An all-female species, the mourning gecko is parthenogenetic, meaning it can reproduce without males.
  • Size

    2.7-3.7 inches (7-9.5 cm)
  • Diet

    Insects, spiders, nectar and ripe fruit
  • Range

    North, Central and South America, Australia and many Pacific islands
  • Habitat

    Trees, bushes

Physical Characteristics

  • Small, stout-bodied lizard, reaching a maximum size of 2.7-3.7 inches (7-9.5 cm).
  • The skin on the back is smooth and lacks tubercles (small projections on the skin of many amphibians and reptiles that gives them a “warty” look).
  • A dark line runs horizontally between the eyes, with another dark line extending from the tip of the snout, through the eye and onto the neck.
  • Coloration includes thin, dark chevron lines separating lighter patches of skin.

Diet / Feeding

  • Opportunistic predator: diet consists of insects, spiders, amphipods, pill bugs, nectar and ripe fruit.
  • Nocturnal species, feeding primarily at night.

Range / Habitat

  • Occurs in North, Central and South America, Australia and across many Pacific islands.
    • Native to southeastern Asia.
  • Found in a variety of human-modified habitats, from desert to tropical climates.
  • Usually found on trees or in bushes.

Reproduction & Growth

  • Parthenogenetic; all-female species that reproduce without males.
  • Females produce clutches of two eggs throughout the year.
  • Eggs are deposited in communal nesting sites such as crevices, holes, leaf axils, or under logs, lumber bark and leaves.
  • The eggs hatch between 65-103 days.
  • Females may produce male offspring, but the male is infertile.
  • The resulting offspring is a near-identical clone of the mother.
  • Mothers’ genes are able to recombine and produce some genetic variation in offspring, which is important for adaptation.

Conservation Status

  • “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List.
  • An invasive species, the mourning gecko is native to southeastern Asia. Can now be found in North, Central and South America, Australia and across many Pacific islands.

Additional Information

  • Eggs are sea-water resistant, making it likely that some eggs could drift long distances across the ocean on uprooted trees or patches of vegetation washed out to sea from floods.
  • Uses a long tongue to clean eyes of dust or other particles.
  • Gregarious: uses sounds and head bobbing to communicate.
  • If threatened, this species will flee into crevices or under objects. Can easily shed the tail if captured.
  • Predators include birds, mongooses, American bullfrogs, Santa Cruz lava lizards, common house geckos, snakes, praying mantids and spiders.
  • Parasitized by a variety of worms.


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