Turnip-tail Gecko (Thecadactylus rapicauda)

The Turnip-tail Gecko (Thecadactylus rapicauda) is the largest gecko in Costa Rica.

The Turnip-tail gecko is nocturnal and lives in trees as high as 100 feet. This gecko’s diet consists mainly of cockroaches. It derives its name from the obvious fact that the tail is fat towards the end and thinner next to it’s body, like a turnip. All of the gecko’s fat reserves are stored here. The Turnip-tail gecko will shake its tail angrily if irritated.and can shed it and re-grow it if need be to escape predators.

Largest Gecko

The eyes have vertical pupils and there are no movable eyelids. The vertical pupil is found primarily on short, nocturnal animals. It is believed that this pupil configuration helps these animals to hunt at night.

gecko eye
giant gecko

The pads of the feet have small hairs which allow them to cling to flat surfaces even upside down. They can change color to help camouflage themselves on tree bark and they sleep in a coil, possibly to be mistaken for a pit viper. His markings do look similar to a viper when he takes certain positions.

gecko blends tree
gecko moss
This gecko was 4.3 inches long and found at approximately 200 feet in altitude in Limon Costa Rica 2013.

3 comments on “Turnip-tail Gecko (Thecadactylus rapicauda)”

  1. carolyn tait Reply

    and i love a gecko that eats cockroaches. keep ’em in the house like cats!

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