Mediterranean House Gecko

Mediterranean House Gecko

Turkish gecko, Moon lizard

Kingdom
Phylum
Subphylum
Class
Order
Family
Genus
SPECIES
Hemidactylus turcicus
Population size
Unknown
Life Span
8 yrs
LENGTH
15 cm

The Mediterranean house gecko is a small lizard native to the Mediterranean region which has spread to many parts of the world. It is commonly referred to as the Turkish gecko as represented in its Latin name and also as the moon lizard because it emerges in the evening. These house geckos have large, lidless eyes with elliptical pupils, and purple - or tan-colored skin with black spots, often with stripes on the tail. Their bellies or undersides are somewhat translucent.

Distribution

Native to the Mediterranean region, these house geckos have spread over much of the world and established stable populations far from their origins. They can be found in countries with Mediterranean climates such as Portugal, Spain, France, Italy (including Lampedusa island, Elba), Israel, Albania, Greece, Malta, North Macedonia, coastal Croatia (except western Istria), Czech Republic (only warm parts of Moravia and Czech Silesia), Bosnia and Herzegovina, Adriatic islands, coastal Montenegro, coastal part of Albania, Cyprus, Turkey, northern Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Jordan, Syria, Libya, Egypt, Lebanon, northern Yemen (Socotra Archipelago), Somalia, Eritrea, Kenya, southern Iran, Iraq, Oman, Qatar, Pakistan, India, and Balearic Islands (Island Addaya Grande). These little creatures inhabit shrubland, salt marshes, rocky and coastal areas, stones, cliffs, and caves. They tend to take shelter in the tree barks, cracks and unseen areas of human homes, for example inside walls.

Climate zones

Habits and Lifestyle

Mediterranean house geckos are nocturnal and may be seen singularly or in a group ranging from 2 to 5 individuals. During the day they usually hide under stones, in cracks and caves and may come out sometimes to bask in the sun. If disturbed they will seek darkness to hide. Males are highly territorial and will vigorously defend their foraging areas. Mediterranean house geckos emit a distinctive, high-pitched call somewhat like a squeak or the chirp of a bird, possibly expressing a territorial message.

Group name
Seasonal behavior

Diet and Nutrition

Mediterranean house geckos are carnivores (insectivores). They feed on various insects, moths, spiders, small roaches and are attracted to outdoor lights in search of these prey.

Mating Habits

REPRODUCTION SEASON
March-July
INCUBATION PERIOD
1-3 months
BABY NAME
hatchling
BABY CARRYING
1-2 eggs

Mediterranean house geckos usually mate from March to July. Females lay 2 or 3 clutches per year consisting of 1-2 eggs. They lay their egg under stones, in trunks cracks or bury them in the moist soil where they are incubated around 1-3 months.

Population

Population threats

There are no major threats to Mediterranean house geckos at present. In some Eastern Mediterranean countries such as Turkey and Cyprus, it is a taboo to harm them due to their benign nature and they are often kept as house pets.

Population number

According to IUCN, the Mediterranean house gecko is locally common and widespread throughout its range but no overall population estimate is available. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List and its numbers today are increasing.

References

1. Mediterranean House Gecko on Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mediterranean_house_gecko
2. Mediterranean House Gecko on The IUCN Red List site - https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/157261/5063993

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