Your Florida Backyard NSiS Home Page Your Florida Backyard Geckos
Geckos (family Gekkonidae) tend to be most active in the early evening, but may also be active during the night and around sunrise. They are quick to drop off their tails (which regenerate but have no bones or markings). Geckos have large eyes and round tails. They have ridges and bristles on the bottom of their toes which allow them to climb easily and even walk upside down across ceilings.
 

 
The Ashy Gecko, Sphaerodactylus elegans, introduced from Cuba, is found only in the Keys. Reaching a maximum length of 3", adults are light tan with dark brown dots. Young Ashy Geckos have red tails and black bands. It can be easily found at night searching for insects around lights.
 
The Reef Gecko, Sphaerodactylus notatus, found in the Keys and the extreme southern part of the state, and may be the only native gecko. It is brown. Males have dark spots. Females have dark stripes down their bodies and two light spots on the nape of the neck. It reaches a maximum length of 2". It may be found under boards, rocks, and debris.
 

 
The Tokay Gecko, Gekko gekko, is a native of Asia now found in Dade County. It is blue green with rust colored spots. It grows to 14" or more. It is nocturnal and feeds on anything small enough for it to attack. It has a nasty bite.
 

 
The Yellow-headed Gecko, Gonatodes albogularis, introduced from Central America, is found in Miami and Key West. Adults reach a maximum length of 3.5". Females and young males are mottled brown or gray and cream. Adult males have yellow or golden heads and dark blue bodies. Unlike other geckos found in Florida, the Yellow-headed Gecko is active primarily during the day, has movable eyelids and no toe pads.
 

 
The Ocellated Gecko, Hemidactylus argus argus, is native to Jamaica and was last reported in the Keys where it was introduced. It is light brown with spots: dark brown on the body, yellow-white on the head and neck. It grows to 2" in length.
 
The Indo-Pacific Gecko, Hemidactylus garnoti, is native to Southeast Asia and found in many areas in south and central Florida. It is brown with pale spots and reaches a maximum length of 5". It is most often seen in the evenings on the walls of buildings near lights. All Indo-Pacific Geckos are self-fertilizing females.
 
The Common House Gecko, Hemidactylus mabouia, is native to Africa and first collected in Florida in the Keys. It is gray with warty skin.
 
The Mediterranean or Warty Gecko, Hemidactylus turcicus turcicus, is found in many areas in peninsular Florida. It grows to 5" long and has light blotches and can change color from light gray to almost black. It is often found at night hunting around lights.
 

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