Satanic Leaf-Tailed Gecko

Satanic Leaf-Tailed Gecko

Eyelash leaf-tailed gecko, Phantastic leaf-tailed gecko

Kingdom
Phylum
Subphylum
Class
Order
Family
Genus
SPECIES
Uroplatus phantasticus
Population size
Unknown
Life Span
3-10 yrs
WEIGHT
10-30 g
LENGTH
90 mm

The Satanic leaf-tailed gecko is a small species of gecko that can be found only on the island of Madagascar. The gecko occurs in a variety of colors, including hues of purple, orange, tan and yellow, but is often mottled brown, with small black dots on the underside that help to distinguish it from similar species. It has long spines on the head, body, and trunk. The tail is flattened and has a leaf-like appearance. Some geckos even have notches in their tails to further mimic a decaying leaf and this trait seems more common in the males of the species. In addition, the Satanic leaf-tailed gecko has an eyelash-like projection above each eye. During daylight hours, these adaptations help the gecko blend into its surroundings. At night it helps the gecko hunt for prey by providing camouflage.

No

Nocturnal

Ca

Carnivore

In

Insectivores

Ar

Arboreal

Pr

Predator

Pr

Precocial

Te

Terrestrial

So

Solitary

No

Not a migrant

S

starts with

Cr

Creepy Animals
(collection)

Distribution

Geography

Continents
Subcontinents
Countries
Biogeographical realms

Satanic leaf-tailed geckos are native to Madagascar and lives in the northern and central tropical forests of the island.

Satanic Leaf-Tailed Gecko habitat map

Biome

Climate zones

Habits and Lifestyle

Satanic leaf-tailed geckos are solitary arboreal creatures. They rely on their natural camouflage which helps them to stay unnoticed both when they rest during the day and when they move about their rainforest habitat at night feeding on insects. The adhesive scales under their fingers and toes and their strong curved claws enable them to move adeptly through the trees. Leaf-tailed geckos are experts at avoiding predators, not only through their incredible mimicry but through a number of behaviors. They can flatten their body against the substrate to reduce the body's shadow, open their jaws wide to show a frightening, bright red mouth, and voluntarily shed their tail in order to trick a predator.

Seasonal behavior

Diet and Nutrition

Satanic leaf-tailed geckos are carnivores (insectivores) feeding on a wide range of insects and occasionally small rodents and reptiles.

Mating Habits

REPRODUCTION SEASON
rainy season
INCUBATION PERIOD
60-70 days
INDEPENDENT AGE
at birth
BABY NAME
hatchling
BABY CARRYING
2 eggs

Like many reptiles, Stanic leaf-tailed geckos are oviparous, or egg-laying. They start to breed at the beginning of the rainy season and females lay clutches of 2 spherical eggs onto the ground under leaf litter or in the dead leaves of plants. The incubation period usually lasts 60 to 70 days. The young hatch fully developed (precocial) and are independent at birth.

Population

Population threats

The main threats to Satanic leaf-tailed geckos include habitat destruction, deforestation, and collection for the pet trade. Studies suggest that leaf-tailed geckos can only inhabit a very specific environment and are not tolerant of any degradation of their natural habitat. This makes them vulnerable to the impacts of habitat degradation and harvesting, a common problem due to it being popular pets. At present, Satanic leaf-tailed geckos are known to occur in at least three protected areas: Tsaratanana Strict Nature Reserve, Marojejy National Park, and Anjanaharibe Special Reserve. However, illegal harvesting is known to occur even within protected areas.

Population number

According to IUCN, the Satanic leaf-tailed gecko is locally 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 but its numbers today are decreasing.

Fun Facts for Kids

  • The generic name of the Satanic leaf-tailed gecko, Uroplatus, comes from Latin and means "tail" and "flat".
  • The specific name of this tiny creature 'phantasticus' is translated from Latin as "imaginary", based upon the gecko's unique appearance. This fact led Belgian naturalist George Albert Boulenger to describe it as “mythical” in 1888.
  • Geckos possess no eyelids but just a transparent covering over their eyes. So to wipe away any dust or debris that gets into their eyes they use their long, mobile tongues.

References

1. Satanic Leaf-Tailed Gecko on Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uroplatus_phantasticus
2. Satanic Leaf-Tailed Gecko on The IUCN Red List site - https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/172906/177285160

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