Scientific Name: Rhacodactylus leachianus
The New Caledonian giant gecko makes a loud growling noise, which has led locals to call it ‘the devil in the trees.’
The New Caledonian giant gecko is the world’s largest gecko, growing up to 36 centimetres long. This stout gecko has a short blunt tail and its skin, which has many loose folds, seems too big for its body. Unlike most geckos, it has claws on its toes, and these, along with a grasping pad under the tail, help it cling on to tree trunks. Here they are perfectly camouflaged – their mottled light and dark grey, olive-green and pale brown colouration merges perfectly with the underlying bark.
Found only on the island of New Caledonia, the geckos are arboreal (tree dwelling), and rarely descend to the ground. Although nocturnal, the geckos sometimes bask in the morning sun.
Insects, spiders, small frogs and lizards and occasionally nesting birds. Plus fruit, nectar and sap.
Females lay two eggs at a time, 4-10 times a year. The eggs are sticky so it is thought that the female glues them to the tree, though more research needs to be done to confirm this.