palmatogecko

Lizzy by Aftab Uzzaman
Via Flickr:
Hi My name is Lizzy. I am a gecko. Some people call me Palmatogecko and scientists call me Palmatogecko rangei. I don’t like those names, they sound weird! I live in Namib Desert in Namibia. My home is a burrow in the deep sand. I spend the day there because it is too hot outside. I come out during the night and go hunting. I love insects. They are yummy! I am four inches long. Some of my friends are very large, they are six inches long. That’s big! I don’t have eyelids like you guys do, so I lick my eyeballs to keep them clean. My skin is transparent and you can see through it everything inside. Isn’t that cool? Do you think I am cute? (same day)

Baby Web-footed Gecko

Also referred to as Namib Sand Gecko, Pachydactylus rangei (Gekkonidae) is a very attractive gecko, found in Namibia and Angola. It is distinctive by its webbed feet, an adaptation that allows these geckoes to quickly scroll through their sandy environment. They also have translucent skin, mostly a somber brown or gray color which helps them blend in with the desert sands. 

The Web-footed Gecko is nocturnal and insectivorous, but they are known as inefficient hunters because their prey (such as grasshoppers, small spiders, and any arthropod small enough for them to digest) can easily avoid them. However, by hunting at night, they are able to take advantage of the lack of competition from other lizards during the hours when insects and spiders are off their guard. Their large eyes and vertical pupils help the gecko to see well at night.

Synonyms: Palmatogecko rangei Anderson, 1908; Syndactylosaura schultzei Werner 1910

Reference: [1]

Photo credit: ©cowyeow 

Locality: Sesriem, Namibia

Made with Flickr

Gecko in the dunes | ©Isak Pretorius

A Web-footed Gecko, Pachydactylus (Palmatogecko) rangei (Gekkonidae) at the red dunes of the Namibian coastline. 

Web-footed geckos are uniquely adapted to the sandy environment of the Namibian desert of Southern Africa. The webbed feet of this species are unique in the gecko world and allow this gecko to easily traverse the soft sands of its native habitat. This small gecko may appear somewhat fragile, but is surprisingly tough. In their native habitat, they have been observed active at temperatures barely above freezing.

They have recently been reclassified as members of the Pachydactylus genus, but the old moniker of Palmatogecko still seems to be quite widely used. In addition to the unique toes, the eyes of this species are spectacular [1].

This species possess large, bulb-like eyes with vertical pupils. Their eyes are are dark brown and red, and they stand out against the pinkish-brown color of the head and back of the species. Like most geckos, they lack eyelids. Instead, the eyes are covered with a transparent scale, called a spectacle, which is cleaned by periodic licking [2].