Introduced house geckos

There are five introduced gecko species currently established in Mauritius, all of which are commonly found in urban areas hence the label 'house' gecko. They are all predominantly nocturnal.

 Madagascar clawless gecko Ebenavia inunguis

This small gecko was introduced to Mauritius from Madagascar possibly after the late 1800s. It is mostly found in the central region of Mauritius between Vacoas and Moka. As its name suggests it has no claws, but lobed toe pads. Its colour is usually grey-brown with a dark brown stripe, which starts from the nose through the eye, then runs along the side of the body where it becomes wider and ends at the base of the tail. The tail is lighter in colour with black bands and has spiny projections.

 Stump-toed gecko Gehyra mutilata

This medium sized gecko was most likely to have been accidentally introduced to Mauritius sometime in the late 1700s from Asia. It can be found in most areas of the mainland, mostly seen inside houses. It is also found on some of the offshore islands. It is usually a pink to pale brown colour and the skin is almost transparent. The tail is a darker pink-orange colour. During the day, the gecko is darker brown with spots across the back. It is a very vocal gecko and is often heard calling within houses.

 Spotted house gecko Hemidactylus parvimaculatus

The spotted house gecko was introduced probably sometime in the 1800s from India or Sri Lanka. It is the least common of the medium sized introduced geckos and is mostly found in lowland urban areas. Its colour is usually pink-brown to yellow-brown with darker spots. Original tails have whorls of spiny projections. It can be distinguished from other introduced geckos by rough granulated scales that cover its back.

 Common house gecko Hemidactylus frenatus

This lizard is one of the most invasive geckos on the planet and was probably introduced from Asia in the 1700s. This medium sized gecko is similar to the Brook’s house gecko, but its back is not completely covered in rough scales and it has a small stubby thumb. Its colour can vary greatly from pale pink-grey to dark grey-brown with paler spots to a lighter colour with darker spots or bands. It is the most widespread of all the geckos in Mauritius and is found on many of the islands where it competes with and predates the endemic geckos and native skink. It is also the most vocal gecko and frequently heard calling as the sun sets.

 Indopacific gecko Hemiphyllodactylus typus

This gecko is the smallest of the introduced geckos and was introduced from Southeast Asia possibly in the late 1800s. It is not as common as the other medium sized geckos, but fairly widespread in Mauritius and some of the islands. It has a long slender body and the absence of a defined thumb. Colouration is mostly grey to pink-brown on the body. They sometimes have darker spots that run either side of the central pale line. The tail is orange-yellow, which fades in colour with age. Only female geckos have been found in Mauritius, the species reproduces through parthenogenesis where eggs develop without fertilisation by a male.