Nonnatives - Tokay Gecko

Tokay Gecko - Gekko gecko


Florida's Exotic Wildlife. Species detail.

First year: 1965

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, 3 counties  Less than 10 years, 1 county  Not reported breeding

Statewide trend: Expanding

Tokay Gecko
Photograph by Dr. Kenneth L. Krysko © 2003

Threats to natives: Eats other arboreal lizards and frogs, and can potentially prey on small nestling birds and rodents (Bartlett and Bartlett 1999). It has even been observed eating a juvenile corn snake (Love 2000).

Species Account: This large lizard from Southeast Asia can attain a total length of 30 cm (12 in). It is widely sold in the pet trade and is often released by persons to control cockroaches. In the subtropical climate of southern Florida, it is established in many residences and office complexes, where it is not restricted to the walls of buildings but can be found on trees, power poles, and other objects. It is primarily nocturnal but can sometimes be seen basking on cool, sunny mornings. The gray or blue-gray body has orange markings, which occur primarily as spots. The eyes and toe pads are large. Males often call loudly ("geck-o" or "to-kay") on warm nights. A cornered gecko will often aggressively bite an attacker and hold on tenaciously (Bartlett and Bartlett 1999).

Habitats: Central or core urban area, Low density suburban development, areas peripheral to core urban areas, and small towns, Rockland Hammock

County First Year Extirpated Year Breeding status   Notes


Less than 10 years Released in Gainesville as early as 1963 but not reported breeding (King and Krakauer 1966); a small colony at warehouse complex in northeastern Gainesville is apparently reproducing (Butterfield and Hauge 2000)
DADE 1965


Not reported breeding Miami (King and Krakauer 1966)


At least 10 years Fort Myers (Krysko et al., in press)
LEON 1991


Less than 10 years Tallahassee (Means 1996a)


Less than 10 years Established on Key Largo, Plantation, Little Torch, and other keys (Krysko et al., in press)


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

Butterfield, B. P., and J. B. Hauge. 2000. Gekko gecko (Tokay gecko). Herpetological Review 31:52.

King, F. W., and T. Krakauer. 1966. The exotic herpetofauna of southeast Florida. Quarterly Journal of the Florida Academy of Sciences 29:144-154.

Love, B. 2000. Gekko gecko (Tokay gecko). Predation. Herpetological Review 31:174.

Means, D. B. 1996a. Gekko gecko (Tokay gecko). Herpetological Review 27:152.

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