The golden-tailed gecko, Strophurus taenicauda, is a species of lizards in the family of Diplodactylidae. The gecko is mostly found in Australia and has three subspecies related to it. The Strophurus genus has two general groups which are separated by their natural habitats. The Strophurus taenicauda is known by different names. Apart from the usual golden-tailed gecko nomenclature, the lizards are also known by the name, the golden spiny-tailed gecko. The population of this species can be found abundantly in suitable habitats but deforestation and urbanization situations have led to the downfall of the population of the Strophurus taenicauda species.
The spiny-tailed gecko has a specialty in its eyes. Their perfectly round red marble eyes are unique. The black tear in the middle makes the eyes look incredible. The golden spiny-tailed gecko has a slender body with a variable row of spines on the upper surface of the tail. Individuals of a golden spiny-tailed gecko show considerable variation in their tail spine morphology. That is why this species of lizards, the golden tailed gecko, Strophurus taenicauda, has three subspecies within the species. They are described to show differences in individuals in terms of color and spines but are almost similar in size. Based on tail morphology, the Strophurus taenicauda has three valid subspecies, Strophurus taenicauda albiocularis, Strophurus taenicauda taenicauda, and Strophurus taenicauda triaureus.
An important feature of these individuals of geckos is that the golden tailed gecko spray a foul-smelling liquid from its tails as a defense mechanism to deter potential predators when threatened. If you want to find out more about this, read on! There are other species of reptiles like the coachwhip and water monitor to read about after you're done here too.
Golden Tailed Gecko
What do they prey on?
Anthropods in insects
What do they eat?
Average litter size?
How much do they weigh?
How long are they?
1.9-2.7 in (50-70 mm)
How tall are they?
What do they look like?
Black-spotted with a golden tail
What are their main threats?
Habitat loss, and human agricultural expansion
What is their conservation status?
Where you'll find them
Woodland, grassland, open country, forest, and shrubland
Queensland in Eastern Australia
Golden Tailed Gecko Interesting Facts
What type of animal is a Golden-tailed gecko?
The golden-tailed geckos are a type of small-sized species of lizards.
What class of animal does a Golden-tailed gecko belong to?
The geckos belong to the class of Reptilia in the Animalia kingdom.
How many Golden-tailed geckos are there in the world?
There is no census of the total population of the Strophurus taenicauda living in the world. Although the population has been known to be declining at a steady rate for a few years.
Where does a Golden-tailed gecko live?
The Strophurus taenicauda is found epidemically in New South Wales and Queensland in Australia. This species of animals is distributed over all of the Australian mainlands and occupies humid habitats in the north of the range. All of the subspecies are primarily arboreal, which means they live in the tree. They usually shelter beneath the bark and sometimes sleep by day on the stems and branches of grasses and shrubs. By night, the species of geckos go in the upper branches of shrubs or trees. They also stay on the ground while moving from tree to tree. Tree bark is a preferable home for this species of Strophurus taenicauda. Heat is needed in the range for them to survive.
All of the species of Strophurus are found only in Australia, and not any other places. If the Strophurus taenicauda is seen somewhere other than Australia, the subspecies are either traded or been living in captivity.
What is a Golden-tailed gecko habitat?
The golden-tailed geckos are usually found in the woodlands, grasslands, open country, forests, and shrublands. Their habitat is among shrubs and hummock grass, but the geckos also move to the ground occasionally to mate or for warmth. They are also found in sand due to the requirement of heat. Sand is the most important place for these small animals. The females need the warmth more while they are pregnant and move to the road and sand more, to facilitate the development of the eggs they carry.
Who do Golden-tailed geckos live with?
The geckos are usually are found in small groups and adults of the species of animals are mostly found feeding on their lonesome. They like solidarity.
How long does a Golden-tailed gecko live?
The golden-tailed geckos are found to have a lifespan of four to eight years in captivity.
How do they reproduce?
This species of animals are oviparous. The general breeding season between the adults is from September to February but could extend to April if the rainfall is correct for them. Males lick the females of the animals and grasp them by the shoulders and neck as a courtship procedure. The males also twist the tail tip around the females' tail and branch. Gravid females develop a bulky abdomen but this is less noticeable due to the longer body of the species. Normally the females lay one to two eggs in a season, and they need heat for the breeding procedure. They lay their eggs in soil cracks and soft soil at the base of large trees.
