Buckeye Herps Blog

A photographic journal of the reptiles and amphibians of Ohio, Michigan and other places interesting wildlife call home.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Hawai'i Geckos!

I mentioned in earlier posts that all of the Hawai'ian geckos are invasive species.  The day geckos have become extremely common on the islands though and most Hawai'ians have adopted them as a mascot of sorts, especially after the success of the Geico gecko.  How can you not love the little guys?

Gold Dust Day Gecko Phelsuma laticauda

I was not able to locate any on Kauai, likely due to the clouds and rain the whole time we were there, but they started to be very easily found around Oahu.

This fella was the pet at my dive shop, Hawaii Island Divers, which I can recommend highly!

There are also a few small populations of the Orange-spotted Day Gecko Phelsuma guimbeaui.  I was mostly unsuccessful on a few outings looking for these, but managed to see a couple with a helpful tip.  I was never able to bring one to hand (or any of the day geckos for that matter), and was unable to get them in a more "natural" setting.

To finish up the day geckos, the Madagascar Giant Day Gecko Phelsuma magagascariensis is a relatively new arrival thought to be from the illegal pet trade.  They can be found in a few small locations on Oaho and there are some "attempts" at management.  Due to their much larger size, there is concern they will be able to do much more damage than their smaller counterparts.

I spent about 15 minutes looking for them and found one easily on a crappy day in a front yard.

I managed to flip a Stump-toed Gecko Gehyra mutilata as well. I thought these would be more common, but I only found one.

There are a few of the more common invasive geckos of the world as well running around the islands.  I believe this is a Mourning Gecko from our hotel on Kauai.

And another from a friend's home on Oahu.

I am not sure if this is another mourning or one of the other nocturnal species - house gecko or indo-pacific gecko.

I never really looked for the Tokay geckos unfortunately.

While the day geckos were ubiquitous, they were a please to see and photograph.



  1. They only Day Gecko we saw in HI was one being eaten by a mongoose... -CRB

  2. Super bummer. I unfortunately saw too many mongooses (mongeese?) for my liking.

  3. They are all over the Kohala Coast on the Big Island.

  4. Thanks! I never made it over to the big island. Maybe another trip!


  5. Aloha BH, I live in Kona and actually completed a foraging mode research project on Phelsuma l. Laticauda in college. It my random trips to Oahu I've always wanted to see Guimbeaui... Never had any luck, do you have insight as to where and when to see them??? I only visit Oahu once a year or so, but would love to take a day trip and actually be successful in getting some pics! Mahaloz Ken

  6. Where exactly in Manoa did you find the giant day geckos? I went looking but had no success. Would love to photograph them. Found the golden dust day geckos with no problem. Thanks!

  7. Aloha, could you explain some of the differences between Phelsuma Laticauda and P. Guimbeaui? I am not seeing any difference any of the websites that I am looking at... I am curious to know if one or both species are here on Oahu. Also, is it possible that they're both the same misclassified species? Thanks!

  8. We are looking for guimbeaui ourselves and have been unsuccessful as well any tips for us?

  9. We are looking for guimbeaui ourselves and have been unsuccessful as well any tips for us?