The New Caledonian gecko is the largest known gecko species and grows to lengths of about 14 inches. When threatened, the New Caledonian gecko can detach (and later regenerate) its tail.

Physical Description

New Caledonian geckos are a yellowish green or brown color with white or cream blotches along their bodies. They are a sexually dimorphic species; males tend to have a broader head and more slender body than females. When threatened, these geckos can detach, and later regenerate, their tails. 


New Caledonian geckos typically measure up to 35.5 centimeters (14 inches) and weigh between 227 and 340 grams (8 and 12 ounces), making them the largest known gecko species. 

Native Habitat

New Caledonian geckos are found exclusively on the islands of New Caledonia in the South Pacific. They inhabit the high canopies of rainforests throughout the southern and eastern portions of the main island, as well as several of the smaller surrounding islands. 


In human care, New Calendonian geckos can live up to 20 years.

Food/Eating Habits

These geckos feed on invertebrates and fruit. They occasionally eat smaller lizards, newborn mice and nectar. At the Smithsonian's National Zoo, they eat crickets, mealworms, minced fruit and nectar.

Reproduction and Development

Females lay two soft-shelled eggs per clutch and, depending on their calcium reserves, can produce three to four clutches per season. The eggs incubate for 60 to 90 days before hatchlings emerge. The young hatchlings are typically 8.9 to 10.2 centimeters (3.5 to 4 inches) long, and their sex is determined by the temperature during incubation. Eggs incubated at a higher temperature result in a shorter incubation period and have a greater chance of producing male hatchlings.

Conservation Efforts

New Caledonian geckos are listed as a species of least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List, as of a 2011 analysis.

Habitat disruption is a primary concern for their long-term survival. Predation by introduced rodents and cats, as well as the introduction of a species of fire ant, has also affected gecko populations, as has illegal collection for the pet trade.

Currently, the New Caledonian gecko's population has been deemed stable, and they are thought to have a wide distribution. Though wild populations of these geckos are not directly managed, they can be found in multiple protected areas and reserves within their native habitat.

Help this Species

  • Be a smart consumer. Choose products made with sustainable ingredients, such as Smithsonian certified Bird Friendly coffees, which support farmers striving to limit their impact on wildlife and habitat.
  • Choose your pets wisely, and do your research before bringing an animal home. Exotic animals don’t always make great pets. Many require special care and live for a long time. Tropical reptiles and small mammals are often traded internationally and may be victims of the illegal pet trade. Never release animals that have been kept as pets into the wild.
  • Are you a student? Did you love what you learned about this animal? Make it the topic of your next school project, or start a conservation club at your school. You'll learn even more and share the importance of saving species with classmates and teachers, too.

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