Sunday, January 4, 2015

Mediterranean Gecko in Florida

Mediterranean Gecko in Florida. There are no native nocturnal lizards in Florida - only the invasive Gecko's. This is the first time I've seen these little ones in the backyard although they are well-established in Florida. As invasive species go they are very timid and have no competition at night from other lizards, although I suspect the Cuban Tree Frogs might find these tasty.

Mediterranean Geckos are small, rough-scaled geckos, with large lidless eyes, broad sticky toe pads and a long tail. They reach a maximum length of 12 cm.

These geckos change color – at night they are light gray to white, during the day they become grayish with light pink and dark brown spots.  There have raised white spots on the back and sides.

As their name suggests, Mediterranean geckos are native to Europe, but they are highly successful colonizers and well established in Florida. There are no native nocturnal lizards in Florida, and geckos seem to have filled the niche. Geckos are ‘sit-and-wait’ predators, usually seen on walls and ceilings inside houses, or where ever there is an outdoor light.  They feed on moths, cockroaches and other insects and are rarely found far from houses and people.

Mediterranean geckos move and hunt at night. They are extremely vocal – if they are in or around the house you will hear them. Males have a squeaky high-pitched territorial call that sounds like a bird chirping.

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Video: Mediterranean Gecko in Florida