Geckos in the Rainforest

Geckos are known for their toes, which allow them to grip and walk up many surfaces.
Geckos are known for their toes, which allow them to grip and walk up many surfaces. (Image: Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Rainforests are among the most biologically diverse environments on Earth, hosting a variety of animals from the dense ground covering to the treetop biome. Geckos are among the animals that make a rainforest home. Geckos are an adaptable animal, also living in desert climates and becoming a popular household pet, but in the rainforest they can take advantage of some of their natural gifts.

Gecko Anatomy and Voice

Geckos got their name from the clicking sound they make, which can sound like "gecko." Geckos are the only lizards who make vocal noises. Geckos have a wide range of coloring, from browns and greens, which they use to hide themselves in the rainforest, to brighter yellows of the leopardo gecko. Geckos are well-known for the ridges on the undersides of their flexible toes, which allow them to walk up trees as well as smooth surfaces.

Flying Geckos

Flying geckos are one of the subspecies found in rainforests. Flying geckos can be seen gliding from treetop to treetop in the rainforest canopy. The flying gecko can do this by extending the flaps of skin it has on its abdomen. The frilly gecko uses its extra skin to parachute from tree to tree. These gliding geckos are found in the rainforests of southern Asia.

Tokay Geckos

The Tokay geckos are the largest of the geckos, growing to a length of 10 inches. Tokay geckos live in the rainforests of Asia, but have been imported into the United States as pets, but also as pest control. Florida greenhouses employ Tokay geckos to control insects like cockroaches. The Tokay is known for its powerful bite as well as the sound it makes--"to-kay"--which gave it its name.

Gecko Food

The gecko has access to a great deal of prey in the rainforests. Smaller geckos subsist mostly on insects and leaves from the trees where they spend most of their time. But other larger species, like the bark gecko in the Sri Lankan jungle, eat other reptiles, like small snakes. Geckos are nocturnal hunters and can also kill and eat small birds, reptile and bird eggs and mice.

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