Added November 2003. Last updated 5 December 2004: updated and corrected species listing.

A look at the

Subfamily DIPLODACTYLINAE - Diplodactyline Geckos


Genus PSEUDOTHECADACTYLUS - Leaf-Tailed Geckos

A small genus of three species, the third having been raised from subspecific status only recently. All three live in the far north of Australia. These are rather large, powerful geckos with long slender cylindrical tails.

Cogger gives other characteristics of the genus as follows: rostral and mentals rounded; labials larger than adjacenet scales; postmentals enlarged; all digits clawed, claws small and retractable within groove between apical lamellae; preanal pores present; tail somewhat prehensile, terminal subcaudal scales modified into adhesive lamellae.

Scientific name Common name Distribution Size (max) Notes
P. australis Cape York Pad-Tailed Gecko Australia (Cape York, Queensland) 12cm SVL An arboreal gecko, found in tropical woodland and on the edges of closed monsoonal forests and mangroves. Spends the day in hollow limbs, when it may call if disturbed by a nearby presence. Cogger suggested that this species might also be found in New Guinea. Scalation: rostral scarcely wider than high; single postanal tubercle on each side in males; dorsal scales small and smooth with the exception of those on the snout, which are large. Other: ear opening is small. Coloration: dorsally brown, either mottled or speckled with dark brown, and about 6 pale dark-edged blotches between snout and vent; some may divide to form a pair of ocelli, especially on the neck. Obscure pale blotches may be present on the flanks, and if so these may be continuations of the dorsal blotches. Dark brown bar along the side of the snout runs through the eye to the forelimb and is bordered below by white or pale brown area for some distance.
P. cavaticus ? Australia (Kimberly in Western Australia) 11cm SVL  Recently raised from subspecies of P. lindneri: presumably similar in most details.  Cogger described the differences with D. l. lindneri as follows: moderately heterogeneous dorsal and lateral scales (homogeneous in P. l. lindneri); colour pattern; rostral narrowly contacts nostril.
P. lindneri Giant Cave Gecko Australia (Arnhem Land in Northern Territory) 10cm SVL Found in escarpment areas, where it forages around the openings of caves and crevices. It is especially active in the evenings in the wet season on rock faces. Scalation: similar to P. australis except for the following; snout scales small; ear opening large; rostral much wider than high; rostral does not contact nostril; 3-4 postanal scales on each side in males.


Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, Harold Cogger, 6th edition - absolutely indispensable for overview of Australian lizards.

Lizards of the World, Mattison

Breeding and Keeping Geckos, Coborn, TFH 1995 - a particularly valuable book for lesser known geckos, especially the Diplodactylines, although some of the taxonomic data now appears to be out of date.

Keeping and Breeding Lizards, Mattison

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

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

See also Index of Gecko-related articles for more sources on geckos.

Coming soon.... the other gecko genera.

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