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Reptiles of the United States  
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A Guide to the Reptiles &
Amphibians of the United States
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Snakes of the U.S.

 

Geckos of the United States


There are three genera - Coleonyx, Phyllodactylus, and Sphaerodactylus - with 5 species that are native to the United States with another 2 genera with 5 species being introduced.

Geckos typically have flattened bodies and shirt limbs. In addition to claws, many species have expanded toes pads. On the bottom of each toe pad are scales covered with a myriad of microscopic hairlike bristles. Minute scution cups on then tips of the bristles permit geckos to walk up walls and across ceilings. Most species lack moveable eyelids, ut instead the perpetually open eyes are protected by a transparent scale, the spectacle. The American genus Coleonyx is an exception as it has eyelids. Among the diurnal species the pupil of the eye is round while in nocturnal species it is vertically elliptical. Many geckos appear fragile as their soft skin tears easily and the tail breaks so readily it seems cast off even before it is grasped. Among some populations many individuals will be found to have the tail in some stage of regeneration. Geckos are the most vocal of lizards. Their voices vary from the sound that prompted the family name - the raucous "geh=oh" of the giant Asian Tokay Gecko - to the cricketlike chirps that small species give when defending a feeding site.

Most geckos lay two egggs at a time. Sphaerodactylus and Gonatodes lay only a single egg.



 

There are only 10 species of Geckos in the U.S.

Texas Banded Gecko (Coleonyx brevis)

Found from southern New Mexsico through southern Texas (almost to the coast) and northeastern Mexico.

Reticulated (or Big Bend) Gecko (Coleonyx reticulatus)

Found from Big Bend region of Texas (Brewster and Presidio counties) into Mexico.

Banded Gecko (Coleonyx variegatus)

Found from southern California, Nevada, Utah, and Arizona south into Baja California and Mexico.

Yellow-Headed Gecko (Gonatodes albogularis)

Introduced into mainland Florida and the Florida Keys, native to Central and South America.

Indo-Pacific Gecko (Hemidactylus garnotii)

Introduced into peninsular Florida, native to southern Asia.

Mediterranean Gecko (Hemidactylus turcicus)

Introduced into peninsular Florida, Louisiana, and Texas. Native to the Mediterranean area, the Middle East, and India.

Leaf-Toed Gecko (Phyllodactylus xanti)

Found from southern California to the tip of Baja California and the islands in the Gulf of California.

Ocellated Gecko (Sphaerodactylus argus)

Introduced into the Florida Keys (Key West), native to Jamaica.

Ashy Gecko (Sphaerodactylus elegans)

Introduced into the Florida Keys, native to Hispaniola and Cuba.

Reef Gecko (Sphaerodactylus notatus)

Florida Keys and the southeastern coastal ridge of mainland Florida.

 
 

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Recommended Gecko Books at Amazon.com


       

 

 

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