Tall Tales from the Broad-tailed Gecko
This clever gecko is a master of disguise and just built for trickery. 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 love to live.
Broad-tailed Geckos seem to be made of the rocks they are fond of hanging around in, with a flat body and tail that is just made for camouflage.
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 be kept 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 are exceptional hunters of bugs, and it's one of the very important ways that they help out your house and garden.
The Broad-tailed Gecko will happily eat up spiders, moths and beetles. They are very fond of crickets, too.
If they feel threatened, the Broad-tailed Geckos draw themselves up high, open their mouths wide and wave their tail over their body.
Broad-tailed Geckos are not ones to retreat without a fight. 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. Don't we wish we had one of these during the holidays.
TIPBe on the lookout when you finally clean out that shed or garage this summer. The Broad-tailed gecko has been known to take shelter in these man-made structures, so make sure you have a plan in place if you are lucky enough to have been unwittingly hosting this buddy.