Geckos are lizards with suction cup feet, so are often described as wall climbers!
Gecko lizards are found worldwide in all the warmer regions. They have flattened bodies, short necks and wide flat heads. They have digits on their feet (kind of like toes) that are adhesive. They can cling to surfaces because each of their digits have rows of tiny hooked bristles. These bristles allow them to climb straight up walls and across ceilings.
The incredible climbing ability of geckos is certainly a distinguishing characteristic. But what actually distinguishes these lizards as a family is that they have the ability to produce sounds. Some make high-pitched calls, some sound like ducks, and others like barking dogs.
Most geckos have fused eyelids, like those found on snakes. About seventy-five percent of the geckos are nocturnal, so their pupils are narrow and vertical to block out light. The rest of the geckos have round pupils. They also have a protrusible notched tongue that they will use to lick their eyelids to help keep them clean.
Geckos are generally hardy and fairly easy to maintain in captivity. Keeping geckos as pets has many advantages compared to other types of pets. They require very little space, they are not noisy, feeding them is inexpensive, and cleaning up after them and caring for their home is pretty easy. Many will also breed easily in captivity.
Gecko lizards belong in the Gekkota suborder, which is one of the largest groups of lizards. They are members of 5 subfamilies of the family Gekkonidae, which consists of numerous genera and at least 800 different species.
With such a large and diverse selection of gecko lizards, it’s just a matter of finding the gecko species that is right for you. This list of gecko species includes many of the popular pets, each has information and care for the individual gecko species. For information on all different types of lizards in the Gekkonidae group, see: Lizard Families – Geckos
- To learn about different types of lizards, see: Choosing a Pet Lizard