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Flat-tailed House Gecko

06 May

Hemidactylus platyurus

Flat-tailed House Gecko Hemidactylus platyurus

Flat-tailed House Gecko found in house in Phra Khanong

Flat-tailed House Gecko Hemidactylus platyurus on wall

Flat-tailed House Gecko active at night in Pathum Thani Province

Flattail House Gecko Hemidactylus platyurus

Flat-tailed House Gecko found on same wall in Pathum Thani Province

Flat-tailed House Gecko Hemidactylus platyurus foot lamellae

Foot shot of Flat-tailed House Gecko, showing lamellae

Flat-tailed House Gecko Hemidactylus platyurus tail

Tail shot of Flat-tailed House gecko

Frilly House Gecko Hemidactylus platyurus head shot

Head shot of another Flat-tailed House Gecko found in house in Phra Khanong

Flat-tailed House Gecko Hemidactylus platyurus underbelly

Underbelly of same Flat-tailed House Gecko

Flattail House Gecko Hemidactylus platyurus

Flat-tailed House Gecko found on tree in Chiang Mai Province

Juvenile Frilly House Gecko Hemidactylus platyurus

Juvenile Flat-tailed House Gecko found behind board in Ko Samet

Flat-tailed House Geckos Hemidactylus platyurus chasing moth

Flat-tailed House Geckos converging on moth in Vientiane, Laos

English name: Flat-tailed House Gecko
Scientific name: Hemidactylus platyurus
Thai name: Ching-chok Hang Ban

Description: To 14 cm long. Snout to base of tail is up to 6.9 cm.  An average-to-robust gecko of average length. A noticeable fringe of skin runs along the side of the body. Body coloration is variable, but is most often light grey with dark grey or brown markings. They appear much paler and relatively patternless at night. Both dark and light lines pass through the eye in marked individuals. The tail is very broad and flat, leading to the common name. Tail can be banded, especially in juveniles, and sometimes has a faint rusty fringe. Toes have the characteristic lamellae of house geckos on the underside. Underbelly is usually yellowish.

Similar Species: Spiny-tailed House Gecko has rounder tail with spines and lacks a yellowish underside.
Stump-toed Gecko has a rounder tail and broader toes.

Habitat: Naturally found in forests, but is extremely common in human habitations. Can be found in hotels, restaurants, houses, construction sites, empty lots, rest stops, and resorts. Is usually the most common gecko species on the inside of buildings. Is rarely found under ground cover at night, preferring to hide in trees, behind walls and in roofs. Usually active at night, but will often be seen hunting during the day when indoors. At night they can most easily be found near artificial lighting, where they hunt the insects attracted to the lights.

Contribution to the ecosystem: Helps control insect and spider populations. Provides food for snakes and Tokay Geckos.

Danger to humans: Poses no danger to humans at all.

Conservation status and threats: Is common and widespread. No known conservation threats.

Interesting facts: Like all house geckos, the Flat-tailed House Gecko has distinctive lamellae. These “lamellae” are thin plates of skin that line up on the underside of the gecko’s toes. The lamellae are covered with incredibly tiny hairs, providing the surface area that allows geckos to cling to vertical surfaces, even ones as smooth as painted walls or glass.

References:
Wikipedia: Flat-tailed House Gecko
Ecology Asia: Flat-tailed Gecko
Thailand Office of Environmental Planning and Policy: A Checklist of Amphibians and Reptiles in Thailand
A Photographic Guide to Snakes and Other Reptiles of Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand
A Field Guide to the Reptiles of South-East Asia

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Posted by on May 6, 2011 in Geckos, Lizards

 

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