Added 25 March 2007.

A look at the

Subfamily GEKKONINAE - "True" Geckos


Genus BLAESODACTYLUS - Velvet Geckos

A small genus of just 3 species, composed of Malagasy species formerly considered part of the genus Homopholis. All three species are apparently quite intolerant of most other individuals and can be quite aggressive. Interestingly, pair bonding takes place in B. boivini at least, the pair staying together once established. B. sakavala also live as a pair on a tree, although whether this is a lifelong bond is not clear from Henkel and Schmidt's account.

The species are generally similar, with small conical scales on the dorsal surfaces, an overall dullish coloration and a pattern of more or less distinct transverse bands. I am aware that this page relies heavily on Henkel and Schmidt, for which I hope they will forgive me! As further information on the genus, including scalation details and systematics, becomes available to me I will add it.

B. antongilensis, Antongil Velvet Gecko B. boivini, Madagascar Velvet Gecko B. sakavala, Grandidier's Velvet Gecko

Scientific Name Common Name Distribution Size Notes
B. antongilensis Antongil Velvet Gecko E Madagascar and Nosy Boraha 8"/20cm TL Arboreal rainforest dwellers, not considered commensal by Henkel and Schmidt, who also note that they are extremely quarrelsome, with even the females fighting: hence the authors recommend keeping them in pairs. They also require high humidity. See Henkel and Schmidt for full husbandry information. Coloration: overall grey-brown to beige-brown; several undulating transverse bands from head to tip of tail; broad unbroken line runs medially over the entire body. Reproduction: females lay their eggs in the ground. Both mating and treatment of hatchlings can be violent: see Henkel and Schmidt.
B. boivini Madagascar Velvet Gecko N Madagascar 12"/30cm TL See Dactylus Vol.3:1. Found on both trees and cliffs. Although as intolerant of adults and other species as B. antongilensis, apparently the parents do not threaten hatchlings until they are semi-adult. Click here or here for photos of B. boivini. Coloration: overall light beige to greyish-yellow with about 10 darker transverse bands and narrower whitish bands adjacent to them, from the neck to some length of the tail (see picture in Henkel and Schmidt). Ventrally white with small brown spots. Eyes are amber. Reproduction: the parents (usually the female) protects the eggs: see also note above.
B. sakalava Grandidier's Velvet Gecko W Madagascar, possibly also S. 8"/20cm See introductory remarks. Coloration: overall grey with indistinct slightly darker transverse bands and overall brown speckling (see picture in Henkel and Schmidt). Ventrally immaculate light beige.


Amphibians and Reptiles of Madagascar and the Mascarene, Seychelles and Comoro Islands, Friedrich-Wilhelm Henkel and Wolfgang Schmidt, Krieger Publishing Company, Florida 2000. Good representative guide of the Malagasy herpetofauna, with husbandry information and a handy guide to the national parks.

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