Rhacodactylus leachianus

Rhacodactylus leachianus , Photo: Michael Lahanas

Cladus: Eukaryota
Supergroup: Opisthokonta
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Classis: Reptilia
Subclassis: Diapsida
Infraclassis: Lepidosauromorpha
Superordo: Lepidosauria
Ordo: Squamata
Subordo: Sauria
Infraordo: Gekkota
Familia: Gekkonidae
Subfamilia: Diplodactylinae
Genus: Rhacodactylus
Species: Rhacodactylus leachianus
Subspecies: R. l. aubrianus - R. l. henkeli - R. l. leachianus

Rhacodactylus leachianus , Photo: Michael Lahanas


Rhacodactylus leachianus Cuvier, 1829

Vernacular names
English: New Caledonian Giant Gecko
日本語: ツギオミカドヤモリ


The New Caledonian Giant Gecko or Leach's Giant Gecko (Rhacodactylus leachianus), is a large species of gecko first described by Georges Cuvier in 1829. It is often commonly referred to as a Leachie gecko (plural Leachies). It is the largest of the Rhacodactylus geckos. At 14 inches (360 mm) total length, it is one of the largest geckos in the world, if not the largest, and is considered an example of island gigantism. R. leachianus is currently being evaluated for protected status by CITES. There are three recognized subspecies of R. leachianus: R. l. aubrianus, R. l. henkeli (first described by Seipp and Obst in 1994), and R. l. leachianus.

R. leachianus is a nocturnal arboreal species of gecko. It makes its home in the highest treetops on the island of New Caledonia. Its range includes all of the southern and eastern portions of the main island as well as several of the smaller islands in the group.

This is a heavy bodied gecko. Its skin appears too loose for its body and it has small, stumpy tail. Female R. leachianus lay two eggs, which hatch 60-90 days after they are laid.

R. leachianus feeds on insects and fruit. It will also occasionally consume smaller lizards and in captivity may eat newborn mice.

Many of the locals in New Caledonia call this gecko "the devil in the trees" because of the growling noises it makes.
In captivity

In captivity, males should be housed separately or as a part of a breeding pair or trio with females. Males housed together will often fight. Females are social and can be housed together. R. leachianus can live up to 20 years in captivity. This gecko requires a large, spacious enclosure and as is the case with all arboreal species, the cage should be vertically oriented.

See also

* Biodiversity of New Caledonia

Biology Encyclopedia

Reptiles Images

Source: Wikispecies, Wikipedia: All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License


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