Moorish gecko, Crocodile gecko, European common gecko, Salamanquesa (Spanish), Osga (Portuguese), Dragó (Catalan), Tarentola mauritanica, Common wall gecko
Tarentola mauritanica, known as the common wall gecko, is a species of gecko (Gekkota) native to the western Mediterranean area of North Africa and Europe. It has been introduced to Madeira and Balearic Islands, and the Americas (in Montevideo, Buenos Aires and California). A nocturnal animal with a predominantly insectivorous diet, it is commonly observed on walls in urban environments in warm coastal areas; it can be found further inland, especially in Spain where it has a tradition of cohabitation with humans as an insect hunter. A robust species, up to 15 centimetres (5.9 in) long, its tubercules are enlarged and give the species a spiny armoured appearance.Show More
The species was first described by Carl Linnaeus in 1758. It is also known as moorish gecko, crocodile gecko, European common gecko, and, regionally, as osga (in Portuguese), salamanquesa (in Spanish) and dragó (in Catalan).Show Less
Crepuscular animals are those that are active primarily during twilight (that is, the periods of dawn and dusk). This is distinguished from diurnal...
Nocturnality is an animal behavior characterized by being active during the night and sleeping during the day. The common adjective is "nocturnal",...
A carnivore meaning 'meat eater' is an organism that derives its energy and nutrient requirements from a diet consisting mainly or exclusively of a...
An insectivore is a carnivorous plant or animal that eats insects. An alternative term is entomophage, which also refers to the human practice of e...
Terrestrial animals are animals that live predominantly or entirely on land (e.g., cats, ants, snails), as compared with aquatic animals, which liv...
Predators are animals that kill and eat other organisms, their prey. Predators may actively search for or pursue prey or wait for it, often conceal...
Arboreal locomotion is the locomotion of animals in trees. In habitats in which trees are present, animals have evolved to move in them. Some anima...
Oviparous animals are female animals that lay their eggs, with little or no other embryonic development within the mother. This is the reproductive...
Precocial species are those in which the young are relatively mature and mobile from the moment of birth or hatching. Precocial species are normall...
NoNot a migrant
Animals that do not make seasonal movements and stay in their native home ranges all year round are called not migrants or residents.
The Common wall gecko is a small lizard native to the western Mediterranean area of North Africa and Europe. It is commonly observed on walls in urban environments, mainly in warm coastal areas. However, the Common wall gecko can be found further inland, especially in Spain where it has a tradition of cohabitation with humans as insect hunter. This little creature is brownish-grey or brown in color with darker or lighter spots. These colors change in intensity according to the light. When geckos are active by day their color is darker than during the night.
In Europe, Common wall geckos can be found through most of the Iberian Peninsula (except northwestern Portugal and most of northern Spain), southern France, coastal Italy, southern Slovenia, northern coastal Croatia, and southwestern parts of Greece. In North Africa, they range from northern Egypt, through northern Libya, northern and central Tunisia, and northern Algeria to most of Morocco and northwestern Western Sahara. There is an isolated introduced population in southern Western Sahara. Common wall geckos can be found in rocky areas, cliffs, rock fields, and on many construction sites, ruins, building walls, and inside houses.
Common wall geckos are mainly nocturnal or crepuscular. They may also be active during the day, on sunny days especially at the end of the winter. They like to receive sunlight near their refuge. They prefer to forage and spend their time singly; in the warmer months of the year, geckos can often be seen hunting nocturnal insects near light sources and street lamps.
Common wall geckos are carnivores (insectivores) and feed mainly on various types of insects.
Common wall geckos lay 2 almost-spherical eggs twice a year around April and June. The young hatch 4 months later and are less than 5 centimeters (2.0 in) in length. They are slow to mature, and in captivity, it generally takes 4 to 5 years.
There are no major threats to Common wall geckos at present. However, in some areas of their range, they suffer from habitat degradation and are heavily collected for the pet trade.
According to IUCN, the Common wall gecko is common 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 stable.