Tokay gecko

Gekko gecko

SUBFAMILY

Gekkoninae

TAXONOMY

Lacerta gecko Linnaeus, 1758, Java, Indonesia. Two subspecies are recognized, but some populations currently included in Gekko gecko gecko probably are distinct.

OTHER COMMON NAMES French: Tokay; German: Tokeh.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

The species grows to 7.1 in (180 mm) in snout-vent length. The body is flattened, the head is broad, and the pupils are vertical. Precloacal glands are present in males. The scales are granular, and there are several rows of enlarged tubercles. The toes are dilated broadly, with large, undivided pads. The species has a bluish or grayish body with both orange or red markings as well as white ones.

DISTRIBUTION

G. g. gecko occurs in tropical Asia from northeastern India to eastern Indonesia. It was introduced into southern Florida in the United States. G. g. azhari lives in Bangladesh.

HABITAT

These geckos inhabit trees in tropical forests and disturbed areas (any areas affected by humans); they also live on buildings.

BEHAVIOR

The species is nocturnal and highly aggressive. Individuals gape, lunge, and bite both other geckos and predators. They are highly vocal in both defensive and courtship situations.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

The diet includes insects and a variety of small vertebrates.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Several clutches of two hard-shelled eggs are attached firmly to substrate and, at least in captivity, defended.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

The species is used in traditional Asian medicine and traded commercially as pets. ♦

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