I noticed this gecko on my windowsill and no it was not trying to sell me insurance! Instead I was in awe of its various qualities as an immigrant to FL. This is an Indo-Pacific Gecko (Hemidactylus garnoti) that lives in houses or out-buildings and is not only harmless but consumes a lot of noxious insects. Our geckos are our bio-control agent for roaches (they eat the babies before they grow up), so that we have to use only minimal pesticides. This lizard has toe pads with numerous tiny filaments which allow it to climb up walls and windows. Note that the tail is being regenerated after being broken off, a trait we humans wish that we had mastered for our extremities. But perhaps the most amazing thing about this species is that it is made up of only females, and reproduction is by parthenogenesis, or virgin birth. Each fe
male lays a few large eggs which resemble tiny chicken eggs (roundish with hard shells) and can hatch without access to the ground or liquid moisture. The large requirements for calcium in the egg shell are made up from deposits in the female’s neck (see photo). So if you are lucky enough to have geckos in your house, enjoy watching them and appreciate their unusual characteristics.
Bill Dunson, Englewood, FL & Galax, VA