Thursday, December 27, 2012


Family Gekkonidae1

Geckos are well known for their ability to hang upside down on ceilings. The "House Lizards" that one typically encounters at home are really geckos. There are 19 species that can be found in Singapore. At least 4 of them can be found in houses. The rest are forest geckos.

  1. Fox-faced Gecko (Aeluroscalabotes felinus)
  2. Peninsular Rock Gecko (Cnemaspis peninsularis)
  3. Frilly Gecko (Cosymbotes craspedotus)
  4. Flat-tailed Gecko (Cosymbotes platyurus)
  5. Peter's Bent-toed Gecko (Cyrtodactylus consobrinus)
  6. Singapore Bent-toed Gecko (Cyrtodactylus majulah)
  7. Peninsular Bent-toed Gecko (Cyrtodactylus semenanjungensis)
  8. Four-clawed Gecko (Gehyra mutilata)
  9. Tokay Gecko (Gekko gecko)
  10. Spotted House Gecko (Gekko monarchus)
  11. Large Forest Gecko (Gekko smithii)
  12. Brooke's House Gecko (Hemidactylus brookii)
  13. Common House Gecko (Hemidactylus frenatus)
  14. Indo-Pacific Gecko (Hemidactylus garnotii)
  15. Dwarf Gecko (Hemiphyllodactylus typus)
  16. Mourning Gecko (Lepidodactylus lugubris)
  17. Brown's Flap-legged Gecko (Luperosaurus browni)
  18. Horsfield's Flying Gecko (Ptychozoon horsfieldii)
  19. Kuhl's Flying Gecko (Ptychozoon kuhli)

Sometimes foreign geckos followed shipments into Singapore. Here are two that might have done so.

Botanic Gardens ©Tan KH. Mandai Orchid Garden ©Lau SY.

Used to be grouped with Kendall's Rock Gecko, the Peninsular Rock Gecko (Cnemaspis peninsularis) is now treated as a separate species2.

Malaysia ©Tan KH

The Flat-tailed Gecko (Cosymbotes platyurus) is another urban gecko. It can be told apart by the flat edges of the tail.

Pasir Ris Park. Circuit Road ©Lau SY

The Singapore Bent-toed Gecko (Cyrtodactylus majulah) has previously been mistaken as Marbled Bent-toed Gecko (Cyrtodactylus quadrivirgatus)3. It has black spots on its back. In some, the black spots merged to form alternative black and pale bands on the back.

Central Catchment ©Ben Lee

The Four-clawed Gecko (Gehyra mutilata) is another urban gecko. It does not have the spiny tail of the above species and only four of the five toes on each hind foot have claws.

Left focusing on the face and right on the tail, at Sungei Buloh ©Tan KH

The Tokay Gecko (Gekko gecko) is a distinctive lizard - it has blue spots all over the orange body.

Singapore Zoo ©Tan KH

The Spotted House Gecko (Gekko monarchus) has distinctive spot patterns on the back.

Hindhede ©Tan KH

The Common House Gecko (Hemidactylus frenatus) is also called the Spiny-tailed House Gecko. It can be told apart by the spiny edges of the tail.

Sungei Buloh. Kranji Resort ©Tan KH

Central Catchment ©Tan KH

The Dwarf Gecko (Hemiphyllodactylus typus) is one of the smallest geckos here.

Pulau Ubin ©Ben Lee


  2. Systematics and natural history of Southeast Asian Rock Geckos (genus Cnemaspis Strauch, 1887) with descriptions of eight new species from Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia
  3. New record of peninsular bent-toed gecko in Singapore

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