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.
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.
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