Backyard Buddies
Broad-tailed Gecko

Photo: FNPW Image Library

Broad-tailed Gecko

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This clever gecko is a master of disguise. Its distinctive tail is used as a decoy to confuse predators. A smooth tail is a sign that it has been lost and regrown.

The Broad-tailed Gecko grows up to 15 cm in length including its tail. They have scales all over their bodies, which are pointed. Their rocky appearance gives you a clue as to where they live – they blend right in to the rocks.

Sandstone outcrops are certain to host this buddy, but it has adapted so well to humans that you are also likely to find it nestled between bricks and woodpiles and other deep cracks and crevices.

Look for Broad-tailed Geckos hiding in shady spots during hot summer days, as they are not as fond of the heat as some other reptiles and instead prefer to keep relatively cool.

Broad-tailed Geckos live in the Sydney basin area of New South Wales, although some species have been spotted as far north as Cape York Peninsula.

You'll spot Broad-tailed Geckos out and about at night, when they are on the hunt for insects. They will happily eat up spiders, moths, beetles and crickets.

When threatened, the Broad-tailed Geckos draw themselves up high, open their mouths wide and wave their tail over their body. They will lunge towards their threat while emitting a loud, raspy noise that can be quite startling.

Females will lay their eggs in the middle of what resembles a bird's nest dug into the ground. They will lay between 2-4 clutches a year, incubating them for an average of three months.

Did you know?

The tail that earns these geckos their name is not only useful when it comes to tricking predators. It is also used to store fat.


Be on the lookout when you clean out sheds or garages. The Broad-tailed gecko has been known to take shelter in these man-made structures.{

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