Fun Satanic Leaf-tailed Gecko Facts For Kids

Akinwalere Olaleye
Feb 29, 2024 By Akinwalere Olaleye
Originally Published on Aug 06, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Kidadl Team
Satanic leaf-tailed gecko facts like they are amongst the smallest geckos are interesting
Age: 3-18
Read time: 8.0 Min

The satanic leaf-tailed gecko or the Uroplatus phantasticus is a gecko species indigenous to Madagascar. Also known as the Phantastic leaf-tailed gecko or Eyelash leaf-tailed gecko, this reptile species was first described by George Albert Boulenger in 1888. U. Phantasticus is the smallest of the Uroplatus geckos. However, some debate that U. ebenaui might be smaller as it has a shorter tail.

The name was given by biologist George Boulenger in 1888 due to the bizarre appearance of the species, which made Boulenger describe them as mythical.

Uroplatus, the generic name of the satanic leaf-tailed gecko, is a Latinization of Greek words - 'ourá,' which means tail, and 'platys' which means flat. Phantasticus, the specific name of 'ourá,' is a Latin word that means 'imaginary,' which was given to the gecko because of its unique appearance. This is also the reason why George Albery Boulenger, a Belgian naturalist, described the satanic leaf-tailed gecko as mythical.

The satanic leaf-tailed gecko is an endemic species of Madagascar which means that they are not found anywhere else. They are an arboreal species relying on their natural camouflaging abilities to survive in the central and northern tropical forests of Madagascar.

You may also check the fact files on sagebrush lizards and the Galapagos land iguana from Kidadl.

Satanic Leaf-Tailed Gecko Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a satanic leaf-tailed gecko?

The satanic leaf-tailed gecko with wings is a reptile from the Gekkonidae family. It is one of the many endemic leaf-tailed gecko species from Madagascar. They inhabit dense tropical forests and are currently threatened by the habitat loss caused by deforestation. The trading of leaf-tailed geckos is illegal, but they are still collected and sold as exotic pets.

What class of animal does a satanic leaf-tailed gecko belong to?

The satanic leaf-tailed gecko or Uroplatus phantasticus belongs to the class Reptilia. A reptile is an air-breathing vertebrate with epidermal scales, amniotic development, and internal fertilization covering some or all parts of its body. Apart from geckos, some other living reptiles are turtles, crocodiles, tuatara, snakes, and lizards.

How many satanic leaf-tailed geckos are there in the world?

Accurate number not available.

Where does a satanic leaf-tailed gecko live?

The satanic leaf-tailed gecko, Uroplatus phantasticus, can be found in Madagascar’s mountainous rainforests. This island nation off the coast of Africa is known to foster several unique wildlife. It is home to hissing cockroaches, lemurs, fossas.

What is a satanic leaf-tailed gecko's habitat?

The habitat of a satanic leaf-tailed gecko is a rainforest. Rainforests are a type of forest habitat found in warm places. They are full of leafy plants and tall trees. The reason why they are called rainforests is that they receive a lot of rain that helps plants to grow. Since they are warm, dense, and wet, they are full of wildlife. There are millions of animals and plants living there, some of which aren’t even discovered yet. It is crucial to protect this habitat for all the creatures currently living there as well as for the humans since rainforests are responsible for producing 20% of the oxygen used by us.

Who do satanic leaf-tailed geckos live with?

This is a solitary species.

How long does a satanic leaf-tailed gecko live?

A satanic leaf-tailed gecko, Uroplatus phantasticus, lifespan is over 10 years.

How do they reproduce?

The start of the rainy season at the native land of satanic leaf-tailed gecko, Uroplatus phantasticus, Madagascar, also marks the start of the breeding season for the species. When they reach sexual maturity, the male satanic leaf-tailed gecko gets a bulge at its tail’s base. The female is oviparous, which means that she lays eggs so that the young could develop completely outside her body. The female lays her clutch (two to three spherical eggs) within dead leaves on a plant or in the leaf litter lying on the ground. This allows the young to stay hidden even after they have emerged 95 days later. The mother gecko can bear two to three clutches every year. It has been observed that once the eggs are laid, the mother leaves.

What is their conservation status?

The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, the Gecko, Uroplatus phantasticus, is listed as ‘Least Concern.’ However, this unusual lizard might be at risk soon. The forests of Madagascar have been a victim of deforestation for a long time. Also, exotic pet collectors create a huge demand for this species. Even though the trading of satanic leaf-tailed geckos is illegal, it still happens.

Satanic Leaf-Tailed Gecko Fun Facts

What do satanic leaf-tailed geckos look like?

It has a long, flat body with a triangular head. It is gray, mottled brown, orange, or tan in color. It has the same shade as the dead leaves that are decaying in its natural environment. Their body is curved just like a dead leaf edge, and their skin is marked with lines similar to the leaf’s veins. However, one of the most remarkable accessories this species has that helps them in their disguise is its tail. They have a long and wide tail that is not only colored and shaped like dead leaves but also have frills, imperfections, and notches that resemble a dead leaf gnawed on by insects. Just like the other leaf-tailed geckos, it is also small in size.

