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Mossy Leaf-tailed Gecko
Mossy Leaf-Tailed Gecko 1
General Information
Universe Real Life
Classification Uroplatus sikorae
Homeworld Earth Inhabitants
Environment Madagascar, Africa
Intelligence Non-sapient
Biochemistry Carbon-based lifeform
Biological Information
Reproduction Sexual; lays eggs
Average Length 6 to 8 in (15 to 20 centimetres)
Locomotion Quadrupedal
Feeding Behavior Insectivore
Lineage Information
Cultural Information
Alignment Neutral
Sociocultral characteristics
Scientific Taxonomy
Planet Earth
Domain Eukaryota
Kingdom Animalia
Subkingdom Eumetazoa
Infrakingdom Bilateria
Superphylum Deuterostomia
Phylum Chordata
Subphylum Cephalochordata
Infraphylum Teleostomi
Superclass Tetrapoda
Class Reptilia
Subclass Diapsida
Infraclass Lepidosauromorpha
Superorder Lepidosauria
Order Squamata
Infraorder Gekkota
Family Gekkonidae
Subfamily Gekkoninae
Genus Uroplatus
Species sikorae
Other Information
Status Least Concern

The Mossy Leaf-tailed Gecko (Uroplatus sikorae) is a species of gecko endemic to Madagascar, where it is found in primary and secondary forests on the island. They are chameleonic, and as such have the ability to change their skin color to match their surroundings; this is enhanced thanks to dermal flaps to break up their outline when they are at rest.

EtymologyEdit

Their generic name, Uroplatus, is a Latinization of two Greek words: "ourá" (οὐρά) meaning "tail" and "platys" (πλατύς) meaning "flat". Its common name refers to the mossy-like camouflage patterns and colors of the lizard's skin.

DescriptionEdit

Mossy leaf-tailed geckos are nocturnal and arboreal. Their eyes are large and lidless, and have yellow sclera with elliptical pupils, suited for the gecko's nocturnal habits. The mossy leaf-tailed gecko ranges in size from 15 to 20 centimetres (6 to 8 in) when measured from nose to base of the tail. They spend most of the daylight hours hanging vertically on tree trunks, head down, resting. During the night, they will venture from their daylight resting spots, and go off in search of prey.[7]

As with all Uroplatus geckos, the tail is dorso-ventrally flattened. U. sikorae has coloration developed as camouflage, most being grayish brown to black or greenish brown with various markings meant to resemble tree bark; down to the lichens and moss found on the bark. U. sikorae has flaps of skin, running the length of its body, head and limbs, known as the dermal flap, which it can lay against the tree during the day, scattering shadows, and making its outline practically invisible. Additionally, the gecko has a limited ability to alter its skin colour to match its surroundings.

DietEdit

Mossy leaf-tailed geckos are insectivores eating insects, arthropods, gastropods, and themselves

Distribution and habitatEdit

Uroplatus sikorae are endemic to Madagascar, that is, found nowhere else. These geckos are an arboreal species relying on their natural camouflage as they dwell among the trees of the Eastern and central tropical forests of Madagascar.

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