Asian house gecko

  • Asian house gecko
    Asian house gecko
  • Asian house gecko with spider in mouth
    Asian house gecko with spider in mouth

General information

The Asian house gecko has been in Australia since 1845, but its first Queensland recording was in Brisbane around 1983. The house gecko probably arrived on international cargo and its likely that multiple incursions of house gecko have entered Queensland in this way.

The Asian house gecko has since spread to become one of our most abundant urban reptiles. Asian house geckos are well adapted to tropical and subtropical climates and have a broad diet.

The Asian house gecko is not a declared species under Queensland legislation.

Scientific name

Hemidactylus frenatus

Description
  • A reptile 11-15cm long.
  • Males are generally longer and heavier than females and have a wider jaw.
  • Scalation is uniform, with distinctive, slightly enlarged spines scattered over the back and arrange in bands around the tail.
  • Colour varies from matt grey or light brown through beige, to a greenish iridescence with a whitish underside.
Habitat
  • Most abundant in urban environments, often seen on the walls of houses and windows at night.
  • Also inhabits woodlands, forest fragments and open fields and utilises rocky areas, coconut palm trunks, rotting logs and dense ground covers.
  • Suited to tropical and subtropical areas and is absent in cooler climates.
Distribution
  • Abundant in Brisbane and in urban areas along the Queensland coast.
  • Present on Norfolk Island.
Life cycle
  • Life expectancy five years.
  • Breeding occurs throughout the year in tropical areas, but is seasonal in cooler climates (breeding occurs in summer in Brisbane).
  • Sexually mature at 1 year of age.
  • Females can store sperm for up to a year, a feature that may contribute to their invasive success.
Control

Environmental

  • A generalist predator possibly causing declines in urban populations of some native insects and spiders.
  • Competes with native geckos for resources.

Social

  • Can chew electrical wiring and cause appliances such as air conditioners to break.
  • Can be a general nuisance inside residences.
Natural enemies
  • Cats, snakes, rats, dogs, large spiders, birds, preying mantids and larger lizards.
Declaration details
  • Not a declared species under Queensland legislation but may be declared under local government law.
Further information

Last updated 09 October 2012