the early days of terrarium keeping, the genus Phelsuma
has been one of the favourites of many terrarium
hobbyists and herpetologists. One of the pioneers,
in the early sixties, in keeping and breeding day
gecko's was the legendary German traveller and explorer,
Karel Martens. He was a well known Madagascar traveller
and inspired many to follow; Harald Meier, Herman
Oostveen, etc. He also contributed many of his findings
and specimen to science, through the other "Phelsuma"-legend
One of the first
(early sixties) to import several species, mostly
from Mauritius and the Comoro Islands, on a regular
basis and make them available for many European
terrarium enthusiasts, was the Dutchman Herman Oostveen.
He ran one of the first pure reptile stores; "herpetologisch
station De Natuurvriend" in Utrecht, Holland.
He also published the first care book and monograph
on the genus called "Phelsuma's" in early 1979 (published
in Dutch). The first species to arrive in the US
was Phelsuma madagascariensis grandis, imported
by reptile Ray Folsom of Hermosa Beach, California,
in the mid 1960s.
The next "Phelsuma-bible"
on the captive care of these geckos came from Ralf
Heselhaus in 1986 with his "Taggekko's Praktische
Winke zur Pflege und Zucht", published by Edition
Kernen. This book was followed by a second edition
in 1994, but for its time less accurate. The second
edition of this book could certainly not be considered
as a standard.
The next "bible"
on the genus came from the hand of the late Sean
McKeown in 1993; " The general care and maintenance
of Day Geckos". This is the first monograph published
in English and fairly accurate for its time.
had to wait until 1997 for their next and accurate
bible; "Faszinierende Taggeckos" by Gerhard Hallman,
Jens Krüger and Gerd Trautmann. Today still the
most comprehensive and accurate work on the genus
in German. The authors are also involved in the
IG-Phelsuma, one of the leading societies in Germany
specialized in the genus. The group was founded
in 1992 and publishes the magazine "Taggecko" formerly
known as "IG-Phelsuma Rundschreiben".
The best work in
English today is "Day Geckos in captivity" from
Leann and Greg Christenson, published in 2003. With
the help of herpetologists and fellow Phelsuma breeders,
the authors were able to compose and publish an
extensive image collection, with many unseen accounts.
above mentioned books are worth mentioning and contributed
and still contribute today to the knowledge of keeping
and breeding Phelsuma in captivity and are especially
the last two mentioned are a "must have" for every
Phelsuma breeder, novice or advanced.
We also want to encourage you to
join a specialized society to keep yourself up to
date and interact with other keepers and breeders.
In North America it is advisable to join the Global
Gecko Association and in Europe the IG-Phelsuma,
see this page for more details.
We also try to keep you up-to-date
here at www.phelsumania.com, where you can find
most relevant information.