Wild Pets on Hawaii

Most of the natural surroundings you see in Hawaii, plant and animal life, were introduced to the islands rather than being native.  Seriously, you point at it, and someone with knowledge will tell you, “oh, that plant is originally from so-and-so country”.

A nerd at heart, I geek out to seeing two types of lizards out here in the wild.  Both being introduced to the islands by the pet trade.  The Jackson Chameleon & the Gold Dust Day Gecko.  I’ll save you the pain of having to read their scientific names.  For all you lizard enthusiasts out there, you already know how spectacular these lizards look, but for the rest of you, you’ll most likely be blown away at the color and decoration these little guys display IF you’re lucky to spot one.


The Gold Dust Day Gecko.  Originally from Madagascar is ordained in a beautiful display of bright colors.  Green, Red, Yellow, and Blue.  These guys that grow to a length of 4 to 5 inches can be easily confused with The Giant Day Gecko, also from Madagascar, which can grow up to 12 inches long.  Primarily due to similar coloration.  When they are the same size, the best way I’ve noticed to tell them a part is their tail and how many red stripes they have on their head.  The Gold Dust has 3 red stripes on its head with a more stubby rounded tail while the Giant has a specific red stripe from snout to eye with a more long pointy tail.  Both are active during the day and I have yet to see the Giant Day Gecko, but here are pics of a fully grown Gold Dust on a car in my driveway.  He wasn’t shy.  Probably trying to sell insurance.  Knee slap!


The Jackson Chameleon.  Originally from East Africa and probably the coolest looking of all the Chameleons due to the male’s small scale impression of one of our favorite dinosaurs, the Triceratops.  And as you know, these guys can change color based on their surroundings and/or mood.  Not to mention how funny it is each of their eyes can point in different directions and during feeding time their tongue can extend about the length of their body!  I still haven’t seen one in the wild, but asking locals, they’ll tell you they see them all the time and are easily caught.  Although, as pets, they need lots of care.  They are a fragile species of lizard.

Written by Johann Moguel