Cochran's croaking gecko
|Cochran's croaking gecko|
Cochran's croaking gecko (Aristelliger cochranae), also commonly known as Cochran's Caribbean gecko and the Navassa gecko, is a species of lizard which was first described in 1931 by Chapman Grant and named after notable herpetologist and artist Doris Mable Cochran. The species received one of its common names from the loud croaking call of the males during the mating period.
A. cochranae has a snout to vent length (SVL) up to 63 mm (2.5 in) in males and 53 mm (2.1 in) in females. It has relatively short and massive legs. The colour of its body varies from beige brown to chestnut red and the back exhibits light spots. A dark chestnut crossband extends from the snout to the head, the nape, and the eyes. The largest part of the tail is dark grey to black. The hatchlings have clear white crossbands on the tail.
A. cochranae is also a close relative to Aristelliger praesignis, the Jamaican "croaking lizard," which often finds its way into Jamaican households, much to the dismay of the inhabitants. Many Jamaicans fear this gecko because of its speed and ability to stick to walls, but especially because of the croaking sound it makes while they are trying to sleep.
Occurrence and biology
Cochran's croaking gecko is endemic to Navassa Island, an island between Haiti and Jamaica. It is relatively common despite its small habitat of 5.2 km² (2 sq mi). It is nocturnal and arboreal, which means that it lives and preys entirely on the branches or under the bark of ficus trees or fan palms (Thrinax morrisii ). Its diet consists of insects.
- Grant C. 1931. "A new species of Aristelliger from Navassa". J. Dept. Agric. Puerto Rico 4: 399-400. (Aristelliger cochranae, new species).
- Beolens B, Watkins M, Grayson M. 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore, Maryland: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. (Aristelliger cochranae, pp. 55-56).
- Schwartz, Albert; Henderson, Robert W. 1991. Amphibians and Reptiles of the West Indies: Descriptions, Distributions, and Natural History. Gainesville, Florida: University Press of Florida. 714 pp. ISBN 0-8130-1049-7.
- Schwartz, Albert; Thomas, Richard. 1975. A Check-list of West Indian Amphibians and Reptiles. Carnegie Museum of Natural History Special Publication No. 1. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Carnegie Museum of Natural History. 216 pp. (Aristelliger cochranae, p. 108).