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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless credited to others.
Copyright ゥ Ecology Asia 2024







Lekagul's Bent-toed Gecko

Fig 1

Fig 2

Fig 3

Fig 4


Species : Cyrtodactylus lekaguli
Size (snout to vent) : up to 10.3 cm
Size (total length) : ~ 24 cm

Lekagul's Bent-toed Gecko, or 'Tuk-tai Boonsong', inhabits rocky outcrops in karst limestone habitat in southern Thailand, but has also been found on tree trunks in the vicinity of streams (presumably in non-karst habitat). The specimen in figures 1 and 2 was found a metre above the high tide level on coastal, limestone cliffs at Krabi.

The ground colour of this species is typically pale brown on top, and pale beneath. There are four or five thick, dark brown bands across the back of the body, which are edged with pale scales. Another broad, dark band lies across the back of the neck and extends forwards to the rear of each eye. The original tail is banded, and regrown tails are purplish.

Juveniles are yellowish, with blackish brown bands, and the end of the tail is white.

Lekagul's Bent-toed Gecko was formerly considered part of the 'Banded Slender-toed Gecko' (Cyrtodactylus pulchellus) species complex, however as of 2016 this group is now considered to comprise 15 separate species which occur in different parts of southern Thailand and Peninsular Malaysia (the most recent publication listing all 15 is by Grismer et al, 2016).

The species appears to be restricted to southern Thailand, from Surat Thani and Phang Nga provinces southwards to Satun Province (Grismer et al, 2012).

Figs 1 and 2 : Adult with regrown tail, active on coastal cliffs near the high tide level at Krabi, southern Thailand.

Fig 3 : Juvenile with original banded tail, and white tip.

Fig 4 : Coastal, karst limestone habitat at Krabi, Thailand.

References :

Grismer, L. L., Wood Jr, P. L., Quah, E. S. H., Shahrul, A., Muin, M. A., Sumontha, M., Ahmad, N., Bauer, A. M., Wangkulangkul, S., Grismer, J. L. & Pauwels, O. S. (2012). A phylogeny and taxonomy of the Thai-Malay Peninsula Bent-toed Geckos of the Cyrtodactylus pulchellus complex (Squamata: Gekkonidae): combined morphological and molecular analyses with descriptions of seven new species. Zootaxa, 3520, 1-55.

Grismer, L. L., Wood Jr, Anuar, S., Grismer, M. S., Quah, E. S. H.,  Murdoch M. L., Muin, M. A., Davis, H. R., Aguilar, C., Klabacka, R., Cobos, A., Aowphol, A. & Sites, J. W. Jr. (2016). Two new Bent-toed Geckos of the Cyrtodactylus pulchellus complex from Peninsular Malaysia and multiple instances of convergent adaptation to limestone forest ecosystems. Zootaxa, 4105(5), 401-429.