Guardian Nature School Team Contact Blog Project Noah Facebook Project Noah Twitter

A worldwide community photographing and learning about wildlife

Join Project Noah!
nature school apple icon

Project Noah Nature School visit nature school

Common House Gecko

Hemidactylus frenatus


The Common House Gecko, scientific name Hemidactylus frenatus, is a native of southeastern Asia. It is also known as the Pacific house gecko, the Asian house gecko, or simply, the house lizard. They can be seen climbing walls of houses and other buildings in search of insects attracted to porch lights, hence their name. Spread around the world by ships, these geckos are now common in the southern half of the United States, large parts of tropical and sub-tropical Australia, and many other countries in South and Central America, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. They grow to a length of between three to six inches (about 7.5–15 cm), and live for about five years.In this species, the snout is longer than the distance between the eye and the ear-opening, and is 1.3 to 1.5 times the diameter of the orbit. The forehead is concave and the ear-opening is small and roundish. The body and limbs are moderately sized. The digits are moderately dilated and free; the inner one has a sessile claw. There are 4 or 5 lamelli under the inner digits, 7 or 8 (seldom 9) under the fourth finger, and 9 or 10 under the fourth toe. The upper surfaces of the body are covered with small granules. The largest granules are on the snout; on the back these granules are intermixed with more or less numerous irregularly scattered round convex tubercles which are always much smaller than the ear-opening, and which are sometimes almost entirely absent. Comparison of a juvenile house gecko to a U.S. penny The nostril is pierced between the rostral, the first labial, and three nasals. There are 10 to 12 upper and 8 to 10 lower labials. The mental is large, triangular or pentagonal. There are two or three pairs of chin-shields, the median is in contact behind the point of the mental. The abdominal scales are moderate in size, cycloid and imbricate. The male has a series of 30 or 36 femoral pores, which are not interrupted on the preanal region. The tail is rounded, feebly depressed, and covered above with very small smooth scales and six longitudinal series of keeled tubercles. The underside has a median series of transversely dilated plates. The tail serves in many species as an energy or fat like storage which the animal uses under abnormal feeding conditions. They are also used in territorial posturing, male house geckos lift their tails and vibrate it briefly to ward off other males. Though fragile, the tail regenerates to its original shape if detached. The coloration of the animal is grayish or pinkish brown above. This tint can be uniform in color, or more or less distinctly marbled with darker markings. The head is generally variegated with brown. On the side of the head, a more or less defined brown streak, light-edged above, passes through the eye and in some individuals extends along the side of the body. The lower surfaces of the animal are whitish

Species ID Suggestions

Sign in to suggest organism ID

No Comments

Spotted by

Florida, USA

Spotted on Jun 19, 2012
Submitted on Jun 19, 2012

Spotted for Mission

Related Spottings

House Gecko House lizard/gecko Gecko House Gecko

Nearby Spottings

Spotted Oleander Caterpillar Moth Anole Bromeliads Anole
Noah Guardians
Noah Sponsors
join Project Noah Team

Join the Project Noah Team