Unusual lizards attract lovers of exotic exotic amazing abilities, color brightness, unpretentiousness to the conditions of detention. As a result gecko often becomes a pet, although its food is unattractive larvae and cockroaches.
Learning amazing reptiles is full of mysteries. Nature endowed the small lizards with incredible abilities, to the comprehension of which man only approaches in the 21st century.
Description and Features
The external features of the gecko are variable depending on the living environment. The reptile is covered with small scaly plates, among which there are larger ones in size. Lizard skin is tender and prone to damage. The scales are randomly arranged, sometimes forming rows, a tile-like structure similar to a fish one is found.
Pigmentation is diverse, saturated with bright colors - yellow, red, green, blue. Camouflage body pattern in the form of stripes and dots. Some species are able to mask themselves from predators by changing the shade of the skin so skillfully that it is impossible to notice the lizard in a stationary state.
So, the color of reptiles in the desert is brownish-orange, which allows geckos to merge with the environment, from afar seem invisible. For reptiles that live among the stones, a gray color with dark specks is characteristic. Green gecko disguised as succulent foliage, moss.
The steel color of the lizard imitates the shade of the tree bark. The catchy colors of reptiles merge with flowering plants. The black gecko hunts at night - it is almost impossible to make out, thanks to its camouflage color. The color changes as physical conditions change or depending on the time of day.
Accordingly, the color of the body changes the color of the eyes of the reptile. Full-color vision provides opportunities to see predators from a long distance, to hunt perfectly, distinguishing living objects day and night. The eyes of the gecko are large in relation to the size of the head.
Eyelids are missing. A fixed shell and a long tongue, with which the animal removes accumulations of dust, mote, helps to cleanse itself from pollution. The pupils are vertical. In bright light, they look like a narrow slit, at night - an open oval.
In a wide language, there is a small notch in front. The surface of the organ is covered with small papillae to retain prey. The teeth of animals are sharp. Compressed gecko jaws it is impossible to unclench, so as not to damage them.
The animals have well-developed vocal cords, the ability to make sounds that accompany their active life. The voices of lizards of different species are similar to the croaking of frogs, the chirping of birds. Animals squeak, rattling clicks. Especially loud sounds accompany the mating season of lizards.
When the gecko is annoyed, it swells noticeably, opens a large mouth, hisses, emits menacing cries. Rare attacks to the side of the enemy show his determination to attack.
The length of the reptile's body varies from 15 to 35 cm while maintaining all the elements of the skeleton, organs characteristic of geckos. With all the species diversity of reptiles, lizards have common anatomical features:
- large head;
- dense body of a flattened shape;
- short legs;
- the tail is medium length.
Everyone gecko in the photo, if you look closely, it rests on the legs with five fingers widely spaced from each other. The inner part of the foot is covered with horn-lamellae, thanks to which the lizard holds firmly to any surface.
On each rib there is a huge number of bristles, consisting of 400-1000 fibers. Exposure to the surface occurs at the molecular level. The gecko will not fall, even if hanging on one velcro foot. An important feature is the self-cleaning of the plates, still not studied by scientists. The nature of this phenomenon is mysterious.
Microscopic fibers, 10 times thinner than a human hair, on the basis of van der Waals forces adhere to a support, even absolutely smooth as a mirror. Natural nanotechnology in the structure of the legs of lizards allows them to move along the ceiling, glass, vertical walls.
The body of a small reptile becomes a biological spring, pressing the feet of the lizard to a flat surface. With its own weight of 50 g, the gecko will be able to hold on its paws a load of 2 kg without much effort.
The unique skills of the tropical inhabitants were acquired during the evolution of reptiles, which many predators hunt for. The complex structure of the legs is reflected in the name of the animals, which translates as "chain-fingered".
The tail of a gecko is an indicator of its well-being. Accumulations of fat give it thickness, elasticity. Stocks allow you to survive difficult times - cold and lack of food. A thin tail indicates the depletion of an animal that does not receive water for a long time, a sufficient amount of feed.
Dropping the tail is a necessary measure, the animal loses part of the body in danger, but the regeneration process starts - a new one grows. A peculiar gecko device is a subject of study for both amateurs and zoologists, since not all the riddles of small creatures are still revealed.
Vertebrate lizards form a large family of 80 genera, 600 species. They differ in shape, color, size, habitat. Many species have become popular for home maintenance.
Gecko currents. The tropical reptile is a real giant among similar creatures. The body length of an adult reaches 35-36 cm, weight 150-300 g. The name was received by the cry issued "toki", "to-kei." The bright color of males is more often olive in color with white spots, stripes.
Under natural conditions, currents of bluish color with orange or yellow spots are common. The native land of this species is tropical forests, foothills of India, South China, Cambodia.
The content of currents in the terrarium requires enough space, good nutrition. The life span of a pet depends on important factors. Proper care will provide 10-12 years of life currents.
