Leaf-tail Gecko …

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This is a fairly easy one to spot.

There are currently about 14 species in the genus Uroplatus, all are confined to Madagascar (and the illegal pet trade). The name is from the Greek οὐρά meaning “tail” and πλατύς meaning “flat” the terminal us is thrown in to render the combination sufficiently Latin to be used in a museum. It is quite likely that DNA studies will split them into many more species.

They are night active insectivores and rely on camouflage to keep them safe by day. Four of the currently recognised species pretend to be leaves the rest pretend to be bark. They rest with their head down and tail up. Several species, including this guy, have a frill at the edges that ensures that there are no shadows to give them away.

Convergent evolution has given us some Leaf-tailed Geckos in Australia but they are in the genera Phyllurus and Saltuarius and not closely related.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.