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Mediterranean House Gecko (Hemidactylus turcicus)
Lizards Around Las Vegas, Wildlife Around Las Vegas
Mediterranean Gecko

General Description: Mediterranean House Geckos (Hemidactylus turcicus), also called Turkish Geckos and just Mediterranean Geckos, are the common little lizard seen at night around homes and yards in the Las Vegas Valley. They are recognized by white tubercles (warts) on the back and the banded tail. Hatchlings, about 1-inch long, emerge in the fall.

I've never heard it, but they are said to make squeaking or barking noises when disturbed by predators or other lizards invading their territory.

Mediterranean Gecko
Typical habitat: stucco wall at night

Taxonomy: Gecko Family (Gekkonidae).

Technical Description: Geckos are recognized by soft, pliable skin, fine scales, large eyes, and vertical pupils. This species is a small (total length: 10-13 cm [4-5 in.]) lizard with protruding eyes, elliptical pupils, no eyelids, and a banded tail. The dorsal coloration is pale pink or white and translucent with light and dark spots. The skin on the ventral surface is translucent, and some internal organs may be visible. Each toe has a large toe pad and a claw. The tail is banded.

Diet: Feeds around lights at night on arthropods, mainly insects and spiders.

Habitat: Stucco and block walls, palm trees, and rocks in urban areas.

Mediterranean Gecko (Hemidactylus turcicus)
Note raised white tubercles (warts)

Range: This species is native to the Mediterranean region, but they have been introduced across the southern and southwestern US. They are widely distributed around Las Vegas.

Breeding: After mating, females lay eggs in soft ground, under leaf debris, or in a similar place, and they will hatch in the fall. I always look forward to finding tiny geckos in the yard in the fall.

Comments: These little lizards give our cat countless hours of fun, although she rarely catches one.

Mediterranean Gecko (Hemidactylus turcicus)
Mediterranean Geckos mating
Mediterranean Gecko (Hemidactylus turcicus)
The female Mediterranean Gecko after the mating event
Mediterranean Gecko (Hemidactylus turcicus)
Note the vertical pupil
Mediterranean Gecko (Hemidactylus turcicus)
Note broad toe pads and claws
Mediterranean Gecko (Hemidactylus turcicus)
Magic gecko toe pads used to climb glass
Mediterranean Gecko (Hemidactylus turcicus)
Pale belly
Mediterranean House Gecko (Hemidactylus turcicus)
Tail-less hatchling brought in by cat
Mediterranean House Gecko (Hemidactylus turcicus)
Tail-less hatchling brought in by cat
Mediterranean House Gecko (Hemidactylus turcicus)
Photo courtesy of Andrea from east Las Vegas.
Mediterranean House Gecko (Hemidactylus turcicus)
more to come ...

Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 160916

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