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Beyond the expected

Beware the Asian House Gecko

By johnboy 12 April 2010 15

The Canberra Times has the intriguing news that the reptile centre in Gold Creek has spotted an invading Asian House Gecko on a soft drink delivery truck.

Apparently they’ve never been seen south of Newcastle and will drive out our native geckos.

If they’re reporting at reptile centres it seems likely they’re already quite widespread, although let’s see how they like a hard frost.

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Beware the Asian House Gecko
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toadstool 12:25 pm 14 Apr 10

Not much. I sprayed our shed with that Mortein professional outdoor spray and one of those little skinks copped it. I didn’t mean to kill the poor little blighter. I just want to rid the world of those cockroaches.

Thoroughly Smashed 5:23 pm 13 Apr 10

Thumper said :

If you do find one, don’t kill it with insect spray as it’s simply cruel.

How much insect spray would you need to kill a small reptile?

Thumper 4:04 pm 13 Apr 10

If you do find one, don’t kill it with insect spray as it’s simply cruel.

Gungahlin Al 3:41 pm 13 Apr 10

crazyfish said :

I reckon I’ve seen them down the coast at Tuross. I was doing some work on a house down there recently and kept catching a glimpse of what I thought was an albino version of the same lizards that were predominant. I also heard in the evening what I thought might have been a frog but couldn’t ever find it. Asian House Gecko sounds like a pretty good fit in reptrospect.

Don’t go knocking those off in a hurry CF – they are likely the native species I was referring to – very pale, can sometimes even see their innards when the light is good. If they are quiet they almost certainly are NOT AHG. As NT said AHGs are noisy. And if you have the local ones around your house, lucky you as they are great too for getting rid of spiders.

neanderthalsis 3:00 pm 13 Apr 10

My place in QLD has a minor infestation of the little bastards. They are quite noisy, chirping away at all hours of the night and tend to crap everywhere leaving little brown pellets the size of tictacs.

Your standard household bug spray works fairly well on them if you give them a good dose.

toadstool 2:39 pm 13 Apr 10

CK – It sounds like a marbled gecko. I accidently squashed one moving boxes around Hughes several years ago, and as I had a friend in CSIRO I froze it and gave it to their reptile department. I was told they are uncommon in Canberra. Last year we found a baby one in our laundry on a cold winter night, so they’re still around.

crazyfish 12:34 pm 13 Apr 10

I reckon I’ve seen them down the coast at Tuross. I was doing some work on a house down there recently and kept catching a glimpse of what I thought was an albino version of the same lizards that were predominant. I also heard in the evening what I thought might have been a frog but couldn’t ever find it. Asian House Gecko sounds like a pretty good fit in reptrospect.

Jungle Jim 10:34 am 13 Apr 10

I saw something awfully similar to this on the outside of my bathroom window the other night (Wanniassa). Could only see it’s belly and feet though, but the colouring and size was the same. Not sure if the little fella would have survived last night’s 2 degrees though.

Thumper 8:29 am 13 Apr 10

Cunningham skinks which exist in the thousands around here, also tend to have red mites all over them. Especially in their ears.

I haven’t seen any Asian House geckos although i did come across a velvet tail gecko a few months ago.

Clown Killer 8:27 am 13 Apr 10

el, thanks for the link. Looking at those photo’s I would suggest that the Asian house gecko has arrived in Kambah – I will apologise to the bastard cat.

Gungahlin Al 5:35 pm 12 Apr 10

inlymbo said :

I know from unfortunate experience that they do not like shutter windows, I unwittingly cut many in half closing the shutters while living in FNQ. If they are here we would have heard them by now. They are really cute, but they are also really bad for our environment. Their poo sticks to tiles like chewing gum!

CK – They have little bumps running down their backs and tails, I believe that is the key indicator. Not a scientific answer by any means.

Pretty spot on. The “heard” is the key indicator: they are the only gecko I’m aware of that chitters out loud. Their colour varies from quite pale (but not that almost see-through pink of local species) to brown and bumpy.

They are very good at keep houses clear of cockroaches and spiderwebs.

BUT they are a real environmental pest. In 2002-3, I conducted a community survey and wrote a paper on the results that looked at whether people understood that these things were essentially “cute canetoads” and also whether the knowledge changed people’s attitude towards them, for an ecology assignment for my uni degree. It was quoted by Jessica Worthington at the Queensland Museum, who is a key researcher into them. Unfortunately you can’t find the link on Google anymore. Who says everything is out there?

The problem with them comes because they displace endemic species, and also because they harbour red mites between the flaps on their feet, and scientists are concerned these will infest local species that have evolved without their threat.

They were introduced into Australia via Brisbane Port and Darwin, and have been spreading very quickly. They are actually that fastest spreading reptile in the world.

So if you see/hear them, let the Queensland Museum know. And don’t think you are doing something nice by laving an outside light on to attract more food for them…

el 5:06 pm 12 Apr 10

Clown Killer said :

Anyone know how you tell them apart from your regular local gecko? The bastard cat killed a mottled pinkish looking gecko on the weekend.

This site has a couple of good close-up photos.

Not sure that they’d last in the cold Canberra winter. Very noisy things with their ‘clicking’ calls of an evening. They’re able to lose their tails in conflict, and I have seen what I thought was a spider racing towards my feet which turned out to be a house gecko sans tail.

Holden Caulfield 4:32 pm 12 Apr 10

Gecko? I’ll stick to cat thanks.

inlymbo 4:27 pm 12 Apr 10

I know from unfortunate experience that they do not like shutter windows, I unwittingly cut many in half closing the shutters while living in FNQ. If they are here we would have heard them by now. They are really cute, but they are also really bad for our environment. Their poo sticks to tiles like chewing gum!

CK – They have little bumps running down their backs and tails, I believe that is the key indicator. Not a scientific answer by any means.

Clown Killer 3:57 pm 12 Apr 10

Anyone know how you tell them apart from your regular local gecko? The bastard cat killed a mottled pinkish looking gecko on the weekend.

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