Last updated February 22, 1999
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.
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.
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.