Geckos in Bermuda
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources would like to make the public aware of the arrival of two new exotic reptiles, the Mediterranean or Turkish gecko, (Hemidactylus turcicus) and the House gecko (Hemidactylus mabouia).
We are hoping for the assistance of the public in locating any of these new arrivals. It is important that we do so since they will at a minimum compete for food sources with our existing populations of anoles and protected Bermuda Skink, as well as our whistling frogs. Also they might bring with them unknown viruses that could impact these same species. We are unsure how invasive they are and how rapidly they will spread across the island if left to their own devices.
Both geckos have spread successfully around the world via cargo and are well-established in the southern states of the US. We suspect they have come to Bermuda by the same method, likely hidden in bales of peat moss or similar material.
These geckos have been seen at four locations on the island. Both species feed at night and hide in the day, usually in houses and buildings. They can be seen at night on walls under lights waiting to catch insects. They make a loud “TCKKK” noise which is very distinctive, so the public can not only look for them but also listen.
These geckos are easily distinguished from Bermuda’s common anole lizards and our endemic skink, as they have a mottled tan, brown or gray skin with distinctive bumps all over the body. Also the pupil of the eye is orientated vertically.
The Department of Conservation Services seeks the cooperation of the public in reporting any suspected sightings to Alison Copeland, Biodiversity Officer at 293-2727 or through our automated sighting form. It is safe to capture the animals and they can be brought to the Bermuda Aquarium, Musuem and Zoo in Flatts.
Link to images of Turkish Gecko on ARKive.