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What is a Tokay Gecko?

Jacob Queen
Jacob Queen

The tokay gecko is a species of lizard that originally hailed from parts of Asia. They eventually became somewhat popular as pets, and some escaped and went wild. Due to this, some wild populations can be found in places like the US state of Florida. The tokay gecko is about 7 to 15 inches long (20 to 40 cm), and their color changes depending on the time of day. Most of the time they are a grayish shade, but they can be darker or lighter, and they have colored spots.

This lizard enjoys eating various kinds of insects. The tokay gecko eats just about any insect it can catch, and it will also occasionally eat worms if it gets an opportunity. These geckos are known to have a pretty heavy appetite, and they eat very often. The lizards tend to come out at night and hide under rocks or other debris when the sun is out. This helps control their temperature, and it makes it easier for them to surprise the insects that they hunt.


The behavior of the tokay gecko is famous because of the animal’s aggressiveness. They are often raised in captivity, but people frequently have problems because tokays are so quick to bite. It can be very difficult to totally tame them, and sometimes it is impossible to train them not to bite their owners. The bite itself is bad enough to cause minor injuries, and when the lizards bite, the owners will usually have to hold them under water to make them let go. The aggressive nature of the tokay gecko means that it isn’t necessarily considered the easiest gecko to keep as a pet.

Females lay eggs about four times every year, and the average clutch is about three eggs. Their eggs will actually stick to surfaces, and the female will usually purposely attach them to a log or something similar. When people keep the tokay gecko in captivity, the females sometimes attach the eggs to the cage or aquarium.

If someone goes to buy a tokay gecko, it is possible to get one that was captured in the wild. Some breeders purchase wild captured tokay gecko specimens and sell them for lower prices. This is often a bad thing, because the lizards frequently have health problems, and many people consider the practice unethical. Others actually look for these kinds of deals because they want to spend less money on their tokay, and they may think the health problems can be dealt with through veterinary care.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Tokay Gecko?

The Tokay Gecko is a nocturnal arboreal gecko, known scientifically as Gekko gecko. It's one of the largest gecko species, with adults averaging between 8 to 14 inches in length. They are recognized for their striking blue-grey bodies with bright orange or red spots and their distinctive vocalizations, which sound like "to-kay!"

Where can you find Tokay Geckos in the wild?

Native to the rainforests of Southeast Asia, Tokay Geckos are found in countries like Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Malaysia. They thrive in warm, humid environments and are often seen clinging to the walls of buildings or trees, hunting for insects at night.

Are Tokay Geckos endangered?

As of my knowledge cutoff in 2023, Tokay Geckos are not considered endangered. They are listed as "Least Concern" by the IUCN Red List, indicating a stable population. However, they face threats from habitat destruction and the pet trade, which could impact their numbers in the future.

What do Tokay Geckos eat?

Tokay Geckos are carnivorous, primarily feeding on a variety of insects such as crickets, beetles, and caterpillars. They are also known to eat small vertebrates, including rodents and other geckos. Their diet in captivity should mimic this variety to ensure proper nutrition.

How do Tokay Geckos reproduce?

Tokay Geckos are oviparous, meaning they lay eggs. A female can lay a clutch of one or two eggs, which she will adhere to a protected surface. The eggs take about two to three months to hatch, and the young are independent from birth, receiving no parental care.

Can you keep a Tokay Gecko as a pet?

While it is possible to keep a Tokay Gecko as a pet, they are known for their aggressive temperament and strong bite, making them less suitable for beginners. Experienced reptile enthusiasts who can provide a large enclosure, proper diet, and humidity levels may find them a rewarding challenge. Always source pets responsibly to avoid supporting wildlife trafficking.

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