English name: Stump-toed Gecko (aka “Four-clawed Gecko”)
Scientific name: Gehyra mutilata
Thai name: Ching-chok-hin Si Chang
Description: To 12.5 cm long. Skin is very soft and appears nearly translucent; color can vary from pink to pinkish-grey to yellowish-tan. Younger individuals may have dark markings, but adults are usually patternless other than some small light dots. The head often has a line of white or yellow dots coming back from the eye. The toes are short and wide with prominent lamellae. Only four of the toes are clawed, leading to one common name. Underbelly is translucent whitish-pink.
Similar Species: Sri Lankan House Gecko has spines on tail and more regular dark markings on back.
Siamese Leaf-toed Gecko has tubercles on the sides, and longer, more slender toes that lack the lamellae on the undersides.
Flat-tailed House Gecko has flatter tail and often has a yellowish underside.
Spiny-tailed House Gecko has spines on its tail and lacks the light dots behind the eye.
Habitat: Naturally found in forests, but has adapted well to human encroachment and can be found in parks, empty lots, and around houses. Seen in hollow trees and under boards and other cover during the day, and is active on trees and walls at night.
Place in the ecosystem: Eats primarily insects, but has been known to eat fruit juice and nectar. 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.
The Stump-toed Gecko is an invasive species in several areas, including Hawaii and Mexico.
Interesting facts: The Stump-toed Gecko has extremely delicate skin that can easily be rubbed off. It should not be handled if possible. In general, it is much healthier for reptiles if you merely observe and photograph them, rather than capturing them, as they are susceptible to injury and stress when being handled.
Due to the soft skin, the Stump-toed Gecko can be especially susceptible to glue traps meant to catch rodents. Even if you attempt to remove the gecko from the trap, it will most likely lose too much skin to survive. This is one of several reasons why only live traps should be used for pests.
Hong Kong University: Gehyra mutilata
Ecology Asia: Four-clawed 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
Hong Kong Amphibians and Reptiles (2nd Edition)