Description: 4 - 5 in (10 - 13 cm).
Unlike any native lizard, geckos have sticky toe pads, vertical pupils, and their
large eyes lack eyelids. Indo-pacific geckos are generally light gray or almost
white in color but may have some darker mottling. This species is most easily
distinguished from the similar indo-pacific gecko by its bumpy or warty skin.
and Habitat: As its name implies, the Mediterranean gecko is an old-world
species that is common in Southern Europe and Northern Africa. It has been introduced
in many tropical areas worldwide, including urban areas, in the Southeastern United
States. This species has been widely introduced in Florida but its distribution
is patchier than that of the Indo-Pacific gecko. It has also been reported to
us from many metropolitan areas as well as few smaller towns, including Athens,
Atlanta, Hazlehurst, Augusta, Savannah, Nahville, Coffee County, and Berrien County,
GA; Aiken, Charleston, Columbia, Hanahan, and Pooler, SC; Montgomery and Birmingham,
AL.; Lake Charles and New Orleans, LA; Houston, TX. In almost all areas, this
species is associated with human development, and it is seldom found far from
buildings with outdoor lights.
Habits: Introduced geckos are almost
completely nocturnal. Their sticky toe pads allow them to climb walls and they
are often observed perched on walls around outside lights, waiting to grab insects
attracted to the light. By day, these lizards hide in cracks, crevices, and under
Prey: Geckos eat a wide variety of insects, spiders, and
Reproduction: Female Mediterranean geckos lay
several clutches of two eggs throughout the summer. Instances of communal nesting
have been reported, with several females laying their eggs together under bark,
in crevices, or in moist soil.
Abundance: The Mediterranean gecko
is firmly established in Florida and is spreading northward. It is almost always
associated with human development and is an abundant species in suburban and urban
Notes: This species' adaptability has made it a very successful
invader. It is unknown what impact the introduction of this and other species
has and will have on native wildlife. Unlike most lizards, geckos are capable
of vocalizing, often making squeaking or barking noises in territorial disputes
or to deter a predator.
Vertical pupils characteristic of geckos