Tropical house gecko

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Tropical house gecko
Hemidactylus mabouia (Dominica).jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Gekkota
Family: Gekkonidae
Genus: Hemidactylus
Species: H. mabouia
Binomial name
Hemidactylus mabouia
(Moreau de Jonnès, 1818)
Synonyms
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.[2][3]

Description[edit]

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.

Diet[edit]

Its diet is varied, and includes animals such as spiders, scorpions, cockroaches, moths, anoles and other geckos with the most important element being Orthoptera species.

Vocalization[edit]

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[edit]

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

Behavior[edit]

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[edit]

In some Caribbean cultures it is considered good luck to have a tropical house gecko residing in your 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.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Reptile Database. www.reptile-database.org.
  2. ^ Carlos Cesar Martinez Rivera et al. (2003). Caribbean Journal of Science (PDF) (University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez) 39 (3): 321–326 http://academic.uprm.edu/publications/cjs/Vol39c/39_321-326.pdf. Retrieved 2010-07-19.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ 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. 
  4. ^ "House Gekos". 

Further reading[edit]

  • Boulenger, G.A. 1885. Catalogue of the Lizards in the British Museum (Natural History). Second Edition. Volume I. Geckonidae ... London: Trustees of the British Museum (Natural History). (Taylor and Francis, printers). xii + 436 pp. + Plates I- XXXII. (Hemidactylus mabouia, pp. 122–123).
  • Duméril, A.M.C., and G. Bibron. 1836. Erpétologie Générale ou Histoire Naturelle Complète des Reptiles, Tome troisième. [= General Herpetology or Complete Natural History of the Reptiles, Volume 3 ]. Paris: Librairie Encyclopédique Roret. iv + 517 pp. (Hemidactylus mabouia, pp. 362–363).
  • Moreau de Jonnès, [A]. 1818. "Monographie du Mabouia des murailles, ou Gecko Mabouia des Antilles." Bulletin des Sciences par la Société Philomatique de Paris, Series 3, 5: 138-139. ("Gecko Mabouia", new species).
  • Schwartz, A., and R. Thomas. 1975. A Check-list of West Indian Amphibians and Reptiles. Special Publication No. 1. Pittsburgh: Carnegie Museum of Natural History. 216 pp. (Hemidactylus mabouia, p. 124).

External links[edit]