Common House Gecko
Hemidactylus turcicus

Gecko photos Pete Williams, Gulf Breeze, Florida

The Common House Gecko is also known as Phamtom Gecko and Mediterranean Gecko. Photo courtesy Pete Williams, Gulf Breeze, Florida, June 10, 2006.

Unlike native lizards, geckos have sticky toe pads, vertical pupils, and their large eyes lack eyelids. This species is most easily distinguished by its bumpy or warty skin.

As the name implies, the Mediterranean gecko is an old-world species, most common in Southern Europe and Northern Africa. It has been introduced in many tropical areas worldwide, including the Southeastern United States. This species has been widely introduced in Florida but its distribution is scattered. It has also been found in a few counties in Southern Georgia. In almost all areas, it is associated with human development, and is seldom found far from buildings with outdoor lights.

The House Gecko is almost completely nocturnal. Their sticky toe pads allow them to climb walls and they are often seen perched on walls around outside lights, waiting to grab insects attracted to the light. By day, these lizards hide in cracks, crevices, and under tree bark.

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