Fun Tokay Gecko Facts For Kids

Oluwatosin Michael
Aug 31, 2023 By Oluwatosin Michael
Originally Published on Oct 04, 2021
Read about tokay gecko facts to learn about this reptile species with a vertical split in their pupil.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.9 Min

The tokay gecko is a large lizard species that belongs to the gecko family. Carl Linnaeus, a Swedish zoologist and botanist, described them for the first time in 1758. They are mostly known for their camouflage abilities. These species' eyes are large with a vertical split in the pupil. They are native to southeast Asia.

This long-tailed nocturnal creature can be found in Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Bangladesh, and Nepal. Tokay geckos are known to live alone. They are born in pairs because the female lays two eggs in each clutch.

Hatchlings are about 2-3 in (5-7.5 cm) long and mature almost instantly after a year. The tokay gecko, Gekko gecko, has been observed eating its own eggs on occasion. This could also be the result of eggs from multiple matings.

They may even consume small animal species such as rats, snakes, and mice. Their food habits indicate that they are carnivores, but they are mostly insectivores. This lizard species from southeast Asia, Indonesia, is not threatened and is classified as Least Concern by the IUCN.

If you enjoy reading this article about reptile pets, then do read some interesting and surprising fun facts about other reptiles such as the tuatara and the leatherback sea turtle.

Tokay Gecko Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a tokay gecko?

The tokay gecko is a large breeding lizard among the species of geckos. They are mostly recognized for their camouflaging behavior. Eyes of this species are big with a vertical split in the pupil.

Males are usually larger than females and are known to attract them using their sounds. Breeding takes place for four to six months. They are sold as pets because of their eating habits, such as feeding on cockroaches and locusts.

What class of animal does a tokay gecko belong to?

These tokay geckos belong to the class Reptilia and the order Squamata. They are from the family Gekkonidae and the genus Gekko. The type species of the genus is the Gekko gecko. The genus name refers to sounds these animals make while mating or during the night when they sense danger.

How many tokay geckos are there in the world?

The exact number of these tokays is unknown.

Where does a tokay gecko live?

The tokay gecko, Gekko gecko, is a native species of southeast Asia. This nocturnal animal with a long tail is found in Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Bangladesh, and Nepal. These geckos are also transported for commercial trade and are found in other parts of the world as well.

What is a tokay gecko's habitat?

The tokay gecko habitat distribution is mostly in tropical rainforests, manmade environments, and rock crevices. These tokays are arboreal. Tokays with black spots are mostly found in rocky environments, and tokays with red spots are found in lowlands and sub-montane rainforests.

Who do tokay geckos live with?

Tokay geckos are known to live in solitude even though they are born in pairs as the female lays two eggs in each clutch.

How long does a tokay gecko live?

The tokay gecko's lifespan is 10 years when kept in captivity. The lifespan of the tokay gecko in its natural, wild environment is unknown.

How do they reproduce?

The tokay gecko is known to be a nocturnal species, and its breeding season is for about four to six months. The tokay gecko mating call is heard often in the habitat where it lives.

The male tokay gecko sound is made to attract the female. The male is also known to attract the female by releasing a secretion from its femoral pores in order to make mating easier. Males of the species are known to hold females' necks to mate with them.

Mating occurs over several occurrences, and females lay eggs from each mating. Hard-shelled eggs laid on solid surfaces are taken care of by both parents. New hatchlings of the lizard species are evidently seen eating their own skin from the outer surface.

They are aggressive and may also bite, similar to their parents. Hatchlings are about 2-3 in (5-7.5 cm) long and grow into adults almost immediately after a year. The tokay gecko, Gekko gecko, is known to eat its own eggs at times.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of this lizard species from southeast Asia, Indonesia, is not threatened and is classified as Least Concern by the IUCN. This could also be due to multiple matings and eggs laid from each mating.

Tokay Gecko Fun Facts

What do tokay geckos look like?

Tokay geckos are large lizards from southeast Asia. These lizards have a cylindrical shape with a flat upper body. They have four limbs, with two on the upper body and two on the lower body.

They have long tails. The head of this lizard species is large. This lizard has eyes that split vertically from the pupil. Eyelids are transparent.

The soft skin is granule-like in texture and ranges in color from brown to red and gray to black. Spots may vary from dark to bright to black in color. These lizards are well camouflaged in their surroundings in order to be less noticeable by their predators.

