Florida's Nonnative Wildlife. Species detail.
First year: 1921
Established status: Populations
are confirmed breeding and apparently self-sustaining for 10 or
more consecutive years.
Estimated Florida range: 1
county At least 10 years
Statewide trend: Declining
Photograph by Kevin M. Enge © 2003
Threats to natives: None
Species Account: This Cuban
species is restricted to the lower Keys, where it was once common
but has apparently declined in recent years, possibly due to the
introduction of the predaceous tropical house gecko (Hemidactylus
mabouia). Duellman and Schwartz (1958) reported the colony on Key
West to be thriving and also reported it from Boca Chica Key. It is
the largest (7 cm or 2.75 in) and most arboreal of Florida's 3
sphaerodactyline geckos. They often ascend trees and walls, and
they seek shelter behind the loosened bark of Australian pines and
other trees an beneath moisture-holding ground debris. They may be
active at any time of the day or night. Adults are dark with
irregular light markings (pasty-white at night, however), whereas
hatchlings are pale green with dark crossbands and bright orange
tails (Bartlett and Bartlett 1999).
Habitats: Exotic plant community,
Low density suburban development, areas peripheral to core urban
areas, and small towns, Rockland Hammock
|At least 10 years
||Key West (Stejneger 1922)
Bartlett, R. D., and P. P. Bartlett. 1999. A field
guide to Florida reptiles and amphibians. Gulf Publishing Company,
Houston, Texas. 278pp.
Duellman, W. E., and A. Schwartz. 1958. Amphibians
and reptiles of southern Florida. Bulletin of the Florida State
Museum, Biological Sciences 3:181-324.
Krysko, K. L., and F. W. King. 2003. The ocellated
gecko, Sphaerodactylus argus argus, in the Florida Keys: an
apparent case of an extirpated non-native species. Caribbean
Journal of Science 38:139-140.
Stejneger, L. 1922. Two geckos new to the fauna of
the United States. Copeia 1922:56.