Saturday, October 9, 2010

Gecko crossing

I found this gecko in the middle of a small road through the rainforest while returning from a recent bug trip north west of Kuranda. It's a Chameleon gecko (Carphodactylus laevis), a very large and unusual species, and sole member of its genus. It is nocturnal like most geckos, and forages through the leaf litter for prey. It has a remarkable defensive strategy. Initially the tail is waved if the gecko is threatened by a predator, but under severe duress the gecko will drop its tail. The tail not only continues to wriggle and writhe to distract the predator, it actually makes a noise. An area on the broken section of the tail opens and closes with each movement, and the sound resembles the distress call of a young rodent. Meanwhile the gecko makes its getaway, and can regenerate a new tail within six months.

The Chameleon gecko (Carphodactylus laevis), after I released it away from the road.

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