A gecko in communication is not a very friendly pet. He always holds the defense upon contact - hisses, opens his mouth, shows readiness to bite. Very agile animal, aggressive towards strangers. He protests with a loud cry.
Skink gecko. Beautiful color, tile-like scales are attractive for lovers of exotic. But nocturnal activity prevents the spread of lizards as pets. In nature, they dig deep burrows, up to 1 m, in the sandy areas of Iran, Kazakhstan.
Medium size - body length about 10 cm, weight 20-24 g. Eyes that glow at night with a greenish or ruby color are noteworthy. Delicate plates covering the skin like paraffin, a yellow-gray color diluted with greenish blotches, dark streaks are possible, stains on the sides, on the back. When the gecko moves, the small tail is always straight into the string and raised. The lizards run fast, carrying the body high on long five-fingered legs.
Leopard gecko (eublefar). The famous and beloved lizard among many terrarium owners. Unpretentiousness in the maintenance, endurance, color variety, trainability of reptiles causes an increased interest in them.
The color can be spotless, there are variants of albinos, tangerine, with carrot tail and other varieties. Important feature: leopard geckos rarely bite. Communication with children requires control, as in stressful situations, lizards drop their tails and show aggression.
In vivo gecko eublefar found in the hot deserts of Iran, India, Afghanistan. Live food in the form of crickets, cockroaches, mice provides the needs of reptiles.
Chain-tailed gecko. A feature of the reptile is daytime wakefulness, a tiny size - the length of the body is up to 9 cm. Most of the tail. Nondescript color, gray-green shades with brown spots, helps mask in the environment.
They live in flocks, families. Very agile, elusive, beautiful small insect hunters. In captivity, they are well bred, show friendliness if they feel safe. In nature, climb trees. Found in the savannahs of Africa.
Gecko banana-eater (ciliary). The talking name reflects the main features of lizards - addiction to bananas and other fruits, the presence of characteristic spikes over the eyes. Medium-sized tree dweller - 20-22 cm in length.
The head is triangular in shape. Soft scales look like suede. The color scheme is diverse, there are gray, orange, red, yellow colors, depending on the habitat of reptiles.
Even a child can cope with home care for a banana-eater. The only condition is careful handling of the animal, which can lose its tail forever, unlike other species that regenerate part of the body.
Madagascar gecko. Despite the name, the habitat of lizards extends to the islands adjacent to Madagascar - Comoros, Seychelles, Hawaiian. The coastal area is comfortable for tropical reptiles living on coconut trees or banana trees. High humidity provides conditions for normal molting of animals.
The unique capabilities of the inhabitants are manifested in a change in the color of the outfit in the sun, shadow, twilight. The bright green color changes to dark olive, gray. Intense lighting gives a lemon tint.
Sometimes it seems that the lizard is surrounded by a bluish radiance - this shade appears on the legs and along the edge of the gecko's tail with serrated edges. Reptiles often appear in cities, inhabiting various buildings.
Leaf-tailed gecko (satanic). It is extremely difficult to notice a living creature in natural conditions - the lizards are so similar to fallen leaves in body shape, color. Small size, body length up to 14 cm, leaf-shaped tail with recesses, irregularities, a pattern in the form of streak-veins allows you to fantastically merge with the natural habitat. The color from gray-green to dark brown complements the image of the fallen sheet.
The outgrowths above the eyes of the lizard give it a slightly frightening appearance. They protect big eyes from the sun, creating a shadow. Lizards exhibit nocturnal activity due to their excellent eyesight, which in the dark of the day is 350 times greater than human acuity.
Turkish gecko. A small animal common in Israel. It features a translucent skin covered with delicate scales. The color is discreet - beige, light orange with a scattering of dark spots. Often settles in the homes of rural residents.
At home, unpretentious, sociable. If you look at the gecko from below through the glass, you can see through its transparent skin its entire structure.
Ribbon gecko. Inhabitant of American canyons, rocky deserts. The earthen lizard is painted with transverse stripes, or ribbons with alternating light yellow and dark brown colors. Geckos are small in size, 8-15 cm long. They are kept in groups consisting of a male and several females. They take shelter among stones, feed on small insects.
Lifestyle & Habitat
Cold-blooded reptiles prefer habitats where the average daily temperature does not drop below 25 ° C. It is important for a gecko to maintain activity at night, as most species hunt in the dark, lead a twilight lifestyle.
Large reptile populations inhabit continental tropical and subtropical climates, including ocean islands, around the world. You can meet unusual reptiles in arid places, hot deserts of Africa, the jungle of Australia, in the southwestern part of America.
In our country gecko lizard lives in forest areas and mountains of the Caucasus, Crimea peninsula. A characteristic feature of reptiles is their geographical attachment to the habitat - type of soil, vegetation, types of stones.
