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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless otherwise credited.
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Garnot's House Gecko

Fig 1

Fig 2

Fig 3


Species : Hemidactylus garnotii
Size (snout to vent) : males 6.6 cm, females 6.6 cm
Size (total length) : up to 13 cm

Garnot's House Gecko, or Indo-Pacific Gecko, is a small and highly successful gecko which occurs in a wide range of habitats. It has adapted to highly disturbed habitats and may be found living close to dwellings in rural areas.

This species has a broad geographic range : its expansion to isolated areas, including many remote islands in the Pacific Ocean, may in part be due the fact that this is an all-female, parthenogenetic species (i.e. a single individual may find its way to an isolated island and does not require a mate by which to start a new population).

Its body is short and somewhat plump, and the tail is narrow and flattened, with numerous, tiny spines along each side. The snout is pointed and the eyes are of moderate size.

It is pale to medium brown or grey in colour, typically with a series of poorly defined, dark, narrow stripes extending from the neck to the base of the tail. Pale blotches may be interspersed along these stripes. The tail bears vague banding, and on each side has a fringe of slightly elongated scales.

In Southeast Asia it occurs in Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines and parts of Indonesia (Sumatra, Borneo, Java and isolated islands to the east). Its occurrence in Peninsular Malaysia appears to be 'rare, if present at all' (Grismer, 2011). In Singapore it is considered as 'indeterminate' (Baker & Lim, 2008).

To the west, on the Indian subcontinent, it occurs in parts of northeast India, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh.  To the north it occurs in parts of southern China, and to the east it occurs in parts of Papua New Guinea and other islands of the Pacific as far east as Hawaii.

Figs 1 to 3 : Three specimens from Cat Ba Island, Vietnam. All 3 bear a series of dark stripes running from the head to the base of the tail, which bear equally spaced pale blotches. They were active at night on rocky outcrops in an area of coastal scrub : by day they retreated deep into fissures.

References : H10, H11