Mid-week Reptilian #18: Mediterannean House Gecko (Hemidactylus turcicus)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 6:28 AM Bookmark and Share
This week's reptilian is another squamate, and the first in this series from that diverse group of lizards in the infraorder Gekkota - the geckos and their allies.

A few weeks ago, Darren Naish over at Tetrapod Zoology began a series of posts (I, II, III, IV, ...) on the Gekkota. You should go check out his first post in that series for a nice introduction to the group, and for some evolutionary context for the particular species appearing in this post, the Mediterranean House Gecko (Hemidactylus turcicus).

Earlier this spring, a good friend of mind in Austin, Texas came across the individual photographed below which had apparently taken up residence in a garbage can. Probably a nice place to snack on flies, fly larvae and other arthropods.  And yes, I know that Texas is nowhere near the Mediterannean!

This species (like our own) has been quite successful in spreading well beyond it's native range in the Mediterranean, probably by hitching rides inside cargo be transported through warmer climates.  According to the wikipedia page on these geckos, they...

... can be found in: Portugal, Spain, France, Italy (including Lampedusa island, Elba), Albania, Greece, (incl. Kalymnos, Paros, Antiparos, Despotiko, Lesbos, Chios, Limnos, Samos, Samothraki, Milos, Tinos, Crete), Malta, coastal Croatia (except western Istria), Adriatic islands, Cyprus, Turkey, northern Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Israel, Libya, Egypt, Lebanon, northern Yemen (Socotra Archipelago), Somalia, Eritrea, Kenya, southern Iran, Iraq, Oman, Qatar, Pakistan, India, Balearic Islands (Island Addaya Grande), Canary Islands (introduced to Gran Canaria and Tenerife), Panama, Puerto Rico, Belize, Mexico (Baja California, Chihuahua, Durango, Nuevo Leon, Yucatan; introduced), Cuba (introduced). It has also been introduced to the southern USA (Louisiana, Alabama, Texas, Arizona, Florida, Arkansas, Mississippi, South Carolina, Georgia, Oklahoma, Virginia, Maryland, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Kansas).


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