Leaf-tailed geckos of the genus Uroplatus have spectacular camouflage, remaining motionless on forest branches during the day before becoming active hunters after dark.
The genus Uroplatus diverged from all other living geckos more than 50 million years ago, long before our ancestors diverged from those of modern baboons, tamarins and capuchin monkeys!
Uroplatus guentheri is threatened by habitat loss and degradation due to fires, livestock, logging, charcoal production, and agricultural practices. It is listed as Endangered by the IUCN Red List due to its small range, fragmented population and loss of suitable habitat.
This species is listed on CITES Appendix II, though a strict export quota is in place. It occurs in two national parks in Madagascar, but more research into the population status and the impact of threats is required.
- Order: Squamata
- Family: Gekkonidae
- Population: Unknown
- Trend: decreasing
- Size: 15-18cm
This species is endemic to scattered locations across western Madagascar.
Habitat and Ecology
This leaf-tailed gecko occupies dry deciduous forests where it roosts and forages on bushes and small trees up to 6 metres in height. They lay spherical eggs in the leaf litter.