Say Ah! Moorish Gecko; Mgarr, Gozo
This little chap let me get really close while I was waiting to photograph something else - at first I thought he was just a twig lying on the wall until he moved! Gave me quite a shock!
English: Moorish Gecko
Scientific: Tarentola mauritanica (Linnaeus 1758)
Distribution: Much of the Iberian peninsular except north,most of northern Mediterranean sea coastal areas and north Africa
These lizards are most active at night and have the ability to climb walls and even cling to ceilings. Their colouration can vary but generally it is a camouflage pattern of browns, greens and greys with rough dorsal scales giving them a spiked appearance.
The body length can reach 9cm with the tail being equal to make a total of 18cm. (The male is larger than the female.) Often they are smaller than this and if the tail is damaged it may not be of equal length. As with most lizards they have the ability to eject a section or all of the tail in order to confuse predators. While the disconnected tail still wriggles occupying the predator, the gecko has a chance to escape with its life and regenerate a new tail over the coming weeks.
They can live on rock faces, in trees, in log piles, drystone walls, barns and along side people in dwellings. Their food consists mainly of insects such as moths, beetles, caterpillars and spiders. They have adapted well to living next to humans as lights left on at night attract many moths which provide an ample food source.