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Geckos and Pygopods: Gekkonidae

Western Banded Gecko (coleonyx Variegatus): Species Accounts

Physical characteristics: The western banded gecko, also known as the banded gecko, is 4.5–6 inches long (11–15 centimeters) from its head to the end of its tail. The skin on its back is made up of small, grainy scales. The skin is delicate, soft, and loose. The gecko's back and tail are cream colored, with wide black or brown stripes that run from side to side. The tail is long, and the head is somewhat large. The eyes have eyelids that move, with pupils that are vertical.

Geographic range: Western banded geckos are found in the southwestern United States and northern Mexico.

Western banded geckos eat insects and spiders. Surplus food may be stored as fat in the tail. (Illustration by Patricia Ferrer. Reproduced by permission.)

Habitat: Western banded geckos are found in dry desert dune, or hill, areas; dry juniper-oak woodlands; desert areas with small shrubs; and rocky desert sites.

Diet: Western banded geckos eat insects and spiders. Surplus, or extra, food may be stored as fat in the tail.

Behavior and reproduction: Western banded geckos move about only at night. They rest during the day under rocks or within the burrows, or underground homes, of small animals. During the day these areas are damper than areas above ground. Several of these geckos may rest together in the burrows. If the burrow is disturbed, the western banded gecko may twitch its tail like a cat. If it is attacked, it runs away quickly. It may leave its tail behind to distract the attacker.

During the mating season, western banded gecko males face each other and make threatening movements. After mating, females lay two or more egg groups, with two eggs in each group. Hatching takes place in thirty to forty-five days.

Western banded geckos and people: Western banded geckos are kept as pets, and they have been successfully bred in captivity. They have no other human interaction.

Conservation status: The western banded gecko is not threatened. ∎

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceDinosaurs, Snakes, and Other ReptilesGeckos and Pygopods: Gekkonidae - Physical Characteristics, Geographic Range, Habitat, Behavior And Reproduction, Geckos, Pygopods, And People - DIET, CONSERVATION STATUS