When Wally asked me to write an article on an underrated gecko species, I jumped at the chance. How could I, someone obsessed with weird and unusual geckos, NOT write about “what species (I) feel is most underrated.” Then, I labored over what single species to do. Not one to play by the rules, I have decided to write about a genus, not a species. Without further ado, I give you Hemidactylus!
Hemidactylus are a wide spread genus naturally, and are, for the most part, highly adaptable. This in turn makes them a hardy and forgiving genus to keep. Confirmed populations are introduced all over the world, including the U.S. north enough to be subjected to real winter (including downtown Baltimore where I live, no less). This does not mean that cold temps work for these geckos, but that they will creep into crevices in walls and survive on the bugs and warmth found inside. Hemidactylus triedrus triedrus is the species I started with, and the one I recommend to someone starting off with Hemidactylus. They are big, impressive geckos that are near bulletproof and have serious personality to boot. Ruspoli are another favorite of mine, with a pattern like Pachydactylus rugosus, and the tubercles to match. If you are looking for a voracious, ‘spiky’ gecko, ruspoli is the Hemidactylus for you.
I could go on and on, and I feel bad leaving out Tarentola, Pachydactylus, Goniurosaurus, and some others, but I’ve already gone well over my word count. I guess we have some Genera for next time….