Phelsuma Vanheygeni – New Species Discovered

In 2004, an Exo Terra expedition to Madagascar was led by Emmanuel Van Heygen with the goal of investigating and documenting the reptilian fauna of an as yet unexplored peninsula along the northwestern coast of Madagascar, the Ampasinadava Peninsula.

During the expedition, the team discovered a new species of the Phelsuma genus and named it Phelsuma Venheygeni in honor of the expedition manager.

With a maximum length of just 80mm, the Venheygeni is certainly one of the smaller species of the genus, and compared to some of the more well known types of gecko such as Leopard Geckos, they are positively tiny!

Phelsuma Vanheygeni
credit: Exo Terra

These newly discovered day geckos live in the bamboo forests of Madagascar and share their habitat with a myriad of other reptiles and animals due to the wonderful biodiversity found in the area.

The Phelsuma Vanheygeni is characterized by its vivid green dorsal coloration that is contrasted by the yellowish, off-white ventral coloration underneath. The species also has irregular red dots spread across its tail and lower back which are usually larger and more prominent on males.