Uroplatus sikorae - Mossy Leaf-tailed Gecko

    Newer Older

    Uroplatus sikorae is a species of gecko commonly referred to as the Mossy leaf-tailed gecko. This species, endemic to Madagascar, is found in primary and secondary forests on the island. It has the ability to change its skin color to match its surroundings and possesses dermal flaps which break up its outline when at rest.

    It is a CITES II protected animal due to habitat loss and overcollection for the pet trade

    The generic name, Uroplatus, is a Latinization of two Greek words: "ourá" (οὐρά) meaning "tail" and "platys" (πλατύς) meaning "flat". Its specific name is a Latinization of the name Franz Sikora, a German fossil-hunter and explorer of Madagascar. The species was first described by German zoologist Oskar Boettger but not published until three years after his death.[1] Its common name refers to the mossy-like camouflage patterns and colors of the lizard's skin.

    The genus Uroplatus contains 12 species endemic to Madagascar; Uroplatus sikorae is the only species within this genus containing a subspecies: Sameit's Leaf-tailed gecko Uroplatus sikorae sameiti, named for Joachim Sameit.[2] This subspecies was identified in 1990, the chief identifier is the inside of its mouth is pink as opposed to the black coloration of the parent species.[2]

    Phylogenically it has been placed within a monophyletic complex consisting of three other species of Uroplatus: U. fimbriatus, U. giganteus, U. henkeli.[3] This complex represents the larger species of the genus

    Mossy leaf-tailed geckos are nocturnal and arboreal. Their eyes are large, lidless, and have yellow sclera with elliptical pupils, suited for the gecko's nocturnal habits. The mossy leaf-tailed gecko ranges in size from 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 cm) when measured from nose to base of the tail. They spend most of the daylight hours hanging vertically on tree trunks, head down, resting. During the night, they will venture from their daylight resting spots, and go off in search of prey.[4]

    As with all Uroplatus geckos, the tail is flattened and leaf-like. U. sikorae has coloration developed as camouflage, most being grayish brown to black or greenish brown with various markings meant to resemble tree bark; down to the lichens and moss found on the bark. U. sikorae has flaps of skin, running the length of its body, head and limbs, known as the dermal flap, which it can lay against the tree during the day, scattering shadows, and making its outline practically invisible.[4] Additionally, the gecko can change its skin color to match its background similar to the chameleons of Madagascar.[5]

    Mossy leaf-tailed geckos are insectivores eating insects, arthropods, and gastropods


    Paul:Ritchie, HeadOvMetal, .jinnipher, and 32 other people added this photo to their favorites.

    View 6 more comments

    1. allanhowell1 66 months ago | reply

      outstanding capture
      animales racionales
      Comentada en animales racionales
      Commented in animales racionales

    2. Florida Blume 66 months ago | reply

      incredible....hard to tell where it starts and what part is branch

    3. Odonata457 66 months ago | reply

      Wonderful shot -- well done.

    4. Nerorhea 66 months ago | reply

      Creatura fantastica e foto splendida, complimenti!

    5. Paul:Ritchie 66 months ago | reply

      beautiful shot

      Seen in the Reptile Macro group.

    6. arubow4 66 months ago | reply

      Spectacular photograph! The attached information is very much appreciated.

    7. Lynda With a "Why?" 66 months ago | reply

      what a great shot =]

    8. grafba 66 months ago | reply

      Beautiful macro!

    9. BAM @ GOSH phase 2a 65 months ago | reply

      an excellent photo!
      Your image is amazing!!
      Please share your photo with our group!

      The True Essence Of All Mother Nature(Invited photos only)

      Please tag with TrueEssence

    10. Bucci 10 64 months ago | reply

      Belissima foto essa vai para minhas favoritas parabens
      nota 10000000000000000000000000000000000000000

    11. Armando Caldas 63 months ago | reply

      In the moment... great!

    12. crijnfotin 63 months ago | reply

      very nice shot. Saw a number of these on nosy mangabe in Madagascar in 1999.

    13. Linda DV (on the old layout with a hacking tool) 60 months ago | reply

      Hi, I'm an admin for a group called Deep colors of nature (add 1/award 2) contest: CAMOUFLAGE COLORS, and we'd love to have this added to the group!

      also have a look here:

    14. haribau [deleted] 54 months ago | reply

      Wow great photo!!

    15. eloyhouse 49 months ago | reply

      Hi, I'm an admin for a group called Herp Center, and we'd love to have this added to the group!

    16. Lizard Videos 41 months ago | reply

      Awesome pic...We love lizards!!! Please come visit the net's biggest Free Lizard Video Archives only at: www.lizardvideos.com

    keyboard shortcuts: previous photo next photo L view in light box F favorite < scroll film strip left > scroll film strip right ? show all shortcuts