Mourning gecko

Lepidodactylus lugubris

Common name:

Mourning gecko

Scientific name:

Lepidodactylus lugubris

Alternative common names:

Common smooth-scaled gecko.

Mourning geckos are small, nocturnal geckos with a long tail and smooth skin. They range in colour from white and grey to brown and fawn. They are parthenogenic, which means the female reproduces independently of the male.

Additional Info

  • Where does this species come from?

    Found across the Pacific region.

    What is its invasive status in South Africa?

    NEMBA Category 1b.

    Where in South Africa is it a problem?

    KwaZulu-Natal.

    How does it spread?

    They are transported in ships and other vessels.

    Why is it a problem?

    They carry pathogens and cause diseases.

    What does it look like?

    Description: Mourning geckos are small, nocturnal geckos with a long tail and smooth skin, reaching 10.5cm. They range in colour from white and grey to brown and fawn. Habitat: They are very adaptable and can thrive in a variety of habitats. In different geographic locations, they have been found in mangrove trees, on bare rocks near seashores, in the leaf axils of palms, behind the bark of trees and in human habitations. Breeding: Mourning geckos become sexually mature at about 8-10 months. They are parthenogenic, which means the female reproduces independently of the male. They generally lay two eggs, occasionally one, per clutch and are prolific, communal egg-layers. They will 'glue' their hard-shelled eggs almost anywhere. Once laid, the eggs are very difficult to remove without cracking. Eggs take 60 days or longer to hatch when kept at a minimum of 21°C. Hatchlings measure 35mm from snout to tail tip at birth.