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The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

House Gecko / Common Tropical House Gecko

Afrikaans name: Tropiese Huisgeitjie

A House Gecko sorting out a cockroach

House Gecko

Photo © Steven Herbert

Hemidactylus mabouia

Apparently this reptile is called a Common Tropical House Gecko but, now that that’s out the way, I will call it a House Gecko.

The House Gecko is a common sight in homes particularly along the east coast of South Africa. Some people love them (I think) but others hate them. They do get rid of other unwanted visitors to our homes so that's one thing in their favour.

The House Gecko is nocturnal and is not often seen during the day.

At night they come out in search of insect prey. They will often wait in areas of bright light to catch moths and other insects that are attracted to the light.

I have seen these geckos chase each other and have no doubt that adults will eat smaller ones if they can catch them.

They make a clicking noise.

Although most commonly seen in our houses they do inhabit trees as well. Their colouration is quite variable.

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References and further reading

A Guide to the Reptiles of Southern Africa - Author: Graham Alexander and Johan Marais - Year Published: 2007 - Page: 301

Bill Branch's Field Guide to the Snakes and Other Reptiles of Southern Africa - Author: Bill Branch - Year Published: 1988 - Page: 194

Questions and Answers - Snakes and Reptiles of Southern Africa - Author: John Comrie-Greig - Year Published: 1992 - Page: 13

Reptiles & Amphibians of Southern Africa - Author: Warren Schmidt - Year Published: 2006 - Page: 53

Reptiles of Southern Africa - Author: Rod Patterson and Anothony Bannister - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 42

Sasol First Field Guide to Snakes & other Reptiles of Southern Africa - 2nd edition - Author: Tracey Hawthorne - Year Published: 2016 - Page: 53

Suburban Wildlife in KZN - Author: Jason Londt - Year Published: 2009 - Page: 100

The Reptiles of the Kruger National Park - Author: U. de V. Pienaar, WD Haacke and NHG Jacobsen - Year Published: 1983 - Page: 41

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