Thursday, June 03, 2010

Mediterranean Gecko

While cleaning off our potting table in the backyard I captured a Mediterranean gecko that was concealed in a small mound of dried leaves. These lizards are an introduced species and made its way to this country by stowing away on ships transporting goods. It is not considered invasive and this is due to the fact that they have not in any way threatened any of our native animals. It is also considered to be one of the most successful species of gecko due to its spread over much of the world. It is the only lizard that emits vocalizations consisting of squeaks, clicks, and barks during territorial battles and when accosted. They have a break-away tail like most other lizards that helps in its escape from predators.

They’re very adept at climbing due to their unusual toe pads, have no eyelids and are the only gecko found in the U.S. that has elliptical pupils. Being nocturnal they can be found near porch lights, which attract insects. They can also be found inside homes, in wood piles, in cracks and crevices, etc. Note how the skin on their backs is covered with wart-like tuberacles.

Catching this lizard was wonderful, but the really cool part was when I turned it over. The skin on their belly is semi-translucent and enables you to somewhat see its internals. Look closely at the photo and you’ll notice two large white eggs that she is probably about ready to lay. The eggs, once laid are soft and soon harden. Females lay 1-2 eggs, the hatching young receive no parental care, and juveniles can be identified by the more pronounced banding on their tails. After photographing her I released her in our fire wood pile.

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