Many lizards prefer tall trees, rocky surfaces, slopes above ponds, rocky caves. Under natural conditions, geckos live in colonies, where each individual has its own territory, which the lizard protects. Geckos have successfully adapted to living at home, retain high activity and ability to reproduce with proper care and feeding.
Gecko is a voracious animal. Every day, the animal actively eats to save energy, to put off the fat layer in the tail for difficult times. The diet of reptiles is very diverse, depending on the habitat. Little predators are great hunters. The wide tongue is equipped with many suction cups to securely hold the victim.
The basis of nutrition of most species:
- various midges;
- tropical cicadas;
- caterpillars, grasshoppers, cockroaches, bugs
The largest lizards regale themselves with scorpions, sometimes frogs, small snakes, mice, chicks and bird eggs from nests. In the caves, lizards track down cockroaches gathering for bat droppings.
Natural ingenuity dictates the geckos to gather in anticipation of prey from luminous lamps near human habitation. Insects flying to the light easily become lizard prey. The nutrition of home geckos should be moderate. Medium-sized lizards are usually fed twice a week. Large individuals less often.
Most animals prefer live food - flies, worms, cockroaches. Feed insects from the pet store are mixed with ground calcium and mineral reptile additives. Some species enjoy bananas, oranges, quail eggs. In constant access, lizards should have water.
Reproduction and longevity
Females become sexually mature after the first year of life. Geckos are ready to breed year-round, although their activity decreases in the winter months. Most lizard species are oviparous, but green gecko (New Zealand) viviparous. The animal grows cubs that appear ready for independent life. Features of the habitat affect the nature of the offspring.
Clutches of eggs appear more often in hollows of trees; they stick to wood. The eggs look like a hemisphere. One female makes 5-8 clutches of 2-4 eggs with a frequency of 15-40 days. Ambient temperature affects the duration of incubation - from 3 to 7 months.
Females rarely return to the place of masonry to warm offspring. Sometimes different individuals lay eggs in one place, forget about them. Maternal connection with the appeared cubs is not observed. It is very rare to catch the moment when a female is found with her offspring.
Cases of eating tiny geckos are more common - the hunter's instinct is stronger than parental feelings. Breeding of lizards in the terrarium proceeds faster, without temperature differences, incubation ends after 134 days. It is important to feed the female with chalk, so that she does not eat the eggshell.
At the end of the incubation period, elements with glued masonry should be transferred to a separate container in order to protect the hatched young from their own hunting parents. Hatching crumbs in the length of only 8-10 cm, but ready to hunt small insects, small crickets. In nature, geckos live for about 15 years.Good home maintenance extends their life up to 20-25 years.
Home care and maintenance
The arrangement of the terrarium depends on the type of pet. Gecko content It is not troublesome, but requires consideration of the features of their habitat. Tree lizards require a vertical tank. To the inhabitants of deserts, steppes - a horizontal reservoir. It is necessary to take care of a tight lid for the terrarium, as reptiles walk perfectly along the walls and ceiling.
Tree species need branches, thick branches, pieces of bark, plants from which you can build a hollow. Plain lizards need shelter stones, a thick layer of gravel, sand, in which lizards can make holes.
All geckos need a container of water. For a comfortable living, it is important to equip the backlight, ventilation, the selection of suitable soil. A substrate that absorbs moisture well is suitable. The microclimate in the terrarium should approach the natural conditions of the animal in terms of temperature, humidity, lighting.
In pet stores you can buy the necessary shelters, accessories for geckos of various types - lamps for heating, lighting, ultraviolet irradiation, houses, crossbars and other equipment. Home geckos do not need to create conditions for wintering, and the equipment of wet chambers for proper molting is mandatory.
Conditions of detention, proper nutrition significantly affect the health, life expectancy of the pet. The volume of food depends on the size and type of gecko. Specialized feeds can be purchased ready-made, you do not have to get live cockroaches and crickets yourself.
Communication with the pet, until the adaptation period has passed, should be careful. You can not hold, pull the gecko by the tail. Stress for the animal ends with the loss of part of the body.
A new tail does not grow too attractive, and individual species no longer restore it. The bite of an annoyed gecko is not very pleasant - the jaw grip is strong, it is unlikely to open them. We'll have to wait for the animal to loosen its grip.
The cost of reptiles varies significantly depending on the popularity of the species, age, size of the animal. Owners should first find out which of the neighbors in the terrarium can keep a pet, if it is supposed to be a company of animals. Sometimes they buy a couple of lizards at once in the hope of posterity.
Gecko home on average it costs 5-7 thousand rubles. Purchasing a pet will not disappoint if you go to a specialty store rather than risk shopping online. The little life of an unusual little animal completely depends on the owner, so you need to approach the acquisition of a gecko responsibly.