Smithsonian National Zoological Park l Friends of the National Zoo



Tokay gecko

By MSA 2005 Map showing tropical rainforests, amid human dwellings habitats in southeast Asia


Class Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family: Gekkonidae
Genus and species: Gekko gecko

Male tokay geckos have a loud, distinctive call that they use to attract females during mating season. This 'to-kay' call is what gives these geckos their name.

Tokay geckos are one of the largest gecko species—they are about 14 inches long. Their skin is generally gray with several reddish spots or flecks. It is possible to see straight through the head of the geckos from one ear hole to the other. If a tokay gecko is caught by a predator, it has the ability to cast off its tail and regenerate a new one in order to escape.

These geckos feast on insects in the wild. They particularly enjoy cockroaches and locusts.

Because of millions of tiny hairs, called setae, on geckos' feet, they are able to walk up walls and even walk upside-down on the underside of a branch.

During breeding season, female tokay geckos lay eggs every month. They 'glue' the eggs to a solid foundation such as walls or trees and then leave them alone.

More about this lizard :

Fact sheet

Learn about another reptile or amphibian: