Cork-bark gecko / Uroplatus pietschmanni by Matthijs Kuijpers Via Flickr: I am seeing so many greatly camouflaged critters today at my Flickr friends that i thought it time to post one of the true masters of camouflage; the very rare and highly endangered Cork-bark gecko endemic to Madagascar.
The leaf-tailed geckos (genus Uroplatus) of Madagascar deserve their own separate post with their crazy camouflaging abilities. These reptiles are noctural and spend most of their day staying still and looking like a dead leaf or tree trunk.
The first three pictures are of three individuals of mossy leaf-tailed geckoes: The first one is slightly deattached from the trunk but still well camouflaged. The second one is displaying how incredibily difficult it can be to see these geckoes when they really try blend into the trunk. In the third picture, the gecko is disturbed and moving along the trunk, so it’s easy to see. They can change their colors a bit too, and they seemed to turn lighter-colored and easier to spot when they were stressed.
The next picture has a satanic leaf-tailed gecko, but I’m not sure which species the gecko in the last picture is. Either way, these two were hanging right next to each other but it took a while before anyone even noticed the second one. They had chosen their spot perfectly too, in a branch full of brown and grayish dead leaves.
Male satanic leaf-tailed gecko (Uroplatus phantasticus) and mossy leaf-tailed gecko (Uroplatus sikorae) by Paul Via Flickr: Photo from Ranomafana national park, Madagascar.
very cool composition. and it took me a bit t realize where the 2nd gecko was.
EDIT: for those of you wondering where the 2nd gecko is, it’s on the trunk of the tree looking like moss. be sure you’re looking at the full picture. you can make out the right foot, head, and eye at the bottom.