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For the New Caledonian genus called striped geckos, see Dierogekko. For the Nepalese species called striped gecko, see Cyrtodactylus markuscombaii.

Golden Tailed Gecko.jpg
Strophurus taenicauda
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family: Diplodactylidae
Genus: Strophurus
Fitzinger, 1843

19 recognized species, see article.

Strophurus is a genus of lizards in the family Diplodactylidae. All species of Strophurus are endemic to Australia, and are sometimes given the common names spiny-tailed geckos or striped geckos.


The species of the genus Strophurus are 80 to 130 mm (3.1 to 5.1 in) long. The scales of the body are generally small and round, sometimes interspersed with enlarged scales and soft spines.

All members of this genus have the unique defence, the ability to squirt a harmless, foul-smelling fluid from their tails, which can create a highly flammable substance when mixed with ammonia. This fluid is used to deter birds while they are perching in shrubbery, being unusual in the family by exposing themselves during the day. As with other geckos, they are also nocturnal. Some members lack spines and enlarged scales, while another subgroup features spines on the tail and other parts of the body.[1]

Their habitat is amongst shrubs and hummock grass, but they occasionally move to the ground for warmth or to mate. This behavior is especially prominent in pregnant female, which use the additional warmth of rocks and roads to assist development of the two eggs they carry.[1]


There are 20 species of Strophurus,[2][3] and a number of subspecies.[1]

Image Scientific name Common name Distribution
Strophurus assimilis (Storr, 1988) Australia
Strophurus ciliaris (Boulenger, 1885) Northern spiny-tailed gecko Australia
Strophurus congoo Vanderduys, 2016 Congoo gecko Australia (N Queensland)
Jewelled Gecko (Strophurus elderi) (9391007062).jpg Strophurus elderi (Stirling & Zietz, 1893) jewelled gecko Australia
Strophurus horneri (P. Oliver & Parkin, 2014) Arnhem Phasmid gecko Australia
Southern Spiny-tailed Gecko (Strophurus intermedius) (9390989108).jpg Strophurus intermedius (Ogilby, 1892) southern spiny-tailed gecko or eastern spiny-tailed gecko Australia NSW, NT, SA, Vic and WA
Strophurus jeanae (Storr, 1988) southern phasmid gecko Australia
Strophurus krisalys.jpg Strophurus krisalys (Sadlier, 2005) Australia
Strophurus mcmillani (Storr, 1978) short-tailed striped gecko Australia
Strophurus michaelseni (Werner, 1910) robust striped gecko Australia
Strophurus rankini (Storr, 1979) Exmouth spiny-tailed gecko Australia
Strophurus robinsoni (L.A. Smith, 1995) Australia
Strophurus spinigerus (Gray, 1842) south-western spiny-tailed gecko or soft spiny-tailed gecko Australia
Strophurus strophurus (A.M.C. Duméril & Bibron, 1836) Western spiny-tailed gecko Australia
Strophurus taeniatus (Lönnberg & Andersson, 1913) phasmid striped gecko or white-striped gecko Australia
Golden Tailed Gecko.jpg Strophurus taenicauda (De Vis, 1886) golden spiny-tailed gecko or the golden-tailed gecko Australia
Strophurus trux Vanderduys, 2017 Golden-eyed gecko Australia
Strophurus wellingtonae (Storr, 1988) Western Shield spiny-tailed gecko Australia
Strophurus williamsi (Kluge, 1963) eastern spiny-tailed gecko or soft-spined gecko Australia
Strophurus wilsoni (Storr, 1983) Mount Augustus spiny-tailed gecko or Mount Augustus striped gecko Australia

Nota bene: A binomial authority in parentheses indicates that the species was originally described in a genus other than Strophurus.


  1. ^ a b c Browne-Cooper, Robert; Brian Bush; Brad Maryan; David Robinson (2007). Reptiles and Frogs in the Bush: Southwestern Australia. University of Western Australia Press. pp. 123, 124. ISBN 978-1-920694-74-6.
  2. ^ "Strophurus". Encyclopedia of Life. Retrieved 2009-01-25.
  3. ^ Genus Strophurus at The Reptile Database. www.reptile-database-org.

Further reading[edit]

  • Fitzinger L (1843). Systema Reptilium, Fasciculus Primus, Amblyglossae. Vienna: Braumüller & Seidel. 106 pp. + indices. (Strophurus, new genus, p. 96). (in Latin).

External links[edit]