The diminutive Cape Gecko

Cape Gecko

Here is a gecko that prefers to live in your garden rather than your house. The Cape Gecko is a small reptile with a body length, excluding the tail, of around 5 cm. Their total length is about 12 cm. They vary quite a lot in colouration. Some are heavily spotted; others have bars and others still are similar to the above picture. Whichever colouration they have they blend in well with their surroundings and are not always easy to spot.

Where are they found?

The Cape Gecko is found over much of the inland regions of South Africa. They spend their day sunning themselves or searching for food on tree trunks, branches or on walls. Much of their diet consists of smaller insects with ants being a favourite. The Cape Gecko only lays two eggs at a time. They are diurnal creatures and are not active at night.

How have humans helped the Cape Gecko?

An interesting fact about these little creatures is that us humans have helped them expand their natural range in South Africa. When driving across the country you may well find that your car has an extra passenger or two. They have also been known to be present on plants that are transported from one area to another. Apparently, the Cape Gecko is the most common reptile in the Johannesburg and Pretoria regions! It has even managed to establish itself in areas that would normally be too cold for them. They take cover in cracks, under bark or rocks or any other spot that offers protection from the cold and predators.

The scientific name for the Cape Gecko is Lygodactylus capensis. There are a number of similar dwarf geckoes found in South Africa, but this is the one most likely to be in your garden.

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