Friday, June 24, 2011

More camouflage magic

This time the master of disguise is reptilian. This is a Leaf-tailed Gecko (Saltuarius cornutus) pictured in our backyard. They are the largest geckos in our region, growing to around 220mm in total length.

Like the Lichen Huntsmen in the previous post, these geckos have lichen-like patterns and colours all over their bodies and a rough outline to break up their shape, but they also have the ability to alter their shade of colour.

Also like the spiders, they sit head-down on rainforest trees both day and night, relying on their camouflage to conceal them. They feed at night upon tree dwelling invertebrates, a diet which most likely includes huntsman spiders. Occasionally they will leave the trees to find a mate or a new feeding territory, and I have occasionally encountered them crossing roads.

The remarkable eye of Saltuaris cornutus, complete with its own camouflage.

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