“How many Geckos are there in Louisiana?”
You might be surprised to know that of all the geckos found in Louisiana, NONE are native. I know I was when I first started learning about geckos!
Including introduced species, there are 24 different geckos in the US!
Today, you’ll learn about 2 different kinds of geckos in Louisiana.
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#1. Mediterranean House Gecko
- Hemidactylus turcicus
- 1.5 to 2.5 inches long.
- The pupils are vertical, and the eyes are large and round with immovable eyelids.
- This species has two color phases for camouflage.
- Pale phase: the coloring is light pink to pale yellow or white, with brown or gray blotches.
- Dark phase: the coloring darkens to gray or brown, obscuring the blotches on the back.
You might be surprised to find out that the most abundant and widespread gecko in Louisiana is NOT native! The Mediterranean House Gecko was introduced to Louisiana via imported plants carrying their egg clutches. They are adaptable to so many environments that their population quickly outpaced any of our native geckos!
Mediterranean House Geckos are nocturnal, but this won’t stop you from being able to find them. They are considered an “urbanized” species, which means they are just as happy to live inside your house as they are in the wild!
They eat insects attracted to lights and are commonly found on walls, ceilings, and window screens in homes. Outside, look for them in rock crevices or cracked tree trunks.
In addition to being comfortable around humans, Mediterranean House Geckos in Louisiana are a vocal species.
The mating call of males is a series of clicks, and they frequently make a squeaking noise if threatened.
Even though Mediterranean House Geckos aren’t native to Louisiana, they are so well-recognized they belong on any list of geckos in our area.
#2. Sri Lankan House Gecko
- Hemidactylus parvimaculatus
- 4 to 4.5 inches long.
- Coloring is brown with rows of small, irregular, darker brown spots
- Small bumps called tubercles are arranged in rows that run down the back.
The Sri Lankan House Gecko is an introduced species found ONLY in the Audubon Park area of New Orleans. It was most likely transported on a shipping container into the Port of New Orleans and established a permanent population.
Sri Lankan House Geckos have a unique voice! Their call is a throaty “chuk-chuk-chuk” sound. Their natural range is southern India, Sri Lanka, and islands in the Indian Ocean.
Do you need additional help identifying geckos?
Try this field guide!
Which of these geckos have you seen in Louisiana?
Leave a comment below!