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What Is a Mediterranean Gecko?

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  • Written By: K. Kinsella
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 01 November 2016
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The Mediterranean gecko, also known as the Turkish gecko, is a type of reptile that is native to Europe. Over the centuries, the gecko has adapted to different living environments, and its ability to prosper in different environments has enabled the Mediterranean gecko to prosper in countries thousands of miles from its place of origin. Beyond its European home, the gecko is now found in parts of Asia Minor, North Africa, and Central America. The species has also been introduced to North America and is now established in areas ranging from California on the west Coast to Virginia on the eastern coast of the United States.

Like many nocturnal reptiles, the Mediterranean gecko tends to forage close to areas of human habitation. At night, geckos are attracted to exterior lighting around residential and commercial properties, and they are often seen sitting atop walls. During daylight hours, the gecko retreats to darker surroundings, such as the cracks and crevices that are often found in and around buildings.

Sticky pads on a gecko's feet enable it to climb buildings and trees. Mediterranean geckos have vertical pupils but no eyelids. They are typically light grey, yellow, pink or reddish in color, although the pale colored skin looks almost translucent. Mediterranean gecko skin is scaly and often covered in warts and bumps.

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The diet of the Mediterranean gecko consists mainly of spiders, insects, and certain kinds of small invertebrates. Adult geckos can grow up to 13 centimeters (6 inches) in length. Male geckos have smaller broader heads than females and double swellings near the tail, whereas females have no such swelling. Females can be easily be identified because developing eggs can be seen through the light colored skin on the female's belly.

Female geckos lay eggs after breeding, and Mediterranean geckos typically lay two eggs at a time several times a year. In some instances, groups of female geckos will lay eggs in one place. Under normal circumstances, the eggs take between 2 and 6 months to hatch, although in captivity the eggs tend to hatch within 60 days.

Some people keep Mediterranean geckos as pets, in which case incandescent light bulbs can be used to keep the gecko's tank at a suitably warm temperature of between 26°C and 32°C (79°F to 90°F). Tanks are often decorated with bark and sticks. Geckos do not drink water from a bowl or container, so gecko owners typically spray water into the tank and the reptiles will drink the water droplets.

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