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About protected Geckos



          Geckos (Gekkonidae) are a protected and the most numerous animal from the lizard family.

They have been living on Earth for about 50 million years and thanks to their extreme adaptability, they live in very different  areas and habitats,, from mild areas to the tropics,, even in deserts. Until now 97 genera and 1081 species are known and, depending on their shape or origin, they are classified into 5 subfamilies.

Most species are nocturnal animals, or animals of the twilight (around 75%) and they are of inconspicuous color. Their soft skin is covered in bumps and small spines. The most prominent thing on their broad head are big eyes with vertically elongated pupils, adjusted to that way of life, and they have small teeth in their mouth.

These timid and usually very fast and agile animals come out at early twilight or during the day to get some sun, which day geckos love doing and they are, unlike their “nocturnal” cousins, conspicuously colored and have round pupils.

          Geckos are also divided according to the shape of their toes. They can be divided into geckos with suckers and with claws. The toes of the geckos from the first group are overgrown in billions of the finest hair which, using Van der Waals forces, perfectly adhere to the surface so they can move even on the glass or ceiling. There are 6 classifications according to the toes.

They usually move around street lamps where there are many flies and butterflies. Their body is almost translucent, they are fast while catching their prey and they catch it with a small and fast bite.  After feeding they lick their entire face and eyes. They have no eyelids. Cold makes them slower. Unlike other lizards, most members of this group can create sounds.

In the Cres-Lošinj island group there are two types: the house gecko and the wall gecko.

          Wall gecko (Tarentola mauritanica)

From above it is light-gray, brown or black; it has more rows of scales; from below it is cream-colored; its body is stocky and flattened; its pupils are vertical; 10-19 cm. It lives in dry, sunny and stony areas, it likes dwelling in gardens and on houses, it likes sunbathing, it is a good climber (even better than house gecko) and it moves fast. It feeds on various bugs and spiders. It procreates by laying sticky eggs with soft shell, from which the young hatch only after 120 days (which is a reason why it is somewhat endangered). When they are active by day, their color is darker than during the night.

          House gecko (Hemidactylus turcicus).

From above it is flesh-colored, with brown stains and many small bulges; its eyes are large and its pupils vertical; 8-10 cm. It lives in dry areas which contain pebbles and walls. It likes spending time in buildings. It is active by night; it can skilfully climb vertical surfaces as well and move fast. It feeds on all small bugs and soft-skinned spiders. It croaks loudly when it calls out females or when it fights with other males.

Its destruction is against the law and punishable. State Administration for the Protection of Cultural and Natural Heritage has put them on the list of protected and endangered species.


          On Sicily it is said that, if a gecko spends time in someone’s house or on someone’s land, it means that the owner is a good person. There is a belief that geckos come only to places with good, cheerful and pleasant atmosphere.





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