Common Name: Caledonian Giant Gecko

Scientific Name: Rhacodactylus leachianus

 

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Reptilia

Order: Sauria

Family: Gekkonidae

Genus: Rhacodactylus

Species: R. leachianus

Rhacodactylus leachianus has coloration that is a mottled pattern of white or cream banding on a green to brownish background. The Rhacodactylus Leachianus, commonly named as the New Caledonian Giant Gecko is one of the largest geckos’s if not the largest. The R. leachianus is 14 inches, which is 36 centimeters. (This length is the adult stage.) They have four limbs with five digits. Gekkonidae’s have vocal sacs, which gives them the ability to make sounds. Their skin appears too loose for its body and has a small stumpy tail, which can occasionally fall off, but will grow back in between two to five days.

 

Rhacodactylus leachianus is a nocturnal arboreal gecko. It makes its home in the highest treetops on the island of New Caledonia or any primary forest. Their called the “devils of the trees because of their loud hissing sound. The Giant Gecko range includes all of the southern and eastern portions of the main island as well as several of the smaller islands in the group. They do very well on their own, because of their small size which lets them get around easily without being hurt or injured. There are 300 plus remaining geckos in the gekkonidae family.

 

They are widely distributed in the tropics and subtropics. Gekkonidaes feed on crickets, roaches, and soft fruits. It will also occasionally consume smaller lizards and in captivity may eat newborn mice. Snakes are the main animal or reptile that eats my animal. My animals evade from being eaten by hiding in trees or using their camouflage to blend in with things.

 

Something’s that really interested me was, that geckos tails can fall off, but is then replaced with a new tail. The reason it does this is as a defensive mechanism. When a predator tries to eat the gecko, it will grab the gecko by the tail. Then, the gecko will detach its tail and run away. This doesn’t harm the gecko at all because its tail will grow back. However most of the gecko’s fat is stored in its tail, so it has to eat a lot.

 

Author: Alexis F

Published: 03/2009

 

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhacodactylus_leachianus http://www.curator.org/legacyvmnh/weboflife/kingdom/p_chordata/ClassReptilia/O_Squamata/InfraGekkota/Gekkonidae/gekkonidae.htm

 

Photo Credit:

http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1O8-Gekkonidae.html

 

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