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Tender-skinned House Gecko

Gehyra mutilata


Gehyra mutilata, also known as the common four-clawed gecko, stump-toed gecko, sugar gecko, or Pacific gecko, is a type of house gecko that is native to Southeast Asia. It has made its way to several areas of the world including Sri Lanka, Indochina, and many of the Pacific Islands. Compared to common house geckos, this gecko's appearance is somewhat plump, with delicate skin. The skin is usually colored a soft purplish/pinkish gray with golden spots on younger specimens; these spots eventually fade with age.


The species is widely distributed throughout Sri Lanka, Burma, Malaysia, Southeast China, The Philippines, Indonesia, New Guinea, French Polynesia, Pitcairn Islands, Mascarenes and Seychelles, Western Mexico, Maui, Hawaii. The geckos in the photos were found just around our house.


These geckos are very common around houses, buildings, walls, trees and basically anywhere that can attract insects here. Every time I visit to someone's house at night, there's always geckos to be seen on the ceilings. They are much appreciated for their role in eating insects, but sometimes they will also go for the cooked rice in your table. You also have to beware of the geckos in the ceiling, because they might drop on you and they also leave droppings after eating those insects. Like the Tokay gecko which we call "Tuko", we call these small geckos "tiki" or "butiki".

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Francis Floe
Francis Floe 5 months ago

John B. Thank you so much for the insightful comments, I'd definitely keep notes of these observations. Thanks again for the clarification of the 3rd specimen. Another thing I have observed is that Asian House Geckos (Hemidactylus sp.) have a red dot on the end of their toes that kinda looks like they got nail polish, they also have five toes but their "thumb" looks like a little nub sticking out. I was able to take a pic of those characteristics and will surely be posting a spotting.

You also have probably noticed my inactivity in this site, I got carried away playing games all summer but at the same time have accumulated a lot of spotting in need to be posted. I'd definitely try to be more active in here and start posting again. Thanks again for taking time answering my comments!

John B.
John B. 5 months ago

Hi Francis, sorry I'm a bit late, I didn't notice your last message until now. I am pretty sure your third Gecko is the same species as the others. I can see the "thumb" on its front left foot and there is no claw. So it looks like the Gehyra mutilata. I think the spots on its back might be a sign that it is a young specimen, I read in that the young one have spots which fade away as they grow older. John B.

John B.
John B. 5 months ago

Hi Francis, thank you for you comment and also for your spotting which is where I learned about Gehyra mutilata for the first time. I had a picture of one from back in 2014, but at that time, there was no internet service here so I could do much with my bugs and other creatures. Your spotting was the one which really brought this gecko to my attention so when I spotted one in our kitchen sink last week, I checked it against yours to make sure I was right. I was in touch with Ranger Mark Ridgeway about my own spotting and we had a discussion about the healing process when a Gecko loses its tail. So we spoke about my new spotting and the spotting I posted about the very old one from 2014 and I mentioned yours also to Mark. Anyway, when it comes to your ID, it is 100% correct. The best way to check is to look at the toes on your second picture (the front right foot and the left rear foot). The toe which is in the position where a human thumb would be has no claw. That is why it is sometimes called the Four-clawed Gecko. So thanks again, Frances. Nice to hear from you. Keep in touch. John B.

Francis Floe
Francis Floe 5 months ago

Each picture are different specimens but I took these photos around the same place. Not sure if the gecko from the last photo is the same species from the rest.

Francis Floe
Francis Floe 5 months ago

Hello John B, apologies for the long reply. Yes! you can definitely use my spotting as an example. But, until now, I'm still not exactly sure if my Id is correct. It might also be the Common House Gecko (Hemidactylus frenatus).
I have a hard time trying to distinguish both species, but I'll stick to this id for now.

John B.
John B. 5 months ago

Hi Francis, I posted a spotting earlier today showing a Tender-skinned House Gecko (Butiki) and I am just about to post another one this evening featuring a Butiki that my wife photographed for me back in 2014. The reason for contacting you is that I would like to mention your spotting as another example. Is that OK with you ? John B.

Francis Floe
Spotted by
Francis Floe

Iloilo City, Western Visayas, Philippines

Spotted on Aug 28, 2021
Submitted on Nov 27, 2021

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