Added 20 May 2000

A look at the

Subfamily GEKKONINAE - "True" Geckos


Genus CROSSOBAMON - Comb-Toed Geckos

1 or 2 species: Crossobamon evermannsi is undisputed but I am not too sure about Crossobamon orientalis. I have never seen any in captivity or offered for sale, although with the opening up of the former USSR this may change - hopefully not too drastically, since rapid overcollection for short-term profit would surely endanger these interesting geckos.

Scientific Name Common Name Distribution Size Notes
Crossobamon evermannsi Comb-Toed Gecko Central Asia (S. Russia, Caspian Sea, S. Kazakhstan, NW Afghanistan and N. Iran) 6" A medium-sized gecko with a thin tail and rather large, somewhat triangular head, long thin limbs and large eyes. Overall colouring is a lightish brown with darker brown flecks and stripes, particularly a tiger stripe pattern on the tail and a single thickish stripe leading longitudinally from the eye to the forearms. The preferred habitat of these lizards is high sand dunes studded with bushes, and the saw-like "comb" on the edge of their toes is an adaptation to this life, as is possibly the narrow ear opening. There are no lamellae on the feet however, as possessed by most other members of the family, and so the climbing ability of Crossobamon is somewhat limited. In nature they dwell in tunnels, either evacuated by themselves or taken over from other small creatures, up to 2 ft or so long. For care in captivity Rogner recommends a 16" by 12" by 12" tank with a 2" layer of sand, part of which should be lightly moistened to provide a spot for egg-laying. Branches, hollow bark or tufts of grass can be used as cage furniture. Rogner also recommends that these geckos be only kept by experienced keepers.
Crossobamon orientalis

Crossobamon orientalis (Eastern Comb-Toed Gecko)

Eastern Comb-Toed Gecko Pakistan (Sind, Rohri and Shikarpur Districts) 6?" Information on this species seems to be very thin on the ground, and even the EMBL Reptile Database could not give a date as to when this lizard ceased to be considered a Stenodactylus species and became C. orientalis. The photograph (also accessible from the EMBL entry) shows a very similar body design to that of C. evermannsi but a light grey background colour with darker grey-brown stripes and a deep coppery-bronze eye. Assuming it comes from the same part of the world as C. evermannsi one would imagine its care requirements to be very similar, but more hard data is needed.


The information above was culled from a number of sources, including Mattison:

Lizards of the World, Mattison

Keeping and Breeding Lizards, Mattison

Geckos: Keeping and Breeding Them in Captivity, Walls and Walls, TFH 1999.

Breeding and Keeping Geckos, Coborn, TFH 1995.

Echsen [Lizards] 1, Rogner, Ullmer, 1992

Coming soon.... the other gecko genera.

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