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Earthy and Ernie!

Last updated February 22, 1999

Oh... uh, hi there.

This is generally what Gumbo's doing whenever I see him: hanging on the glass and watching me suspisciously. Gummy is a Madagascar giant day gecko (scientific name: Phelsuma madagascariensis grandis). In the past couple of years, this kind of gecko has been growing in popularity. There have even been a couple of national television commercials that have little Gumbos running around! In one commercial, a photographer is deep in the jungle searching for some elusive and extremely rare species of lizard. After a fruitless search, he goes back home dejected, only to find a beautiful photo of that very lizard (a Madagascar giant day gecko) in a picture that he had taken accidentally! My wife and I thought it was pretty funny that he had gone around the world to find the little guy, when he could have just gone to a pet shop down the street! But that wouldn't have been much of a commercial, and they probably would have kicked him out of the pet store.

Wherefore art thou Mealyworm?

My geckos all come from lush tropical habitats. In the wild, they get almost all their water by lapping up dew and raindrops. Moisture is also important because it helps them shed their skin. As pets, they will not drink water out of a bowl; they will only lick it off of stuff, so you have to spray their tanks with a fine mist every day. When Gumbo's ready to be misted, he heads up to the top of the tank and waits. Its funny to watch Gumbo when you spray him. First he'll just sit there with little drops of water all over his face, looking sort of indignant. Then after about fifteen seconds, he'll start licking his lips, his nose, and even his eyes to get every drop.

Hot enough for ya?

I liked the shadow of him in this picture. The black bar in the upper left does not indicate censorship; it's Gummy's tank thermometer. See, he's checking it out! Next he sat down with the newspaper and a hot cup of joe, but I had run out of film by that time.

Darn it, I thought you were gonna take it AFTER three!
This picture and the ones that follow were taken a couple of years ago, when Gumbo lived in a different tank and I lived in an apartment. Even then, this is what I usually saw when I looked at his tank.

even the rain doesn't have such sticky hands (e.e.gecko)
Gumbo changes colors depending on what kind of light he's in. Here, he's in a dark area and he's turned sort of brown. Under strong light he is shiny bright green.

Here he's eating his "nectar" (apricot baby food, actually). Gumbo's tongue is very long and pink.

Licking his chops after a hearty meal.

What do you mean the camera's on?
You can tell that Gumbo is a boy because he has a little row of bumps between his back legs. Brak and Seth are the same way. Unfortunately this picture isn't very clear, but if you look closely you can see what I'm talking about. A girl gecko would not have the bumps, which are called femoral pores. Day geckos have a "vent" for waste and reproductive purposes at the base of the tail that kind of works like a Pez dispenser. I'm sorry if you happened to be eating Pez as you read that, by the way.

Little did they know they were building the vivariums of the future.
Gumbo's vivarium. He likes his little bridge. That's where he sunbathes.

Beware of sharp edges. Go to The Axolotl Page

Do not swallow. Go to Inky's Linkies!