Giant leaf-tail gecko (Uroplatus fimbriatus) clinging to glass

*Please note that this is an image of a Giant leaf-Tailed Gecko, not a Satanic Leaf-Tailed Gecko specifically. If you have an image of a Satanic Leaf-Tailed Gecko, then please let us know at

How cute are they?

The satanic leaf-tailed gecko sure does have a scary-sounding name. However, its name was chosen because of its odd appearance and not because of any evil behavior. Even though it might look strange at first, on closer inspection, it actually looks quite cute.

How do they communicate?

The geckos use humming and sometimes barking sounds to communicate with fellow geckos.

How big is a satanic leaf-tailed gecko?

The satanic leaf-tailed gecko size is among the smallest leaf-tailed geckos. Their total length is about 3.9-4.3 in (10-11 cm), with TL being 1.5 in (4 cm) and SVL being 2.1-2.7 in (5.5-7 cm). Their head isn’t flattened and ends in a rounded snout.

How fast can a satanic leaf-tailed gecko move?

They can move at a speed of about 30 mph (48.2 kph).

How much does a satanic leaf-tailed gecko weigh?

The weight of a Gecko is somewhere between 0.3-1 oz (10-30 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

The name for males and females is the satanic leaf-tailed gecko.

What would you call a baby satanic leaf-tailed gecko?

The name for a baby satanic leaf-tailed gecko is a hatchling.

What do they eat?

The satanic leaf-tailed gecko is carnivorous and doesn’t rank high on the food chain. Their diet primarily includes other reptiles, insects, invertebrates, birds, or mammals that they can capture easily within their habitat. Land insects and snails are a part of their diet, as they indulge themselves in flies, worms, and spiders as well.

Are they poisonous?

No, these geckos are not poisonous.

Would they make a good pet?

They have a shy demeanor, and they don't like being handled. It likes to hide and climb and is happiest alone. But, they have specific husbandry requirements. So, they make a good pet for advanced reptile owners.

Did you know...

That the existence of the satanic leaf-tailed gecko population is threatened by the illegal pet trade, deforestation, and habitat destruction. Some studies suggest that a gecko can inhabit a specific environment and isn’t tolerant of its natural habitat’s degradation. Because of this, they are highly vulnerable to harvesting and habitat degradation, a common problem they face due to them being popular pets. The Uroplatus species was one of the top 10 most wanted species lists of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). This list included all the animals whose existence was threatened because of the illegal wildlife trade. It is one of those animals that are getting captured and sold for the international pet trade at an alarming rate.

That is why it is important to have protected areas for the species. Currently, they reside in three protected areas: Anjanaharibe Special Reserve, Marojejy National Park, and Tsaratanana Strict Nature Reserve. However, according to some sources, leaf-tailed geckos are illegally harvested in these protected areas as well. In order to protect this unique and extraordinary reptile, an effort to control the threatening activity should be made immediately.

The satanic leaf-tailed gecko’s unique appearance

One of the features of this gecko’s unique appearance is its long body that can grow about four to 12 in (10.1-30.4 cm) long. They have broad heads that have a triangular shape similar to the angels in their tails. As a baby, they are only 2.5 in (6.3 cm) long. As adults, they can be 10-12 in (25.4-30.4 cm) long and have eyes larger than other variations.

They have big and marbled eyes. However, the center of their eye is red that stands out from their body which is typically brown, tan, gray, or green in color. It is because of the natural colors that they are able to camouflage themselves easily within their surroundings. The texture of their skin is rough, like the branches and leaves of the trees. Their lower jaw includes fringed flaps that match their sides. If they are lying on a surface, they will flatten their body to keep the illusion that they are leaf in nature.

Can you keep satanic leaf-tailed geckos as pets?

The satanic leaf-tailed gecko is an adorable type of gecko that is highly prized for its shy demeanor and unique appearance among reptile aficionados. They have very specific husbandry and environmental requirement; it is only appropriate as a pet for an advanced reptile owner.

The satanic leaf-tailed gecko price is usually between $20-40 but can cost you more based on your specifications.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these radiated tortoise facts and collared lizard facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable satanic leaf-tailed gecko coloring pages.

Satanic leaf-tailed gecko Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Flies, worms, and spiders

What Type of Animal were they?


Average Litter Size?


How Much Did They Weigh?

10-30 g (0.35-1o z)

What habitat Do they Live In?

dense tropical jungle

Where Do They Live?


How Long Were They?

10-30 cm (4-12 in)

How Tall Were They?








Scientific Name

Uroplatus phantasticus

What Do They Look Like?

Brown, black, tan, or green colored

Skin Type


What Are Their Main Threats?

habitat loss

What is their Conservation Status?

Least Concern
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Written by Akinwalere Olaleye

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

Akinwalere Olaleye picture

Akinwalere OlaleyeBachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

As a highly motivated, detail-oriented, and energetic individual, Olaleye's expertise lies in administrative and management operations. With extensive knowledge as an Editor and Communications Analyst, Olaleye excels in editing, writing, and media relations. Her commitment to upholding professional ethics and driving organizational growth sets her apart. She has a bachelor's degree in English Literature from the University of Benin, Edo State. 

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