Much like humans, gecko’s thrive in Floridas warm, humid environment.
However, there is only one species of Gecko that is actually native to the area, the rest are invasive.
Below we have put together a full list of Gecko species that can be found in Florida.
Reef geckos are the only species that are native to Florida. Invasive species include ocellated, flat-tailed, and ashy geckos. There’s one thing that these geckos have in common though – they’re all non-venomous and thrive on insect-based diets.
9 Types of gecko you can find in Florida
The most common types of gecko you can find in Florida are:
1. Florida reef gecko
Scientifically known as Sphaerodactylus notatus, the Florida reef gecko is in the family Sphaerodactylidae.
These are the only geckos native to Florida. Interestingly, this gecko species is only native to a few other places – a few Caribbean islands.
Apart from Florida, these are the only places with the warm, humid climate that these geckos need to thrive.
If there’s one thing that you need to know about Florida reef geckos though, it’s that they are small, brown, and have dark spots that fade as they age.
On average, this type of gecko is around 2 inches long – half of this length is the reptile’s tail. It’s therefore not surprising that Florida reef geckos are currently one of the state’s smallest reptiles.
Size aside, these geckos are similar to other geckos – they are most active at dusk and only eat insects. Also, it’s easy to tell the difference between female and male Florida reef geckos. The former have broad dark stripes on their heads. Also, they lay a single egg several times a year.
2. Yellow-headed gecko
Scientifically known as Gonatodes albogularis, this gecko species belongs to the family Sphaerodactylidae. It is native to South and Central America, particularly Cuba and the West Indies.
However, it is quite invasive in the United States and is particularly common in hot, humid areas like Florida.
Yellow headed geckos typically dwell on the ground or on low-hanging branches.
But if there’s one thing that this gecko is known for, it’s its bright yellow head. This feature comes with a gray or brown body and a white-tipped tail.
However, only the males of this species have this defining characteristic – they even use it to attract females and defend their territories. Females on the other hand are gray and have a light color.
It’s therefore not surprising that you can usually tell a male yellow-headed gecko from a female one by the time they’re 6 months old.
Another interesting feature that yellow-headed geckos possess is a lack of sticky footpads (lamellae). They share this feature with leopard geckos and other geckos of the Eublepheridae family. As such, it’s difficult for them to climb.
3. Ocellated geckos
Also known as Sphaerodactylus argus or stippled sphaero, this gecko species is native to Jamaica. However, it is currently found in the Bahamas, Cuba, and South Florida.
As far as physical appearance goes, ocellated geckos are usually up to 2.5 inches long and dark brown. They also have white spots and large brown eyes.
Ultimately, these geckos look different from other geckos – they are kind of the oddball of the gecko community.
Another interesting thing about these geckos is that they prefer to stay on the ground or near it despite them being able to climb easily.
They particularly love living in debris and leaf litter. Another thing that sets these geckos apart is that they are diurnal – they are awake during the day and sleep during the night.
This is surprising because most gecko species are nocturnal – they sleep during the day and are awake at night.
4. Flat-tailed house geckos
These geckos are also known as frilled house geckos, Asian flat-tailed house geckos, or Hemidactylus platyurus. They belong to the family Gekkonidae and are native to southeastern Asia.
But somehow, these geckos made their way to South Florida. Physically, these geckos have concave heads, small ears, long snouts, and flat tails – they are also usually gray.
Beyond that, they have white bellies, dark gray streaks, and scales that look like granules – as far as length goes, they measure 4 to 6 inches.
But if there’s one thing you need to know about flat-tailed geckos, it’s that they are low-maintenance. Not only are they cheap to keep but they also have simple care requirements.
They can even thrive in a small tank. It’s therefore not surprising that these geckos can be found in warehouses and human dwellings.
5. Cuban ashy geckos
Cuban ashy geckos are scientifically known as Sphaerodactylus elegans.
As their name suggests, these geckos are native to Cuba. Interestingly, these geckos can grow to be 2.75 inches in length, making them one of the biggest dwarf species in North America.
But this is not even the most interesting thing about these geckos. What really sets them apart is their colors and patterns.
They are usually gray or dark brown and have white/black spots or stripes. To cap it all off, they have vibrantly colored tails in red or blue.
However, the colors and patterns of cuban ashy geckos get more subdued as they get older – they are most vibrant in juveniles.
6. White-spotted wall gecko
Native to Northern Africa, this species is also known as the ringed wall gecko or Tarentola annularis.
These geckos are particularly in large populations in Egypt and Ethiopia. While no one knows how they got there, these geckos are now present in Arizona, California, and Florida.
As their name suggests, white-spotted wall geckos have a lot of white spots on their tan skin.
What’s more? They can grow to a whopping 6 to 8 inches in length. Keep in mind that the males in this species are usually longer and heavier than their female counterparts.
However, they both have tails that look spiky and are significantly more aggressive than other gecko species. So don’t try to touch them if you see them somewhere – they will take this as a threat and try to bite you.
7. Tokay gecko
This gecko species is known for its soft gray skin with orange and blue spots. Its name comes from its mating call, which sounds a lot like To-kay!
Native to the Middle East and Asia, this gecko is scientifically known as the Gekko gecko. The particular countries that these geckos natively inhabit include Indonesia, India, Nepal, Malaysia, and Thailand.
If there’s one thing you need to know about these geckos, though, it’s that they are large.
In fact, they are the third largest gecko species – they can grow up to 12 inches in length.
Also, they can change their appearance to blend into their environment and are generally aggressive. However, it’s still quite popular among pet traders.
8. Mediterranean house gecko
Scientifically known as Hemidactylus turcicus, the Mediterranean house gecko is a member of the family Gekkonidae.
This gecko is native to Northern Africa and Southern Europe. However, it was brought to Florida through the importing of plants that had this gecko’s eggs.
It usually has a concave forehead, rounded snout, and small oval ears. Beyond that, the Mediterranean house gecko camouflages by changing its color.
It opts for pale colors like white, yellow, and pink or dark ones like brown and gray. It’s therefore not surprising that this gecko species can survive in a variety of places like your building’s ceilings, walls, and windows.
Female Mediterranean house geckos have even been known to lay egg clutches in dirt and under barks.
9. Bibron’s thick-toed gecko
Also known as Bibron’s sand gecko or Bibron’s gecko, this is yet another gecko species that have invaded Florida. It is named after a French herpetologist called Gabriel Bibron and is native to southern African countries like South Africa and Namibia.
Currently, these geckos are mostly found in Southern Florida, particularly in Bradenton, Manatee county. More importantly, they can grow up to 8 inches long and are heavier than other gecko species.
However, the females are usually smaller and lighter than the males. This isn’t the only way in which the two genders of this species differ though – they also look a little bit different.
While the females are usually brown with black crossbars and beaded patterns, the males usually have white spots all over and white/light brown bellies. Whichever gender the gecko is, though, it’s a great climber.
When it comes down to it, many types of geckos are present in Florida, and they’re increasing every day.
After all, the warm humid climate in the area is conducive for a lot of these reptiles.
So don’t be surprised if you keep running into these cute little reptiles, and don’t try to pet them either. If they speak to your soul, you’re better off buying one at your local pet store.