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Moorish Gecko

Tarentola mauritanica


The adults can measure 15 cm, has a rugged body and flattened head. The back and legs have conical prominences, contrary to the regenerated tail. The pupils are vertical, the fingers adhere. The color varies depending on the presence or absence of light (darker during daytime activity). All these features help in almost perfect camouflage. The Geckos are mainly nocturnal, although they are also active in the last sunny days of winter. The diet is based on insects such as flies, mosquitoes and moths, which is an aid to life in symbiosis with human beings, since they use the houses as shelter in exchange for the hunting of these insects. Given that the geckos lay only 1-2 eggs (almost spherical) twice a year (April to June), the choice of the male to mate is demanding. So the male is very territorial, defending areas where food is abundant. The incubation time depends of temperature and can vary between 4 days and 9 months.


This species is native from the western Mediterranean region of Europe and North Africa, and has also been introduced in North America and Asia.

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Moorish Gecko
Tarentola mauritanica Tarentola mauritanica

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Tomar, Portugal

Spotted on Sep 26, 2010
Submitted on Aug 30, 2011

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