Tokay Gecko (Gekko Gecko)


Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family:    Gekonidae
Size:    Length: 10 to 12 inches (25 to 30 cm)
Weight: 5 to 10 ounces (150 to 300 g)
Diet: Insects
Distribution: Southeast Asia and Malayan Isles
Young:  2 to3 eggs, several times per year
Animal Predators:  Snakes
IUCN Status: No special status
Terms: None
Lifespan: Up to 10 years in the wild; up to 27 years in captivity



·       Tokays get their name from their loud, early morning call of “TO-kay!”

·       Tokay geckoes are the second largest geckoes in the world today.

·       It is possible to see clear through the head of a tokay gecko through the holes in their ears. 

·       The tokay was the first gecko to be scientifically named by Linnaeus in 1758.



Tokay geckoes have thin, soft skin, covered with small scales. The skin is grey or brown in colour, with orange-brown spots or flecks. They are able to lighten or darken their colouring to match their surroundings in order to evade predators. Their toes have the ability to cling to surfaces with a suction-like grip, enabling them to scale walls, tree trunks and the undersides of branches. They have large eyes with wide, round pupils that close to vertical slits in daylight. Their ears consist of a small hole on each side of the head. Tokay geckoes have a long tail that they can shed when caught. The part of the tail that is left behind shakes violently for a few minutes, allowing the gecko to escape while the predator is distracted. The tail grows back in approximately three weeks, but the new one will be shorter than the original one. Males are more brightly coloured than females and are usually slightly larger.  



Tokay geckoes are found in southeast Asia and the Malayan Isles. They live in tropical rain forests, and are tree or cliff dwellers. 


Feeding Habits

Tokays eat a wide range of insects. They do not actually drink, but obtain sufficient moisture from licking condensation from leaves. 



Breeding seasons lasts four to five months and during this time, females lays two to three eggs each month. The eggs have a soft, sticky shell and the female places them on a wall, rock or piece of bark. The eggs harden soon afterwards. When they hatch approximately 200 days later, the young geckoes are two to three inches (5 to 7.5 cm) in length. 



Tokay geckoes are solitary animals and only come together during mating season. They are extremely territorial and aggressive and will vigorously defend their territory against intruders. They have sharp teeth and are capable of inflicting severe and powerful bites. Tokays have a variety of sounds including hisses, squeaks, whistles, growls and barks. They are nocturnal and come out mainly at night.  



Although there are more than 20 species of geckos listed by the IUCN, the tokay gecko is not among them. They are abundant in most parts of their range, but because of their use in Chinese medicine, they have declined in south China, Vietnam and Thailand. 



Gecko Wildlife Fact File, IM Pub, US