I’m sure many of you would have heard this sound around your home –
That noise belongs to the Common House Gecko, also known as an Asian House Gecko. Love ’em or hate ’em, you see them, and even hear them, everywhere – inside the home, in the garage, even at work. They are even common culprits in short circuiting your electrical equipment, including air conditioners, because they get in everywhere!
I decided to do a little investigating on the internet about these geckos and here’s what I found.
The Common House Geckos were first seen in the 1960s. No one knows how they got here from South East Asia, but quite likely they were stowaways in shipping containers.
They are about 10cm in length and have spines on their tail, and they change colour. During the day they are dark coloured, and at night they are pale pinky-brown.
Like other geckos, these lose their tail when frightened or trying to get away in a hurry. Here’s a photo of one that recently lost its tail.
When the tail regenerates, it’s smooth with no spines, like in the photo below.
These geckos are found in the north east of Australia and down south to Coffs Harbour. They live inside people’s houses, garages, and buildings, and can often be seen on the walls or ceilings at night. They feed on the insects that are attracted to light.
I see quite a number of these geckos on the veranda ceiling at night. When the outside light is on, they all seem to appear out of nowhere, ready and waiting for their next meal.
One night I was in the study and had the window open, the blind open, and the light on while I was working at the computer, and I saw one of these geckos hanging on the fly screen catch a rather large moth.
If you look at the mid left of the photo above, you’ll see the head of a second gecko, probably hoping to join in the feast. Surprisingly, this moth somehow got away and managed to live another day!
These geckos are very invasive and have sadly displaced our native geckos because of the competition with food as well as the quick breeding cycle they have. The Common House Gecko breeds all year round and the female lays 2 eggs every 4 to 6 weeks. Amazingly, you can actually see the eggs in the underbelly of the female as shown in the photo below.
The other problem these geckos have is they carry little red mites. You can just make out a few of them in the photo below if you look carefully at the rear toes. It is unknown at this point if these introduced mites will cause a problem with our native geckos. Let’s hope not!
If you’ve ever seen one of these geckos on the ceiling or on a glass window, you might be thinking they can move with ease due to suction cups on their feet. However, they actually have tiny hairs tipped with a pad on their toes that enables them to walk on these smooth and slippery surfaces. You can make these out if you look closely at the photos in this post.
Do you see, or hear, these geckos around your place?