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Natural history of Phelsuma madagascariensis kochi from a dry forest in Madagascar

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image of Amphibia-Reptilia

Natural history of the diurnal gecko, Phelsuma madagascariensis kochi, was investigated with mark-and-recapture and census methods from the end of the dry season to the middle of the rainy season in a dry forest of Madagascar. Males were larger than females in snout-vent length, tail length, and body mass, and also had relatively larger head widths. Hatchlings were observed only in the rainy season. The geckos passively followed ambient temperatures, rarely basked, but had lower cloacal temperature than air temperature at high air temperatures. They preferred high and thick trees. The frequency of sighting decreased in the rainy season. Foraging mode was sit-and-wait. Home ranges of male P. madagascariensis kochi did not overlap with each other, but partially overlapped with those of females and unsexed individuals. Several ecological traits of P. madagascariensis kochi such as male-biased sexual size dimorphism and possible home range defense, seemed more similar to those of diurnal, arboreal lizards (some iguanids and agamids) relying on the visual modality, rather than to those of nocturnal geckos.


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