Gecko Predating Mantis

Some shots of an Asian House Gecko Hemidactylus frenatus, consuming a Garden Mantid Orthodera ministralis, judging by the just visible blue on the inside of the forelimbs on the insect.

Hemidactylus frenatus - common form

This gecko was lucky, had he been anywhere near the striking distance of a Giant Mantid like this previous 'guest' pictured below, the roles would have almost certainly been reversed.

Hierodula sp

The problem with the identification of the Gecko at top - is it's rudimentary likeness to the endemic Mourning Gecko, Lepidodactylus lugubris esp during the day.

So if you happenstanced along here looking for a positive I.D with regard to Asian House Geckos, use the third pic as your most reliable guide.

The Asian House Gecko is not native to Australia and has been around for at least 30+ odd years [but I suspect probably, much, much longer than this]. You'd be hard pressed to go anywhere around TNQ without finding a few loudly 'chucking' away and generally out competing our native geckos for food and territory - which is grim.

However, unlike Cane Toads, these geckos also provide food for other creatures that are native - and in this there is at least some comfort ... not for the gecko though eh?.

They also have the curious habit of changing hue at night, becoming almost translucent and it's this paleness that is a dead give-away, most of the time; aiding in their identification.

However, when I was on Murray [Mer] Island, I did come across a number of [what I later concluded to be], Short-tailed Dtella's Gehyra baliola, who seemed to have the same ability and until I looked a bit closer, I had assumed were AHG's.

The Delta though is far more robust and it's skin kind of hangs off it in loose folds - but like I say, at first glance etc ...

The lesson here I guess, esp with reptiles, is don't trust patterns or colours as a precise guide to their species. In fact, even the most experienced 'Herpers' have almost come undone by misidentifying venomous snakes in the field - I have a story of my own about that, but I'll save it for another time.

Take care :)


  1. That Giant Mantid pic is awesome!!

  2. Thanks! Great to see a new face 'round the traps' ... you take care and look after those amazing guests you get down there ok?

    Paul n Jo


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