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Blue-Tailed Day Gecko (1996)

Acrylic on illustration board
5" x 3"

The genus of lizards known as day geckos are distributed throughout Madagascar and some nearby islands. This taxon includes some of the most beautiful lizards, but the most spectacular to my eye is this little fellow from Mauritius: the blue-tailed day gecko (Phelsuma cepediana). Although this group displays a dazzling variety of colors and patterns, otherwise they are a pretty uniform group: diurnal insectivores with wide toe pads, circular pupils and cylindrical bodies. In most of these lizards the female stores calcium carbonate in conspicuous chalk deposits behind her jaws. These are used to manufacture the shells of the two eggs she glues to a tree trunk or other solid surface.