Tropical House Gecko
Hemidactylus mabouia (Moreau de Jonnès, 1818)


Hemidactylus mabouia is a nocturnal lizard that can grow up to about 5 in. (12 cm) long. Its color ranges from tan to gray or olive-brown. It has darker, chevron-shaped dorsal markings with the point towards the tail. They can appear almost white on light colored surfaces at night. This species is can sometimes be seen at night on walls or tree trunks. H. mabouia is native to continental Africa.
Life Cycle
H. mabouia can attach its eggs to objects, including fishing boats. This is one of the ways it has moved to new habitats.
H. mabouia is now widespread. It is found in Florida as well as South and Central America. It is an aggressive species that has been known to not only displace native geckos but also to eat native geckos. It is thought H. mabouia may also prey on hatchling anoles. In Florida H. mabouia is the only nocturnal gecko.
Control Efforts
One possible form of bio-control for H. mabouia may be the large native orb-weaver spiders, such as the yellow garden spider, Argiope aurantia. It has been shown that large orb weavers, such as Nephilengys cruentata, prey on H. mabouia in their native range.


Selected Images


EDDMapS Distribution

EDDMapS Distribution - This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts, herbaria, and literature. For more information, visit

State Regulated List

State Regulated List - This map identifies those states that list this species on their regulated list. For more information, visit

Taxonomic Rank

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Gekkota
Family: Gekkonidae
Genus: Hemidactylus
Subject: Hemidactylus mabouia (Moreau de Jonnès, 1818)


Wildlife - Reptiles