Geckos

Geckos are a large family of mostly smaller lizards. They live in warmer countries around the globe, particularly in the tropes. About 1,500 species of geckos exist, the largest of them grow up to around 40cm, as the tokay gecko. All the geckos have in common the peculiar ability to climb up walls and windows and can even walk along ceilings in a considerable speed. They are mostly nocturnal and feed from insects as mosquitoes, flies, ants and take advantage of electric light in and around buildings where insects are attracted to.

The characteristic sound, where the geckos have their name from, comes clearly from the tokay gecko. In countries like Thailand, Laos and Cambodia one can hear the ‘ge-koh – ge-koh – ge-koh’ often several times a day in rural surroundings. In many places where I personally stayed while travelling Southeast Asia a tokay gecko lived and came out at dusk. The smaller, more common geckos who appear in a larger number utter another noise. It’s rather a quiet, chirping sound.

Another peculiarity is that the geckos do not have eyelids. They clean their eyes sometimes with their tongue, what moistens them as well.

When being under attack the geckos can detach their tail. The tail then is still waggling hectically for a while, still showing the stress the animal was under, and maybe distracting the attacking predator from the main body.

Cats love to catch geckos and to eat them. I know a cat which caught a tokay gecko and ate him – only the tail was left. Other potential enemies for the geckos are birds, snakes and other, bigger lizards and rats.

Lizards in general have many teeth. Geckos for example have some 100 teeth, and they fall out and get replaced every three to four months. That reminds to their ‘big brother’, the crocodile.

Many kinds of geckos are bright and colourful, but the most common geckos in Southeast Asia are not – they are pale and inconspicious.

Know…

This is only a part of the richly illustrated article ‘Geckos in Southeast Asia’. Read here the whole article on Gecko.

Keep yourself up-to-date

Check the list of recently published articles on a great variety of Southeast Asian themes. All of them are richly illustrated: Asienreisender

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