Added December 3 2003.

Subfamily GEKKONINAE - Typical Geckos


Genus PSEUDOGEKKO - False Geckos

A genus of four species, all found in the Philippines. Alcala considered them rare nearly 20 years ago, and there is probably no reason to think that this status has changed. As far as I am aware, none are seen in captivity outside their native country.

Species Name Common Name Distribution Size Notes
P. brevipes

Luzon False Gecko [Orange-Spotted Smooth-Scaled Gecko, Alcala] Philippines (Luzon, Samar [Alcala claims Samar, Negros, Bohol and Cebu]) 4-5½cm SVL Found in dipterocarp and submontane forests at elevations of 300-1,000m, where they inhabit leaf axils of aerial ferns and Pandanus. Scalation: 13-17 upper labials: ventral scales cycloid, in 24-30 longitudinal rows at midbody. Digits are moderately dilated, with 14-18 scansors beneath 4th toes and no webs between toes. 10-16 preanal pores in males. Coloration (in preservative): dorsally reddish-brown, uniform or sometimes with darker blemishes or mottled red-brown and greyish. Live individuals have an orange oblong spot on the head behind the eyes (fades to brownish tan in preservative). Some individuals have a vertebral series of very small black spots. Ventrally whitish with brown flecks, especially under the head and along lateral edges. Reproduction: eggs (presumably 2 per clutch?) are laid on leaves of Pandanus or on rotting branches on the forest floor.
P. compressicorpus Philippine False Gecko [Cylindrical-bodied Smooth-Scaled Gecko, Alcala] Philippines (Luzon, Limay [Alcala claims S Luzon, Bohol, Zamboanga Peninsula, S Mindanao and Masbate]) 6½-8cm SVL A larger species found in tropical rain forests at 400-800m elevation. It inhabits tree stumps, vines and trees. Body is slender and the head is narrow. Scalation: ventral scales small and flat in 20 rows at midbody: 16-20 scansors beneath 4th toe: digits moderately dilated: terminal scansor and preceding 3-4 are divided on all digits except 1st: 14-20 enlarged preanal pores (this may not apply to all individuals). Coloration (preserved in alcohol): dorsally a shade of lightish brown or red-grey, which may be uniform or slightly mottled: ventrally cream to whitish, with scattered dark flecks or scales on the ventrolateral surfaces, of varying density between individuals. Reproduction: eggs are laid on leaves attached to rotting stumps or in humus. 
P. labialis Mindanao False Gecko [Dark- Spotted Smooth- Scaled Gecko, Alcala] Philippines (Mindanao [Alcala claims S & E parts]) 3½-5½ cm SVL Moderately slender gecko found in dipterocarp and submontane forests at 550-1,440m elevation. Habitat as for P. brevipes. Scalation: 11-15 upper labials: digits moderately dilated, 11-14 scansors beneath 4th toe, no webbing between toes, 2-3 subterminal scansors divided: 11-15 preanal pores in males. Subcaudals slightly enlarged. Coloration (preserved specimens): dorsally greyish or reddish-brown, sometimes more reddish-tan, often lighter middorsally: dark-brown to blackish dorsal markings in the form of several small vertebral bars or spots to irregular transverse bars of varying width: these may fuse with the darker dorsolateral coloration to form a "broken ladder" pattern. A line of 6-10 small round whitish spots between head and groin is usually present. Ventrally light with dark brown flecks of varying density between individuals. Reproduction: see P. brevipes.  
P. smaragdinus Polillo False Gecko [Green Smooth-Scaled Gecko, Alcala] Philippines (Polillo) 5-6½cm SVL  Probably the most colourful of the genus: nearly always found in leaf axils of Pandanus trees. Scalation: ventral scales small and cycloid in 32-36 transverse rows near midbody. Digits moderately dilated,all subdigital scansors undivided, about 14-18 beneath 4th toe. 38-43 preanal and femoral pores in males. Coloration: yellow- to leaf-green, the green being more intense on the back: numerous rounded, black spots on head and shoulders: series of faint uneven spots on each side from behind the eye to roughly halfway between limbs: last two-thirds of tail are ventrally reddish-brown to salmon. Reproduction: no details available. 


Guide to Philippine Flora and Fauna. Volume X, Amphibians and Reptiles, Prof. Angel C Alcala, Natural Resources Management Centre, Ministry of Natural Resources and University of the Philippines, 1986. Very useful field guide to the herps of this area, which is usually under-represented in literature. One slight drawback is that the photographs are black-and-white and the descriptions of colour for many species are drawn from preserved specimens: otherwise this book is to be recommended if you can obtain a copy. We acknowledge our debt to this book for the details given in this section.

Back to "Typical" Geckos | Back to Geckos | Back to Lizards | Back to Reptiles | Back to Herpetology | Back to Homepage