Friday, October 9, 2009

Desert Banded Gecko

The desert banded gecko is one of six subspecies of the western banded gecko. It is found in parts of Southern California, extreme southeastern Nevada and most of western Arizona. The one below was caught near Verbenia Avenue (off the I-10 freeway past Cabazon) in May 1993.

They have brown bands on their backs on a pink to yellow background. With age, or in certain locations, the bands tend to break-up into blotched, spotted or mottled patterns. They are nocturnal and can live in extremely harsh conditions, including sand dunes. The males have a spur on each side at the base of the tail (see below).

Because they are small, they are difficult to see at night when driving along roads looking for reptiles. I have only seen one in the wild. A number of years ago, we stopped for one in the road in Whitewater Canyon and found that it was a decoy placed by Fish and Game wardens looking for reptile hunters without a fishing license (a fishing license is required to capture reptiles in California).

When threatened they can drop their tails. The tails will regenerate. They are very neat reptiles, but for some reason I have never had much interest in keeping one as a pet, unlike numerous other lizards and snakes.


  1. I have a couple of Geckos living out on my front porch. I see them hanging out on the wall together late at night.

  2. These are wonderful lizards. Great guests as they eat the bugs around your property.