House gecko

Hemidactylus frenatus

SUBFAMILY

Gekkoninae

TAXONOMY

Hemidactylus frenatus Dumeril and Bibron, 1836, Java, Indonesia. OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Half-toed geckos; French: Margouillat; German: Asiatischer Halbzehengecko.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

The species grows to 2.6 in (65 mm) in snout-vent length. The body is flattened. The toe pads are divided, and the first digit is much smaller than the others. The tail has enlarged ventral plates and a denticulate margin. These geckos are grayish, pinkish, or pale brown with darker flecks.

DISTRIBUTION

The species exists in Southeast Asia and the Indo-Australian archipelago, the Philippines, Taiwan, and much of Micronesia, Melanesia, and Polynesia. It was introduced into tropical Australia, eastern Africa, Mexico, the United States and elsewhere.

HABITAT

These geckos live among many types of vegetation but often are found around human habitations.

BEHAVIOR

Males may be aggressive, especially in areas of high density near abundant food sources. They have complex multiple click vocalizations.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

The species is a generalist insectivore, occasionally eating smaller lizards.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Females lay clutches of hard-shelled eggs throughout the year. There is an incubation period is 45-71 days. The female is capable of sperm storage.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened. This species may cause declines in native geckos where it is introduced.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

This commensal species is found frequently in and around houses and other manmade structures. ♦

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