Added 24 February 2001. Updated 18 April 2003: added further details to entries on Carphodactylus and Crenadactylus.

A look at the

Subfamily DIPLODACTYLINAE - Diplodactyline Geckos: The monotypic genera


Genus Carphodactylus - Chameleon Geckos

Genus Crenodactylus - Knob-Tailed Geckos

Genus Lucasium - Beaded Geckos

Genus Rhynocoedura - Beaked Geckos


Genus CARPHYLODACTYLUS - Chameleon Geckos

A monotypic genus. See Cogger for a full list of characteristics: one distinguishing feature that sets it apart from other Australian geckos is that the base of each claw is set between five scales. Preanal pores are present.

Scientific name Common name Place of origin Size (max) Notes
C. laevis Chameleon Gecko Australia (NE Queensland) 13cm Slender nocturnal rainforest gecko that lives in leaf litter during the day and climbs low vegetation or forages among debris at night. Little is known of its ecology, and the species range is very small. I am unsure of how the common name arose. See James Cook university for more information, and for a photograph. Scalation: body scales small and homogenous. Other: body and tail compressed, vertebral ridge runs from nape to tail. Coloration: dorsally brown with subtle paler brown spots and blackish flecks concentrated near the vertebral ridge. Top of snout much paler, as are the labials and tympanum. Blackish streak from snout to eye and another from behind the eye running above the tympanum. Original tail is dark brown to black with 4-5 narrow white crossbands: regenerated tails are brown with darker speckling. Reproduction: no details available.

Genus CRENODACTYLUS - Clawless Geckos

A monotypic genus. See Cogger for full list of genus characteristics: the most obvious distinguishing feature is the lack of terminal claws on the digits. Preanal pores are present.

Scientific name Common name Place of origin Size (max) Notes
C. ocellatus Clawless Gecko Australia (mainly WA and NT, some SA) 8-10cm Small nocturnal gecko with a fairly slender tail. Cogger notes that although not common, there are "circumscribed" populations throughout the range in which the species is quite abundant. Its preferred habitat is large clumps of Triodia in stony or sandy desert or arid areas. Scalation: body scales homogenous. Coloration: dorsally brown or grey-brown. Patterning is subtle but tends to take the form of either numerous small pale dark-edged ocelli or else narrow dark brown longitudinal stripes. A dark brown stripe runs from snout to eye and usually continues backwards as a dorsolateral stripe. Ventral surfaces are purplish-white, speckled with brown. Reproduction: no details available.
C. o. ocellatus SW WA
C. o. horni WA, SA, NT
C. o. naso WA (NW Kimberleys) to NE NT
C. o. rostralis S Kimberleys

Genus LUCASIUM - Beaded Geckos

This monotypic genus is no longer recognised by most authorities: Kluge proposed its reclassification as part of the Diplodactylus genus in 1967.

Scientific name Common name Place of origin Size (max) Notes
L. damaeum Beaded Gecko Australia (NSW,NT,Qld,SA,Vic,WA) ? Little data available: apparently prefers drier interior. See EMBL database entry for Diplodactylus damaeum.

Genus RHYNCHOEDURA - Beaked Geckos

A monotypic genus.

Scientific name Common name Place of origin Size (max) Notes
R. ornata Beaked Gecko Australia (New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria, West Australia) ?" An very wide-ranging inhabitant of the sandy deserts of the dry interior, this gecko is considered endangered in its natural habitat. This lizard, like some other species, uses tunnels dug by the skink Egernia striata as a daytime retreat. Click here for a photograph.



Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, Harold Cogger, 6th edition. Best all-in-one guide to Australian herpetology available.

Lizards of the World, Mattison

Breeding and Keeping Geckos, Coborn, TFH 1995 - a useful book for lesser known geckos, especially the Diplodactylines, although some of the taxonomic information may now be slightly out of date.

Keeping and Breeding Lizards, Mattison

Reptiles of the Townsville Region has some good pictures of various of the above geckos.

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