by hand, using a highpressure sprayer. Only in terrariums with moisture-loving species a small waterdish is placed. In this I place a pebble. This prevents the dish from becoming a fruitfly massgrave and allows the animals to climb out of the dish easily (risk of drowning ). My terrariums are well ventilated; one hour after misting the tanks are already completely dry! Humidity ranges between 50-70%.
As mentioned above, I use a resting period for my animals. During winter (october-march) the lightcycle is shorter (10 hours) and also the sunspots burn less often. This results in a decline of temperature and during this resting period feeding and misting is reduced. The animals are less active during allowing them to 'charge'for the upcoming breeding period. De transition between summer and winter (and vice versa) is done gradually over a two week period.
| » Food
Adult and subadult animals are fed with insects 2 - 3 times weekly. During the resting period feeding takes place 1-2 times a week. House crickets (Acheta domestica) are the staple food, besides these the animals are fed mealworms, (fruit)flies and wild-caught insects.
Each animal is fed 3-4 crickets each time. I prefer feeding using a tweezer (find out more in the 'tips' section of this site). I breed most insects myself.
| » General
Every day the terrariums are misted and the animals are fed 2-3 times a week. Once a week I water the plants and remove dead leaves and other debree. In each terrarium a slice of banana is placed, Fruitvlies and crickets -that have not been eaten yet- feed on this fruit. The slice is replaced weekly.
Once a year before the start of the breeding season I perform great maintenance. The substrate layer is replaced and the bamboo and terrarium are cleaned.
The glasspanels are cleaned when necessary (mostly twice a year, but unfortunately with some Phelsuma more frequent :-( ).
The terrariums for the juveniles are cleaned more often because they become filthy sooner.
I disturb the animals as little as possible. Phelsuma dislike disturbance and changes in their surrounding!
» Breeding Phelsuma
I am convinced that a fluctuation in temperature (especially a drop at night-time) is crucial for the development of healthy and strong hatchlings. In the winter -when it becomes too cold- the boxes with eggs are placed in a warmer empty terrarium.
Anolis en phelsuma eggs incubating at room temperature
raising the hatchlings
One day after hatching I put the hatchling in a small terrarium. As small as they are, young Phelsuma are territorial and can best be kept seperately. This is not always possible (high number of young animals), therefore I often have to raise young Phelsuma of the same size and/or age together. In general, this works fine. I also combine young phelsuma with young anoles.
The terrariums are sparesely decorated with some bamboo and an artifical plant. The bottom is covered with a thin layer of crushed oyster shells. A horizontal branch placed directly under the TL-tube serves as basking place. This is very important, it prevents development of 'Floppy Tails'.
The terrarium is lighted 12 hours a day.
just hatched Phelsuma sundbergi ladiguensis
The young Phelsuma are fed for the first time as they are 3 days old (the first days they are ingesting their yolk sack). Fruitflies and small crickets are the main food. The young are fed 3-4 times each week. The vitamine and mineral regime, misting and so on is identical to the way I keep the adults.
During hot days and with moisture-loving species a small dish of water with a pebble is placed.
small group of Phelsuma standingi
An interesting phenomenon is that the young of Phelsuma klemmeri and Phelsuma standingi can stay in the same terrarium with their parents. This is possible until they become subadults, then the young have to be separated.
Phelsuma standingi parents and their offspring