Tokay Gecko Natural History
This is one of the larger of the gecko species with males attaining lengths of around 15 inches, whilst females often remain much smaller with a length of around 11 inches. Geckos weighing up to 300g have been recorded.
Habitat and Distribution
Ranging from Northeast India and Bangladesh throughout Southeast Asian and the Philippines through to New Guinea and Indonesia, this species can be found in a number of habitats, although it does prefer tropical climates. It can often be found in towns and cities throughout its range (even making its way in to peoples houses) attracted by the insect life. Throughout the 1990s and 1980s it had been introduced to Hawaii, Florida, Texas, Belize and a number of Caribbean Islands.
The average lifespan of this species is 7 to 10 years in the wild, while it has been known to live up to 18 years in captivity.
This is an insectivorous gecko which due to its size and incredible bite strength can eat even dangerous prey such as scorpions and centipedes. It will also eat small vertebrate prey such as young mammals and birds.
Groups and Breeding
This animal does not generally live in groups. However, a large number can be seen living in close proximity with one another in areas with plentiful food supplies, and there is rarely a large amount of aggression, especially between females. The females of this species will lay 2 eggs at a time which they will actively guard until they hatch. Even after hatching the young may stay around the nest area for protection, making this the only gecko known to actively guard its eggs and young.
This species has a strong population throughout its range and suffers from few threats. However, even though it adapts very well to city living and is rarely persecuted by people who welcome the addition of this animal to their homes to control pests, the destruction to forest in their home range inevitably is affecting the population of this animal.
This animal is very vocal with vocalisations sounding a little like Tokeh or gekk-gekk. These vocalisations are both the reasons behind its common name (Tokay Gecko) and its scientific name (Gekko gecko).
The Tokay Geckos During Your Day Out in Kent
We have several Tokay geckos on display at Wingham Wildlife Park. These can be viewed in the reptile house which is home to number of various species of snakes, lizards, geckos, turtles, tortoises, amphibians and invertebrates.