|This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).|
|Mossy Leaf-tailed Gecko|
|Reproduction||Sexual; lays eggs|
|Average Length||6 to 8 in (15 to 20 centimetres)|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.