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Northern Leaf-tailed Gecko

Northern Leaf-tailed Gecko
Photo Information
Copyright: Murray Lines (mlines) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 556 W: 26 N: 668] (3116)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-11
Categories: Reptiles
Camera: Sony Cybershot DSC F77
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Reptiles - Geckos 1 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-02-17 4:55
Viewed: 32808
Points: 10
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
These reptiles normally live in rainforests aparently, but this one lives in the suburbs of Sydney. It can climb the brick wall with ease too.

Northern Leaf-tailed Gecko (Phyllurus cornutus)
It is named for its large, leaf-shaped tail which can be dropped and regrown.
This gecko lacks the adhering toe disks of many gecko species. Instead as an arboreal species, it has clawed toes which would assist in climbing over rough surfaces.
Leaf-Tail geckos may be various shades of brown or green with a mottling that looks so much lichen that they can be very difficult to distinguish from the trees on which they live.
This is a tree-dwelling nocturnal animal of sluggish movement and thus relies on its camouflaged appearance to avoid detection by predators.
They may be found in rainforests and wet sclerophyll forests beneath loose tree bark or in tree crevices during the day and active on trees, rocks and on the forest floor at night.
Predators include owls, rats and snakes.
The leaf-tail gecko is generally found, at night, perched head down on a large rainforest tree waiting to ambush its prey - large invertebrates such as spiders and cockroaches.
Mechanisms to avoid predation:
This gecko has developed a tail which looks like a leaf and is similar in shape and size to that of its own head. When disturbed the gecko raises and moves its tail to attract the predator to its tail (as opposed to its head). If the predator then grasps the fatty tail, the gecko is able to drop it and escape.
females lay 2 soft shelled eggs
Viewing Opportunities:

This gecko is extremely difficult to see unless it is on a background unless it is on a wall or light-coloured tree, where it cannot utilise the advantage of it's camouflaged appearance.
Can be found on the rainforest floor under fallen bark from dead tree branches. http://rainforest-australia.com/Northern_Leaf_Tailed_Gecko.htm

magiqa, JPlumb, oscarromulus, izler, pierrefonds has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Interesting tail, I have never seen anything like it before! Very good picture!

  • Great 
  • JPlumb Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 618 W: 158 N: 896] (2904)
  • [2007-02-18 18:31]

Hi Murray, initially I thought this was maybe a little soft, but maybe that has more to do with their camouflage capability, even on a different coloured floor. The detail (especially the eye) is great.

Thanks, John

Love your notes.
Great camouflage.
Love the detail.
About 9 years ago I had let 4 of these "similar", NOT SAME,creatures in my residence in Goa. They ate all the
mosquitos & bugs within the residence. Goa is infested with bugs.
Great photo.

  • Great 
  • izler Gold Star Critiquer [C: 1387 W: 3 N: 9] (44)
  • [2007-03-18 7:20]

hello Murray
its strange and interesting gecko for me. i like its camouflage, colours, details and note in your photo
thanks for sharing

Hi Murray,

A nice image of the Northern Leaf-tailed Gecko, the photo has a good composition, sharpness and nice colors. Thanks for sharing.


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