Introduced Mediterranean Gecko in Florida

Subject: Weird lizard
Location: Jacksonville, FL
September 30, 2016 2:26 pm
I see more and more of these in Jacksonville, FL. I don’t remember them from a few years ago.
Signature: Matt Jenkins

Mediterranean Gecko
Mediterranean Gecko

Dear Matt,
Your lizard looks like the Mediterranean Gecko,
Hemidactylus turcicus, pictured on Wild Florida where it states:  “Mediterranean Geckos are small, rough-scaled geckos, with large lidless eyes, broad sticky toe pads and a long tail. They reach a maximum length of 12 cm.   These geckos change color – at night they are light gray to white, during the day they become grayish with light pink and dark brown spots.  There have raised white spots on the back and sides.  As their name suggests, Mediterranean geckos are native to Europe, but they are highly successful colonizers and well established in Florida. There are no native nocturnal lizards in Florida, and geckos seem to have filled the niche. Geckos are ‘sit-and-wait’ predators, usually seen on walls and ceilings inside houses, or where ever there is an outdoor light.  They feed on moths, cockroaches and other insects and are rarely found far from houses and people.  Mediterranean geckos move and hunt at night. They are extremely vocal – if they are in or around the house you will hear them. Males have a squeaky high-pitched territorial call that sounds like a bird chirping.”  According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission:  “Threats to natives: None known.”

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