Tropical house gecko

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Tropical house gecko
Hemidactylus mabouia in Coulibistrie, Dominica a03.jpg
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family: Gekkonidae
Genus: Hemidactylus
Species:
H. mabouia
Binomial name
Hemidactylus mabouia
Synonyms
Close up of a tropical house gecko in Florida. Tropicalhousegecko.jpg
Close up of a tropical house gecko in Florida.

The tropical house gecko, Afro-American house gecko or cosmopolitan house gecko (Hemidactylus mabouia) is a species of house gecko native to sub-Saharan Africa. It is also currently found in North, Central and South America and the Caribbean, where it has been inadvertently introduced by humans. [3] [4]

Contents

Description

This species can attain a maximum length, from snout to vent, of 12.7 cm (5 in). Being nocturnal, it has very large eyes which are useful in spotting prey in low light conditions. It can change color (slowly) from light brown to a darker brown to better match its surroundings.

Diet

Its diet is varied, and includes animals such as isopods, centipedes, [5] spiders, scorpions, cockroaches, beetles, [5] moths, flies, mosquitoes, [6] anoles and other geckos with the most important element being Orthoptera species.

Vocalization

As with many gecko species, it has the ability to vocalize. Its vocalizations range from quiet peeps to rapid short squeaking sounds. They may be heard most easily on a quiet night when they are sitting near an open window.

Habitat

The tropical house gecko can be found predominantly in urban locations.

Behavior

Tropical house geckos are mainly nocturnal and are voracious hunters of nocturnal flying and crawling insects. They have learned to wait near outside wall-mounted lighting fixtures so as to catch the insects that are drawn to the light.

Human impact

In some Caribbean cultures it is considered good luck to have a tropical house gecko residing in one's home, and certainly they do eat a lot of household insect pests. However, the feces of the tropical house gecko are approximately 5 mm (0.20 in) long, 2 mm (0.079 in) wide, and dark brown (almost black) in color. The gecko will usually confine its feces to one area of a home, but if that area happens to be a pale-colored carpet, drapes, or any other easily stained surface, the stains are not easily removed, and the droppings have to be physically scooped up as well. [7]

Despite being harmless, the common house gecko or 'woodslave' is considered by some in Trinidad & Tobago to be a bad omen and to have a poisonous touch. This is an old superstition and, in actuality, the house gecko is harmless and very useful due to hunting spiders and cockroaches.

Related Research Articles

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<i>Hemidactylus</i> Genus of common geckos

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The rough-snouted giant gecko, also known as the greater rough-snouted gecko or tough-snouted gecko, is a species of gecko found in New Caledonia.

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Leschenaults leaf-toed gecko Species of lizard

Leschenault's leaf-toed gecko is a species of gecko, a lizard in the family Gekkonidae. The species is endemic to South Asia and parts of West Asia. It is often found inside homes. Its scientific name commemorates French botanist Jean Baptiste Leschenault de la Tour.

Hemidactylus karenorum, commonly known as the Burmese leaf gecko, the Burmese leaf-toed gecko, or the Burmese spotted gecko, is a species of gecko, a lizard in the family Gekkonidae. The species is endemic to Southeast Asia.

Cochran's croaking gecko, also commonly known as Cochran's Caribbean gecko and the Navassa gecko, is a species of lizard in the family Sphaerodactylidae. The species was described in 1931 by Chapman Grant and named after notable American herpetologist and artist Doris Mable Cochran. The species received one of its common names from the loud croaking call of the male during the mating period.

Common house gecko Species of reptile

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Wildlife of Réunion

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Dubious dtella Species of lizard

The dubious dtella, native Australian house gecko, ordubious four-clawed gecko is a species of gecko in the genus Gehyra, native to Northeastern Australia. The lizard is found in a variety of habitats, including acacia and eucalyptus woodlands, and in human-developed habitats, such as house walls in urban areas. Its urban presence makes it known as a common house gecko in Queensland. These geckos are often confused with the Asian common house gecko, which was introduced to Australia, but G. dubia has distinct rounded feet and less louder calls.

Choleoeimeria is a genus of alveolate parasites that infect the biliary tracts of reptiles. Morphologically they are similar to the Eimeria, to whom they are closely related. The genus was described in 1989 by Paperna and Landsberg.

<i>Lucasium steindachneri</i> Species of lizard

Lucasium steindachneri, commonly called the box-patterned gecko or Steindachner's gecko, is a species of nocturnal, medium-sized lizard in the family Diplodactylidae. The species has a pale strip with three patches of brown along its back. This gecko is terrestrial and only found in arid and semi-arid areas of continental Australia.

<i>Pachydactylus rangei</i> Species of lizard

Pachydactylus rangei, the Namib sand gecko or Namib web-footed gecko, is a species of small lizard in the family Gekkonidae. It inhabits the arid areas of Angola, Namibia, and South Africa, and was first described in 1908 by Swedish zoologist Lars Gabriel Andersson, who named it after its finder, German geologist Dr. Paul Range.

Lucasium byrnei, also known commonly as the gibber gecko, Byrne's gecko, and the pink-blotched gecko, is a species of small, nocturnal lizard in the family Diplodactylidae. The species is endemic to Australia.

Northern leaf-tailed gecko Species of lizard

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<i>Saltuarius salebrosus</i> Species of lizard

Saltuarius salebrosus, also known as the rough-throated leaf-tailed gecko or Central Queensland leaf-tailed gecko, is a gecko found in Australia. It is endemic to dry areas in mid-eastern and south-central Queensland.

The Tasmanian leaf-toed gecko, also known commonly as Tasman's tropical house gecko, is a species of lizard in the family Gekkonidae. The species is endemic to Zimbabwe.

References

  1. Howell, K.; Msuya, C.A.; Ngalason, W.; Luiselli, L.; Chirio, L.; Wagner, P.; Niagate, B.; LeBreton, M.; Bauer, A.M. (2021). "Hemidactylus mabouia". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species . 2021: e.T196915A2477783. doi: 10.2305/IUCN.UK.2021-1.RLTS.T196915A2477783.en . Retrieved 18 November 2021.
  2. The Reptile Database. www.reptile-database.org.
  3. Carlos Cesar Martinez Rivera; et al. (2003). "Tropical house gecko" (PDF). Caribbean Journal of Science. University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez. 39 (3): 321–326. Retrieved 2010-07-19.
  4. Anjos, L. A.; Almeida, W. O.; Vasconcellos, A.; Freire, E. M. X.; Rocha, C. F. D. (Aug 2008). "Pentastomids infecting an invader lizard, Hemidactylus mabouia (Gekkonidae) in northeastern Brazil". Brazilian Journal of Biology. São Carlos. 68 (3): 611–615. doi: 10.1590/S1519-69842008000300019 . ISSN   1519-6984. PMID   18833483.
  5. 1 2 Lennox, Bryan. "Hemidactylus mabouia (House gecko)". Animaldiversity.org. Retrieved 29 March 2022.
  6. "Hemidactylus mabouia (African House Gecko)" (PDF). Sta.uwi.edu. Retrieved 28 March 2022.
  7. "House geckos". Citybugs.tamu.edu. Retrieved 29 March 2022.

Further reading