If you ever walked in the Madagascan rainforest, you are most likely deceived by an incredible master of disguise, the Leaf-tailed Gecko. With every glance, you will have to convince yourself that it is not a leaf shriveling on a tree, but in fact a lizard camouflaging itself and mimicking a dead leaf.
Their lighter hued brown body comes to their advantage in blending them perfectly with their environment. These flat tailed lizards can grow up to a length of 9cm making them the largest gecko species in the world. They get their name because of their leaf-like tails.
The giant leaf tailed gecko is the symbol for change for many Pacific cultures and that is exactly what these lizards are adept in, as they can change their coloration into amazing green, yellow, pink and orange hues to blend into any surrounding.
The leaf tailed gecko of Madagascar has leaf-like appearance that has made them a desired creature amongst pet lovers. They can only survive in a specific environment that is found on the island of Madagascar and therefore do not exist elsewhere in the world.
Their existence and survival is intrinsically linked to their habitation. They are slothful lizards, and only move when disturbed. When situation calls for it, they can display a most spectacular devilish pose to scare away predators by gaping their mouth and erect their tail. A larger gecko has a beard around their whole body.
Gecko leaf lizard lack eyelids and cleans their eyes by regularly wiping them with their tongues.
Their large eyes enable them to hunt for insects like crickets and moths at night. When the conditions for breeding are right, they can lay eggs at 30 days intervals and the eggs take approximately 90 to 120 days to hatch.
The scales under their toes and fingers act like adhesives, enabling them to move vertically or upside down through the trees. With their large mouth, they are also capable of gulping down an oversized prey. Still different species of gecko’s are being discovered today, but sadly, their existence is threatened by habitat loss caused by deforestation and illegal harvesting.