Beware, Madagascar Giant Day Gecko Bites!

Published: Sep. 26, 2007 at 8:17 PM HST|Updated: Sep. 26, 2007 at 8:24 PM HST
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Domingo Cravalho
Domingo Cravalho

By Beth Hillyer

(KHNL) - An increasing population of Madagascar giant day geckos on Oahu is causing a concern for State Department of Agriculture officials.

In this home video a kid plays with his pet. It's a footlong Madagascar giant day gecko. Not a great idea since they bite.

Domingo Cravalho with the Hawaii Department of Agriculture discusses his concerns,

"They do have very powerful jaws if you were to try to hand capture they will bite you."

Their teeth won't tear your flesh but their powerful jaws can deliver a crushing blow.

"It's like a pair of pliers, if you pinch yourself hard it will break skin," explains Cravalho.

They have a brilliant lime green color with one distinguishing feature. A red stripe from it's snout to it's eye.

They're originally from Madagascar, an island off Africa but somehow made it all the way here to Hawaii.

For the past five years a small population in Manoa is growing.

Don't confuse the giant day gecko with the gold dust gecko. The gold dust has some red spots but not the stripe. The harmless gold dust gecko is tiny compared to the giant day gecko.

They have a negative impact on the environment. People who keep them as pets feed them crickets. Cravalho explains on their own in the wild they eat insects, "Like any other exotic there is a potential feeding on insects, feeding on flower nectar and fruits as well."

The biggest concern, these geckos compete with native birds for the same food source. If you see a Madagascar giant day gecko call agriculture officals at their pest hotline, 643-PEST.