Gehyra mutilata — Common Four-clawed Gecko
Also known as:
Mutilating Gecko, Skin-shedding Dtella, Stump-toed Dtella, Four-clawed Gecko, Stump-toed Gecko, Tender-skinned House Gecko
These geckos were sharing the walls of Relais du Masoala with geckos that I thought were Hemidactylus mabouia. I was more interested in these guys because I'd never seen them before, whereas I've seen H. mabouia in many parts of the world. Unfortunately, these were both less common and more shy. (However, I later discovered that the geckos that I thought were H. mabouia had been reclassified as another species that I hadn't seen before, Hemidactylus mercatorius). I'm extremely curious about the origin of the name "Mutilating Gecko".
Here is a list of all the reptiles and frogs I saw on this trip to Madagascar.
These geckos range from Madagascar through southeast Asia and west to Hawaii and even southwest Mexico. Authorities believe that they are probably native to southeast Asia and introduced by humans everywhere else (and who am I to doubt "authorities"?).
They aren't particularly concerned with elevation, being present here in the highlands of Mt. Kinabalu as well as down at sea level and everywhere in between.
A couple of these cosmopolitan geckos roamed the patio ceiling of our remote rainforest lodge. They were the only ones I saw in Sri Lanka.
- Glaw, F., Vences, M. 2007. A Field Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Madagascar, Third Edition
- Glaw, F., Vences, M. 1994. A Fieldguide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Madagascar, Second Edition
- Henkel, F., Schmidt, W. 2000. Amphibians and Reptiles of Madagascar and the Mascarene, Seychelles, and Comoro Islands