Scientific Name: Cyrtopodion scabrum / Common Names: Roughtail Gecko
Whereas many geckos have a delicate, insubstantial look, the Roughtail Gecko is a rather prickly looking lizard. Rows of prominent pointed keeled scales covering the tail, along with enlarged warty tubercles on the body. A medium- sized gecko, 3 - 4.6 in. TL (7.5 - 11.7 cm) with enlarged toepads and immoveable eyelids, it is sand colored above with small dark brown spots. The tail has dark rings. Hatchlings are about 1.6 - 2.4 in. TL (4.1 - 6 cm), and resemble adults in color and pattern.
Habitat and Range
First reported in Texas in 1983, this species is known only from the Port of Galveston, where it occurs along the commercial shipping docks. The species is native to Egypt south to Sudan and eastern to western India.
The Roughtail Gecko is a nocturnal, wall-climbing species that is at home in and around buildings, where it feeds on insects and other arthropods. Since its arrival in Galveston, it has apparently been able to gradually displace the Mediterranean Gecko, another introduced species, from its dockside habitat.
In Texas, the only species with which it could be confused is the Mediterranean Gecko, Hemidactylus turcicus, also known from the Galveston docks. The Mediterranean Gecko lacks enlarged, keeled scales on the tail, and has broader toepads than the Roughtail Gecko. A single specimen of the Common House Gecko, Hemidactylus frenatus, was captured in 1988 in the Port of Galveston. None have been observed since, and the specimen is considered to have been a stray which did not establish a breeding population.
Conservation & Other Threats
Because it is known only from disturbed urban environments, and no native nocturnal lizards are known in the surrounding area, the Roughtail Gecko is unlikely to have a significant conservation impact.
This species profile relies heavily on: Conant et al. 1998; Klawinski et al. 1994; Saenz & Klawinski 1996; Selcer & Bloom 1984; Vaughan et al. 1996