STATUS IN THE WILD: Least Concern
PHYSICAL FEATURES AND CHARACTERISTICS
Tokay geckos are one of the largest gecko species, and can grow to lengths of up to fourteen inches. Their skin is usually a gray/blue color with several brownish-red to bright red spots and flecks, but these geckos have the ability to lighten or darken the coloring of their skin. They usually do so in order to blend in or to be less noticeable to other animals. Their extra folds of skin prevent Tokay geckos from casting an obvious shadow while resting on a tree. They open up the skin fold completely and this allows them to blend in with the tree bark. Their toes have hundreds of fine setae on them that allow them to cling to most surfaces, both vertically and overhanging.
LIFESTYLE AND REPRODUCTION
Tokay geckos communicate vocally, using calls to find members of the opposite sex during the breeding season. They will also do this as a means of defense, emitting a hissing or “barking” noise when threatened. Tokay geckos are solitary creatures and only encounter the opposite sex during the breeding season. Males generally guard the territory, though sometimes females will. These geckos can also inflict severe bites. Because of their striking coloration, some people seek to have them as pets. However, it should be noted that they are naturally antisocial and are known for their aggressive nature.
They can be found from northeast India to the Indo-Australian Archipelago. They have been known to travel on floating debris between tropical islands, making new colonies.
They live in tropical rainforests and prefer cliffs and trees. They have formed mutualistic relationships with humans in tropical areas: humans provide shelter and Tokays provide insect extermination.
They will primarily prey on many types of insects. They have been known, however, to eat small mammals, amphibians, and other reptiles should the need arise.