Worldwide, there are some seven families of geckos (Gekkota) comprising 1500 species largely living in the tropics. Australian geckos belong to the families Diplodactylidae, Carphodactylidae and Gekkonidae.
Geckos are easily recognised, being mostly nocturnal with soft bodies and tiny granular scales. They have well-developed limbs with five digits, large eyes with vertical pupils, no eyelids, and broad fleshy tongues. In the absence of eyelids, the tongue is used to lick the eye clean.
Geckos are amazing animals, characterised by their amazing colour patterns, ability to vocalise (using chirping sounds in social interactions with other geckos), adhesive toe pads (being able to adhere to almost any surface), lack of eyelids (instead have a transparent membrane which they lick to clean), spectacular colour vision (350 times more sensitive than human colour vision and sensitive to UV, blue, and green), being ‘polyphyodont’ (teeth are constantly replaced), and ‘autonomy' (ability to can lose their tails in defence). They are nocturnal.
A standard measurement in the description of reptiles is the snout-vent length (SVL) which is measured from the tip of the nose (snout) to the anus (vent), and excludes the tail. This may be a helpful in distinguishing various species of goannas and geckos.
Receive email alerts when new sightings are reported.