Tokay Gecko: Description, Distribution, & Fun Facts

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Tokay Gecko: All You Need To Know

The Tokay gecko is the largest species of gecko which belongs to the kingdom of Animalia, phylum Chordata, and class Reptilia. Its genus is Gekko, and its species is the Gekko gecko. Its length is 35 to 40 cm for males and 20 to 30 cm for females and it weighs 150 to 400 g. It lives in the trees and cliffs, with a lifespan of up to 10 years.

Tokay Gecko

Tokay Gecko Description

The biggest gecko species is the tokay gecko (Gekko gecko). It may be found in Southeast Asia and East Asia. With a big head and protruding eyes, these geckos have a robust appearance. They have polka dot-like markings on them and are light blue to grey in hue. The red-spotted and black-spotted tokay geckos are the two kinds of tokay geckos.

Tokay Gecko

Tokay geckos with red spots are more common than those with black spots, with populations occurring in Bangladesh, Nepal, the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, and the Indo-Australian Archipelago. Northern Vietnam and mainland China are the most likely places to find black-spotted tokay geckos.

These geckos are arboreal, meaning they dwell in trees and on cliffs in the jungle. They have also been known to examine human homes and to reside in the nooks and crannies of human homes, feasting on insects.

Tokay geckos are hunters who hunt at night. They are ambush predators, which means they prefer to sit and wait for prey rather than actively foraging for it. Moths, locusts, grasshoppers, beetles, cockroaches, termites, crickets, mosquitos, and spiders are among the invertebrates eaten by these lizards. Small rats, mice, and snakes may also be eaten.

Tokay Gecko

Tokay geckos have a rather lengthy mating season, lasting around five months. At the start of the season, males would cry out in the hopes of finding a partner. Tokay geckos have a unique mating cry that sounds similar to “To-Kay” or “Gekk-Gekk.”

Both the popular and scientific names of this species are derived from these sounds. Males will mate with many females during the breeding season. Every month, the females can lay fresh eggs. The female will look for a safe spot to lay her eggs after mating.

She will deposit one or two eggs and attach them to a firm foundation after she has selected a suitable location. The eggs are cared for by both the male and female until they hatch. It takes two to six months for the baby geckos to hatch. They feed on the outer layer of their own skin after hatching.

Young geckos are typically cared after by their parents until they reach the age of 10 months, at which point they are left alone. Cannibalism is common among juvenile geckos, and they may occasionally consume young geckos of the same species! Tokay geckos are mostly threatened by humans. Every year, a huge number of these lizards are captured.

Some are marketed as pets in Europe, the United States, and Japan, while others are shipped to Asia for use in traditional remedies. A substantial portion of the captured lizards is sent to China, where they are utilised as components in traditional Chinese medicine to treat asthma, diabetes, dermatitis, and other ailments.

Fun Facts About Tokay Gecko!

Tokay geckos have some incredible biological adaptations that aid in their survival in the wild. When discovered in human homes, these lizards are noted for their ability to climb any surface and are frequently seen hanging to the ceiling.

They are not only excellent climbers, but they also have an excellent defensive mechanism in the form of the ability to detach their tail, which allows them to flee from predators! Let’s look at the underlying ideas that underpin these features in more detail.

Tokay Gecko Have Detachable Tail

The tokay gecko has a remarkable predator protection mechanism: it can lose its tail! The shedding portion of the tail can continue to move vigorously for many minutes, giving the gecko enough opportunity to flee. The tail of a gecko can break off in various places.

The tissue in these areas is weakly connected and readily breaks away. The lizard assists this process by tightening its tail muscles. The gecko won’t be without a tail for long after it’s gone! The tail of a gecko regenerates in about three weeks, albeit it is usually shorter than the original.

Other animals can regrow their tails, and some can even restore their limbs and organs! The axolotl, for example, may regenerate complete limbs and portions of its major organs, while starfish can renew their arms and sea cucumbers can regenerate entire organs!

Tokay Gecko Have Sticky Pads

Geckos are known for climbing walls and hanging upside down from ceilings. Because of the adhesive pads on their feet, they are able to do so. Hundreds of thousands of microscopic hairs make up the pads. Setae are the collective name for these tiny hairs.

Each seta divides into hundreds of tiny hairs known as spatulae. Van der Waals force kicks in when the gecko’s tufts of microscopic hairs come near enough to the curves in the walls and ceilings. The Van der Waals force is a distance-dependent interaction between atoms and molecules.

This force, unlike chemical bonds, is relatively weak and becomes broken as the distance between the molecules involved grows. Electrons in a gecko’s hair molecules interact with electrons in the wall molecules, resulting in an electromagnetic attraction.

Eye Scales

Tokay geckos, like other geckos, have no eyelids. A tokay gecko’s eyes are instead covered in translucent scales. These scales serve as protective lenses, preventing their eyes from drying out. The lizards polish their scales and remove dirt with their lengthy tongues, keeping their eyes clean.

Tokay geckos lose their scales in the same way as they shed their skin. Geckos aren’t the only creatures with scales on their eyes. Snakes have scales instead of eyelids, which are known as spectacles.

A gecko’s eye can only see black and white, which is an interesting thing to know. Geckos don’t need to be able to see in colour because they are nocturnal!

Tokay Gecko Citations
  • Eardrum displacement and strain in the Tokay gecko (Gekko gecko) under quasi-static pressure loads. Hear Res . 2020 Mar 1;387:107877.
  • Review: mapping proteins localized in adhesive setae of the tokay gecko and their possible influence on the mechanism of adhesion. Protoplasma . 2018 Nov;255(6):1785-1797.
  • The development of cephalic armor in the tokay gecko (Squamata: Gekkonidae: Gekko gecko). J Morphol . 2020 Feb;281(2):213-228.
  • Optical coherence tomography of the Tokay gecko (Gekko gecko) eye. Vet Ophthalmol . 2020 Sep;23(5):863-871.
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