Galapagos Gecko

There are nine species of Gecko on the Galapagos Islands. There are 6 endemic species of the Galapagos Gecko (Phyllodactylus galapagoensis) and 3 species that have been introduced to the islands: Phyllodactylus reissi, Phyllodactylus tuberculosus and Lepidodactylus lugubris.

Studies indicate that the introduced geckos do not represent a serious threat to the endemic species, except for Phyllodactylus reissi, which might be displacing the endemic Phyllodactylus galapagoensis. P. reissi has a larger body size and lays more eggs.

Both the endemic P. galapagoensis and the introduced P. reissi feed on moths and insects.

Geckos are harmless reptiles and are also quiet and steadfast. Geckos are lizards belonging to the ‘Gekkonidae’ family and are found in warm climates.

Geckos are unique among lizards in their vocalizations, making chirping sounds in social interactions with other geckos.


Geckos are unusual in other respects as well. Most geckos have no eyelids and instead have a transparent membrane which they lick to clean. Many species will, in defence, expel a foul-smelling material and faeces onto their aggressors. Many species have specialized toe pads that enable them to climb smooth vertical surfaces and even cross indoor ceilings with ease.

These antics are well-known to people who live in warm regions of the world where several species of geckos make their home inside human habitations.

Geckos come in various colours and patterns. Some are subtly patterned, and somewhat rubbery looking, while others can be brightly coloured. Some species can change colour to blend in with their surroundings or with temperature differences.

Some species are ‘parthenogenic’, the females capable of reproducing without mating with a male. This improves the geckos ability to spread to new islands.

Geckos toes seem to be ‘double jointed’. Their toes actually bend in the opposite direction from our fingers and toes.

Besides the nine species of Gecko on the Galapagos Islands, there are 1,196 different species of geckos worldwide.