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Tokay gecko

The tokay gecko (Gekko gecko) is a nocturnal arboreal gecko, ranging from northeast India, Bhutan,to Nepal and Bangladesh, throughout Southeast Asia, Philippines to Indonesia and western New Guinea. Its native habitat is rainforest trees and cliffs, and it also frequently adapts to rural human habitations, roaming walls and ceilings at night in search of insect prey. Increasing urbanization is reducing its range .

The tokay gecko is known as a Ṭikṭiki in Bengali, hukok in Manipuri tuko in the Philippines, tokkae in Malaysia, tokek in Indonesian/Javanese, tắc kè in Vietnamese, kokkek in Zomi and ตุ๊กแก [túkkɛː] in Thai, 'Awke' in [Mizo language, India] for its characteristic vocalizations.

Physical characteristics and behaviour[edit]

Adult male and juvenile G. gecko. Note the brownish, regenerated tail on de the adult (top)

The Tokay Gecko is the second largest Gecko species, attaining lengths of about 11–20 inches (28–51 cm) for males, and 7–19 inches (18–48 cm) for females, with weights of only 150–400 grams (5.3–14.1 oz). They are distinctive in appearance, with a bluish or grayish body, sporting spots ranging from light yellow to bright red. The male is more brightly colored than the female. They have large eyes with a vertical slit pupil. Eyes are brown to greenish brown and can be orange or yellow.[citation needed]

Males are very territorial, and will attack other male Tokays as well as other Gecko species, as well as anything else in their territory. They are solitary and only meet during the mating season. Females lay clutches of one or two hard shelled eggs which are guarded until they hatch. Tokay Geckos feed on insects and small vertebrates.[1] Their strong bite is needed to crack the shell of hard cockroaches that live in the rainforests. They are also extremely strong climbers and their foot pads can support their entire weight on a vertical surface for a long amount of time without any effort. Compared to other gecko species, the Tokay has a robust build, with a semi-prehensile tail, a large head and muscular jaws; though common in the pet trade, Tokays are reputed to be capable of inflicting a painful bite, making them ill-suited for inexperienced keepers. [2]

Call[edit]

Mating call of a male Tokay gecko

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Their mating call, a loud croak, is variously described as sounding like token, gekk-gekk or Poo-Kay where both the common and the scientific name (deriving from onomatopoeic names in Malay, Sundanese, Tagalog, Thai, or Javanese), as well as the family name Gekkonidae and the generic term gecko come from. The call is similar to the call made by Gekko smithii (Large Forest Gecko).

The gecko's call is responsible also for a slang name given to it by U.S. soldiers in Vietnam: the fuck-you lizard.[3]

Conservation[edit]

Ready to drink macerated medicinal liquor with goji berry, tokay gecko, and ginseng, for sale at a traditional medicine market in Xi'an, China.

The tokay gecko is quickly becoming a threatened species in the Philippines, where it is locally known as tuko, because of indiscriminate hunting. Collecting, transporting and trading geckos without a license can be punishable by up to twelve years in jail and a fine of up to 1,000,000 pesos under Republic Act 9147 in addition to other applicable international laws.[citation needed] However, the trade runs unchecked due to the sheer number of illegal traders and reports of lucrative deals. Chinese buyers and other foreign nationals are rumored to pay thousands of dollars for large specimens, reportedly because of their alleged medicinal value or as commodities in the illegal wildlife trade.[4]

Tokay geckos are frequently traded for medicinal purposes in Vietnam and China.[5]

Subspecies[edit]

Two subspecies are currently recognized.[6]

References[edit]

Unreviewed

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Source: Wikipedia

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