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Centralian Knob-tailed Gecko

Scientific Name: Nephrurus amyae

Did You Know?

Nobody really knows the function of the tail knob. When examined closely the cells inside appear very different from any others in the body and they may have some type of sensory role. When hunting, the little gecko wriggles the knob from side to side when it spots prey as if it is excited about its next meal.

Few reptiles have the same appeal as the knob-tailed gecko. The tiny tail ending in a little round knob about half the size of a pea, the large beautifully patterned eyes and the face displaying a permanent smile all contribute to the character of this little lizard. The centralian knob-tail is the largest of the group reaching a total length of over 15cm, of which the tail comprises no more than about 3cm. The general body colour is a reddish-brown to match the colour of the red sands of its home. This is overlaid with lighter bands and white dots. The latter are actually some of the tiny spines or tubercles that cover the body of this species giving it a rough appearance and texture.


This knob-tail is restricted to the rocky plains of central Australia, sheltering during the day beneath boulders or in the disused burrows of other animals, emerging at night to forage on open ground.


Insects, spiders and scorpions are the main diet but it does have a taste for other smaller geckos given the opportunity.


The female knob-tail is distinctly larger then the male. To mate, he virtually has to climb on her back. The clutch of two eggs are laid about a month later and take a further 2-3 months before they hatch.

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