It is two years since I encountered the strange looking creature at my door that proved to be my first sighting of a spotted thick-toed gecko (Pachydactylus maculatus), even though it is meant to be among the more common species of gecko in South Africa. These small geckos measure between 48 and 58 mm and so it is easy to see why my second such visitor that appeared on my doorstep earlier this year was almost overlooked.

This little gecko is well camouflaged against the cement steps. The anti-slip grooves in the step look enormous in comparison with it.

Here you can see its rounded snout and large round eyes more clearly. The four rows of elongated spots are not always as clear as this one sports.

The patterns on my previous visitor had fused to form irregular bands.

These geckos eat spiders – of which there are many in my garden – as well as small insects such as grasshoppers or crickets.

27 thoughts on “THE STRANGER RETURNS

  1. What a beautiful gecko! It is not one I am familiar with. Interestingly my reptile guidebook calls it a Large-spotted Gecko – it notes that in KZN it is coastal so we are unlikely to see it where we are unfortunately.


  2. Hmm – I know if I looked down and saw what I thought was just cement begin to move, I’d be gone in a flash. Years ago I visited friends of the family who lived in Puerto Rico for a year or two while a tool-and-die company was set up and they relocated for the set up as they both spoke fluent Spanish. So, outside their apartment were huge bushes of some kind – to get to the garage you had to walk past and, if you walked by, the geckos were startled and would run all over the place. I dreaded the walk every day I was there.


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