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Mossy leaf-tailed gecko

Uroplatus sikorae

Description:

Mossy leaf-tailed geckos are nocturnal and arboreal. Their eyes are large, lidless, and have yellow sclera with elliptical pupils, suited for the gecko's nocturnal habits. The mossy leaf-tailed gecko ranges in size from 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 cm) when measured from nose to base of the tail. They spend most of the daylight hours hanging vertically on tree trunks, head down, resting. As with all Uroplatus geckos, the tail is flattened and leaf-like. U. sikorae has coloration developed as camouflage, most being grayish brown to black or greenish brown with various markings meant to resemble tree bark; down to the lichens and moss found on the bark. U. sikorae has flaps of skin, running the length of its body, head and limbs, known as the dermal flap, which it can lay against the tree during the day, scattering shadows, and making its outline practically invisible. Additionally, the gecko can change its skin color to match its background similar to the chameleons of Madagascar. Listed as vulnerable on the IUCN redlist with habitat destruction and deforestation in Madagascar as the primary threat to its future as well as collection for the pet trade. The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) lists all of the Uroplatus species on their "Top ten most wanted species list" of animals threatened by illegal wildlife trade, because of it "being captured and sold at alarming rates for the international pet trade". It is a CITES Appendix 2 protected animal.

Habitat:

Primary and secondary forests of Madagascar

Notes:

Not sure how, but I actually spotted this gecko in its daytime resting position flat against the tree!

No species ID suggestions

9 Comments

Jolly Ibanez
Jolly Ibanez 10 months ago

Awesome series Victoria. Impressive camouflage

KarenL
KarenL a year ago

Congratulations Victoria, this awesome spotting is featured in the Project Noah today, which is on "Masters of Disguise"! http://blog.projectnoah.org/post/2990181...

Sachin Zaveri
Sachin Zaveri 2 years ago

Amazing !!

Meik
Meik 2 years ago

Just awesome!

nok2007
nok2007 2 years ago

เปลือกไม้มีชีวิต ^_^

Ashish Nimkar
Ashish Nimkar 2 years ago

Third shot is make me shivering.....

Scott Frazier
Scott Frazier 2 years ago

Wow, what a sight!

alicelongmartin
alicelongmartin 2 years ago

You must have excellent eyes!

Stian Waaler
Stian Waaler 2 years ago

Amazing series....

Madagascar

Lat: -21.26, Long: 47.45

Spotted on Oct 8, 2011
Submitted on Nov 23, 2011

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gecko uroplatus Giant Leaf-tail Gecko Mossy leaf tailed gecko. Leaf-tailed gecko

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