In captivity, the breeding process is much easier, with adult males mating with many individuals and they breed in any container provided. The eggs are white in color. The eggs increase in size and become larger. On average, the incubation time range from 48-72 days. Before hatching, the eggs turn translucent and sweat for 24-36 hours. The minimum interclutch interval range is from 21-42 days. The juveniles of this species of animals grow rapidly and reach their breeding size in only 12-18 months.
What is their conservation status?
These species have been kept listed as the Least Concern in the IUCN red list. The population in the Brigalow Belt of Queensland, Australia has been reducing alarmingly because of the loss of habitat in the area due to European settlement. Almost 90% of the natural land has vanished in the area. Predation by larger animals and birds has also seen the decline of the population of the species.
Golden Tailed Gecko Fun Facts
What do Golden-tailed geckos look like?
The golden-tailed gecko is easily recognizable because of the shape of its eyes. The golden-tailed gecko eye has a perfectly round shape with bright red marble coloration and an abyssal tear down in the middle. They have a vision 350 times better than humans and have night vision with full coloration to see everything in the light of the moon.
The species is not just known for its eyes. This species of geckos have a silver body with black spots. They are heavily patterned with black and white and gold. The small stripe in their body is noticeable and with bright colors. These geckos develop a golden or bright yellow stripe down their tails.
They also are able to squirt a brown, yellow, or orange sticky liquid which is harmless. This liquid is very strong odored and helps deter large animals or large birds from attacking the geckos. This is a special feature of the golden-tailed geckos.
How cute are they?
The geckos have a striking look in their eyes and a beautifully colored body. They can be considered cute with the look on their faces, and the big rounded eyes.
How do they communicate?
Communication between the geckos is made by the moving of their tails and by certain other movements of their arms and body.
How big is a Golden-tailed gecko?
On average, the golden-tailed gecko range in length is from 1.9-2.7 in (50-70 mm). It is quite a small reptile in the animal family and is often endangered by cats and birds. In the family of the genus Strophurus, this subspecies is the smallest of the lot with even a recorded size of 1.7 in found to date.
How fast can a Golden-tailed gecko run?
Geckos are a pretty quick and lightweight species of reptiles. Geckos are known to run at a speed of nearly three feet per second.
How much does a Golden-tailed gecko weigh?
This small gecko species only weighs in a range of 5-7 g. They are very lightweight. The juveniles are smaller than the adults and weigh considerably less. Only after around two years do they reach the mature stage.
What are their male and female names of the species?
The males and females of the species of geckos are not given different names. They are collectively known by their names Golden-tailed gecko and Golden spiny-tailed gecko. They are also known by their scientific name, Strophurus taenicauda.
What would you call a baby Golden-tailed gecko?
A baby golden-tailed gecko is called juvenile.
What do they eat?
The golden-tailed gecko feeds on all small insects. It usually includes small arthropods like cockroaches, grasshoppers, crickets, spiders, and beetles. Even in captivity, they can be fed all the insects along with moths. Adults feed every four to seven days in summers and every 7-10 days in winters. Juveniles eat every two to three days and continue with this diet for a year.
Are they poisonous?
The geckos are not poisonous at all.
Would they make a good pet?
They are not considered pets, although captivity of this species is seen all over the world. Pet trade for the species has become common now.
Did you know...
The eyes of the golden-tailed gecko are round and have a black stripe going in the middle. The red eyes with the black stripe look exactly like the eye of Sauron from the JRR Tolkien books of 'Lord of the Rings'. It has also been seen in the feature film series of the same name.
This golden-tailed gecko defense mechanism, mainly to squirt the odored liquid, is just to fend off the enemy, and not to hurt them. In fact, the golden spiny-tailed gecko is pretty harmless to everyone. The large predators are unaffected by the small size of the geckos. This harmless, foul-smelling fluid from their tails is used to deter birds while they are perching in shrubbery when being threatened.
Are they slimy?
Their scales might look glossy due to the dryness, but the golden-tailed gecko is not slimy at all.
Do they bite?
This reptile can bite occasionally, but the golden-tailed gecko even when they bite is not poisonous. They just squirt a smelly liquid from their tails to fend off predators when in danger.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other reptiles including the alligator and turtle.
You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our lizards coloring pages.
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