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Frilly Gecko
   
   

Fig 1


Fig 2




 

Family : GEKKONIDAE
Species : Hemidactylus craspedotus
Size (snout to vent) : 6.5 cm
Size (total length) : 12 cm

The Frilly Gecko (or 'Frilly Forest Gecko') is a cryptic species which mainly inhabits tall, primary forest in lowland and hilly areas. In some areas it has adapted to disturbed, secondary forest and, reportedly, coconut plantations.

This species is very difficult to spot due to its nocturnal habits and excellent camouflage. It is most easily spotted resting by day in the trunks of tall trees.

The morphology of this gecko contributes to its ability to remain undetected : the flattened body, lateral skin flaps along the sides of the body and a flattened tail help to minimize shadows. These features also allow the gecko to undertake some rudimentary gliding as it moves from one tree trunk to the next.

Its colouration is highly variable, ranging from mottled grey to brown or reddish : the species is able to match its colour to blend with the substrate on which it lies concealed, and its rough, textured skin blends well with different types of tree bark.

When at rest, the most visible features of its patterning are the four broken, complex dark bands across the back and base of the tail, and the well-defined dark bands on the rest of the tail.

The underside of the body and tail are  yellowish and orange-red respectively.

The Frilly Gecko occurs in southern Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia (including larger islands such as Langkawi, Penang and Tioman), Singapore and parts of Borneo.


Fig 1 : A well-camouflaged Frilly Gecko rests in full sunlight high up on the trunk of a dying tree. The tree appears to be riddled with termites, as evidenced by the yellow termite trail at left.  Seen at Gunung Pulai, Johor, Peninsular Malaysia.

Fig 2 : Tall, sunlit lowland forest at Gunung Pulai, haunt of the Frilly Gecko.


References : H10, H11