English name: Flat-tailed House Gecko
Scientific name: Hemidactylus platyurus
Thai name: Ching-chok Hang Ban
Description: To 14 cm long. Body coloration is variable, but is most often light grey with dark grey or brown markings. They appear much paler and patternless at night. Dark and light lines pass through the eye in marked individuals. A fringe of skin runs along the side of the body. The tail is very broad and flat, leading to the common name. Toes have the characteristic lamellae of house geckos. Underbelly is usually yellowish.
Similar Species: Spiny-tailed House Gecko has rounder tail with spines and has an eyestripe that is light in the center rather than dark.
Stump-toed Gecko has a rounder tail and broader toes, and distinct small light dots behind the eye.
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, 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.
Place in the ecosystem: Eats insects and spiders. Eaten by snakes and Tokay Geckos.
Danger to humans: Poses no danger to humans.
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.
Wikipedia: Flat-tailed House Gecko
Ecology Asia: Flat-tailed Gecko
A Photographic Guide to Snakes and Other Reptiles of Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand
A Field Guide to the Reptiles of South-East Asia