Nonnatives - Ashy Gecko

Ashy Gecko - Sphaerodactylus elegans elegans


Florida's Nonnative Wildlife. Species detail.

First year: 1921

Extirpated year:

Established status: Populations are confirmed breeding and apparently self-sustaining for 10 or more consecutive years.

Estimated Florida range: 1 county  At least 10 years

Statewide trend: Declining

Ashy Gecko
Photograph by Kevin M. Enge © 2003

Threats to natives: None known.

Species Account: This Cuban species is restricted to the lower Keys, where it was once common but has apparently declined in recent years, possibly due to the introduction of the predaceous tropical house gecko (Hemidactylus mabouia). Duellman and Schwartz (1958) reported the colony on Key West to be thriving and also reported it from Boca Chica Key. It is the largest (7 cm or 2.75 in) and most arboreal of Florida's 3 sphaerodactyline geckos. They often ascend trees and walls, and they seek shelter behind the loosened bark of Australian pines and other trees an beneath moisture-holding ground debris. They may be active at any time of the day or night. Adults are dark with irregular light markings (pasty-white at night, however), whereas hatchlings are pale green with dark crossbands and bright orange tails (Bartlett and Bartlett 1999).

Habitats: Exotic plant community, Low density suburban development, areas peripheral to core urban areas, and small towns, Rockland Hammock

County First Year Extirpated Year Breeding status Notes


At least 10 years Key West (Stejneger 1922)


Bartlett, R. D., and P. P. Bartlett. 1999. A field guide to Florida reptiles and amphibians. Gulf Publishing Company, Houston, Texas. 278pp.

Duellman, W. E., and A. Schwartz. 1958. Amphibians and reptiles of southern Florida. Bulletin of the Florida State Museum, Biological Sciences 3:181-324.

Krysko, K. L., and F. W. King. 2003. The ocellated gecko, Sphaerodactylus argus argus, in the Florida Keys: an apparent case of an extirpated non-native species. Caribbean Journal of Science 38:139-140.

Stejneger, L. 1922. Two geckos new to the fauna of the United States. Copeia 1922:56.

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