Friday, August 10, 2012

Geckos, skinks, chameleons, oh my!

Geckos, skinks, chamelons, oh my!
Geckos, skinks, chameleons, oh my!
(Kind of like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz exclaiming, “Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my!”)

There’s a gecko in my fruit bowl
And a gecko in my hair
There’s a gecko gecko gecko everywhere

This is NOT a gecko, but an anole lizard in the fruit bowl.
Geckos also like to hang out here. 

Some FAQs:

Will I see a gecko on my vacation?
Note to tourists: If you’re staying in a B and B somewhere, a hotel, or in a vacation rental, you will probably not see too many geckos or bugs, because the property where you’ll be staying is, or ought to be, sprayed for pests on a regular basis. There are a couple of companies which offer natural/nontoxic pest control and several which offer the standard kind of pest control. 

Where do geckos hang out?
They like to wander along the top edge of sliding glass doors or sliding screen doors. To my dismay, I have killed geckos simply by opening or closing a screen door too quickly, to find something falling on me or on the floor, in a wriggly kind of way. Sometimes they are lucky, and lose only a tail or foot, but in worse cases, they are rather smashed up, and it’s a disturbing experience especially for the gecko. There is one particular door that I have dubbed the gecko killer since it slides back and forth very rapidly and I have to be cautious with it.

Geckos also like to hang out on walls or ceilings, on beams overhead where they can aim their gecko poops on unsuspecting bystanders.  They love window screens and windows where there is light, because light attracts bugs.  We have one window near the front of the house that gets a fair share of illumination into the wee hours, and I have counted 7-8 geckos at a time. They also hitchhike in the car!

A couple of geckos hanging out in the window. 

Geckos also like my dimly lit Moroccan lantern, and show their delight by pooping plentifully.

What do geckos eat or drink?
Bugs, bugs, bugs. Even small moths. Part of the reason why it's bad luck to kill a gecko is because it does something useful, eating bugs. I have also caught geckos drinking beer and eating noni flowers or sucking on flower sap! It's very strange and mysterious. I'm sure geckos also drink tap water and rain water, and they may eat fruit. I know that anole lizards eat papayas sometimes.  

Where do skinks hang out? And what are skinks anyhow?
Skinks are another type of lizard that moves very quickly and I think need a lot of moisture. They always seem to be glistening, like they just got dipped in coconut oil. I've never seen them inside the house, but often find them hiding under leaves and on top of my compost pile. They move lightning fast, and I haven't had good luck video taping them. I'm sure that skinks eat bugs, but have never caught them doing so. 

Skink on top of the cover for my compost pile. 
Curiosity killed the gecko?
The more inquisitive geckos also do a bit of wandering around. I have found them, yes, in my fruit bowl, wandering around the oranges and apples, on my laptop computer and wandering all over the screen and keyboard, on my husband’s hair and shoulders, in the bathtub, in the kitchen sink, even yes, in the toilet bowl. 

Siri, watch out... Gecko personal assistant here is "ready, willing and able."

Baby gecko in DH's hair.

The baby geckos are more prone to exploring the world in a kind of risky way. Those are the ones inevitably in the sink, the bathtub and the toilet, in a Darwin awards kind of way.  

What do geckos sound like?
Hmm... like a chirp or a bark or a clucking sound... Sometimes a twittering higher pitched sound and some geckos even make scraping sounds when they battling each other in the middle of the night. I have never been able to see a gecko chirping, like it's some gecko rule of quantum physics: You can see a gecko, or you can hear a gecko, but you can't hear and see a gecko at the same time. If the video doesn't show below, here's the link to gecko chirping.

Hey, what about chameleons?
Right, I haven't seen any lately, but they do enjoy sunning themselves outside. A friend in Olinda has a chameleon tree where several chameleons hang out. I'm hoping she'll do a series of photos on this.  

Chameleons are also masters at camouflage and experts at hide and seek. Try to find the chameleon in the jacaranda tree

Baby chameleon held by Alina Rhoades. 
Geckos, skinks, chamelons, oh my! And don't forget those anole lizards. All part of the aliveness of living in a jungalow upcountry.  

Remember, no gecko poop, no geckos… It’s a take-off of a local saying, “No rain, no rainbows.”

Related posts:
Anole Lizard Driving The Truck
Getting the Anole Lizard Out of the House
Geckos Like to Drink Beer?


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