Bibron's Thick-toed Gecko
Scientific Name: Pachydactylus bibronii / Common Names: Bibron's Thick-toed Gecko
This squat and powerful gecko has an almost armored appearance. The large head, stout body, legs and tail are densely covered with raised tubercles. The toepads appear swollen, almost rounded compared to other geckos. The body is tan to brown or gray, usually marked with irregular dark bars and scattered white tubercles. Florida specimens reach 5.5 in. (14 cm) TL, smaller than those in Africa, which are up to 8 in. (20 cm) TL.
Habitat and Range
Native to southern Africa, Bibron’s Thick-toed Geckos were introduced to Bradenton in Manatee County, Florida in the early 1970s. They are found on walls and nearby telephone poles or trees in the vicinity of their original introduction.
Little is known about this species in Florida. Males make squeaks and clicks when restrained or confronting other males. They are often seen clinging head down on walls at night, feeding on small lizards as well as insects and other invertebrates. They are quick to bite when annoyed, and a big adult is capable of drawing blood. In southern Africa females produce pairs of eggs. Hatchlings are around 2.5 in. (6.3 cm) long.
This species lacks the Flat-tailed House Gecko’s loose skin flaps. The Fan-footed Rock Gecko has distinctive, bilobed, fan-shaped pads. The swollen toepads of Bibron’s Thick-toed Geckos are undivided, whereas the four species of house geckos have divided pads. The two species of Wall geckos are also very heavily covered with tubercles, but they have overlapping ventral scales.
Conservation & Other Threats
It seems likely that the species was deliberately introduced in the 1970s. These geckos are common in their original location, but have not expanded their range. As such, they do not seem a threat to native lizards or other animals at this time.
This species profile relies heavily on: Bartlett & Bartlett 1999; Meshaka et al. 2004; Pienaar 1978