Zoo Miami's Lion Cub Makes His First Public Appearance
Help Name Binghamton Zoo's Otter Triplets!

Fantastic Leaf-tailed Gecko Hatches at Houston Zoo

1922048_10152349918072526_38494264_nThis tiny Fantastic Leaf-tailed Gecko hatched at the Houston Zoo on February 17 is easy to spot perched on top of a pencil.  But in the wild, these lizards are so well camouflaged that they’re nearly impossible to find. 


1911713_10152349855352526_734417867_nPhoto Credit:  Stephanie Adams / Houston Zoo

Fantastic Leaf-tailed Geckos are found only on Madagascar, where their coloration mimics dead leaves and twigs.  Their legs look like tiny branches and their tails resemble dead leaves – complete with veins and ragged edges.  Even zoo keepers have a hard time finding the lizards in their enclosure.

This species is also called the Satanic Leaf-tailed Gecko, due to their pointy, raised brow ridges.  Like other Geckos, these lizards lack eyelids, so they clean their eyeballs with a swipe of the tongue.  They are nocturnal, feeding mainly on insects.

Due to extensive habitat destruction from cattle grazing, logging, and agriculture, Fantastic Leaf-tailed Gecko populations are decreasing.

See more photos below.