These tokay geckos are sexually dimorphic as the male is brighter in color than the female. The male is larger in body size and has preanal and femoral pores.

The tail of the male is swelled a little due to hemipenes. Toes of these lizards have fine setae which help them hang downward and sideward. It also allows them to move fast in the wild environment.

Tokay geckos have strong jaws and sharp teeth, and they have a strong grip on animals they prey on. Tokay gecko eggs have a hard shell and are oval in shape.

The tokay gecko's teeth are transparent and it has strong jaws.

How cute are they?

The tokay gecko is a wild animal of the lizard species with granular spots on its skin. These geckos do not look cute at all.

They are extremely aggressive, and tokay gecko bites are common when they are held. The tokay gecko's teeth are so sharp and strong that they do not easily break or release anything from their tight mouth grip.

How do they communicate?

Tokay geckos are known to communicate using vocal and tactile cues. This species is frequently heard making noises that sound like 'gek-gek' or 'tac-tac' in order to attract females and warn other geckos of predators.

How big is a tokay gecko?

Tokay geckos are 8-16 in (20-40 cm) long. The tokay gecko size makes it one of the largest species of geckos. The size of male geckos is 13.8-16 in (35-40 cm) and the size of female geckos is 8-12 in (20-30 cm).

How fast can a tokay gecko move?

The exact speed of tokay geckos is unknown. These reptile animals are very quick with their movements and are often seen moving fast vertically and sideways with the help of their toes.

How much does a tokay gecko weigh?

Tokay geckos weigh around 5-14 oz (142-397 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

Male and female tokay geckos do not have any specific names and are known by their common type species names such as Gekko gecko or tokay gecko.

What would you call a baby tokay gecko?

Tokay gecko babies are known as hatchlings.

What do they eat?

The tokay gecko's diet consists of small insects such as crickets, mealworms, termites, spiders, mosquitoes, locusts, grasshoppers, and cockroaches. They even might eat small animal species such as rats, snakes, or mice.

They are considered carnivores due to their eating habits but are mostly insectivores. These reptile animals are nocturnal and they hunt for prey in a very well camouflaged way so that prey can not spot them. Mostly, they make use of their tail and mouth to fight off animals that are their predators.

Large venomous snakes are one of their main predators. Some of the time, these lizards even eat their own eggs.

Are they poisonous?

No, the tokay gecko is not venomous, but its strong bite can be dangerous and might contain infectious diseases. It is believed that their bite might make one suffer from tuberculosis. Hence, you can imagine the amount of damage these animals can cause to humans because of their aggressive behavior.

Would they make a good pet?

Though they are common and popular in the pet trade, the tokay gecko as a pet is not an ideal or suitable choice. The tokay gecko's care requires proper food when it is kept as a captive.

It might even bite you, and its bite could cause great harm to your body. If you want to tame a tokay gecko then you really need to be careful.

Did you know...

Tokay geckos need to be fed every 24 hours with small meals of insects. If fed every two to three days, they can be fed with a larger meal of small mice. They should be provided with adequate water because these reptiles are accustomed to drinking water from the moisture of their surroundings.

There are almost 1,500 species of geckos. Most of them have a long tail and have a common diet. A few gecko species are leopard geckos, crested geckos, common house geckos, African fat-tailed geckos, and Moorish geckos.

Why did my tokay gecko turn almost white?

Tokay geckos are well known to camouflage according to their surroundings and mood. They appear white only before and after the time period of shedding their skin. They become paler and often white in their skin color when they are about to shed their skin.

Why are tokay geckos Endangered?

Tokay geckos are on the IUCN's list of Least Concern species, but these reptiles are becoming Endangered due to illegal trade and captivity. In the Philippines, this species is being hunted and discriminated against illegally. 

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other reptiles from our thorny devil fun facts, or Gila monster interesting facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable reptile coloring page.

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Written by Oluwatosin Michael

Bachelor of Science specializing in Microbiology

Oluwatosin Michael picture

Oluwatosin MichaelBachelor of Science specializing in Microbiology

With a Bachelor's in Microbiology from the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Oluwatosin has honed his skills as an SEO content writer, editor, and growth manager. He has written articles, conducted extensive research, and optimized content for search engines. His expertise extends to leading link-building efforts and revising onboarding strategies. 

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