Southern Leaf-tailed Gecko
Scientific name: Phyllurus platurus
People often come across strange, leaf-shaped ‘creatures’ in their backyards. These usually turn out to be the tail from a Leaf-tailed Gecko. Life span from 7 to 9 years (average 8 years) (Greer 2006)
Description – The Southern Leaf-tailed Gecko has rough, scaly skin and a brown or grey, mottled pattern that blends into the habitat where it lives (www.reptilepark.com.au). In the shack it has resided in between the horizontal and vertical cracks of the concrete slab. The Southern Leaf-Tail. Gecko has a large head and broad leaf or heart-shaped tail constricted at the base. It grows to a total length of 15cm.
Habitat – The Southern Leaf-tailed Gecko lives in urban and coastal sandstone areas and coastal sandstone. This species occurs only in eastern central NSW.
Diet – The Southern Leaf-tailed Gecko is insectivorous (eating a wide variety of arthropods including spiders, cockroaches, crickets, moths, flies, beetles, centipedes and millipedes). They feed at night, sheltering during the day in crevices.
Reproduction – Female Southern Leaf-tailed gecko’s can lay up to three clutches of 2 eggs per year.
When the Southern Leaf-tailed Gecko is threatened or attacked, it may squeak and can discard its tail to escape to safety. This tail will then re-grow. We haven’t noticed gecko’s lose their tail in the last few years they have lived in the shack crevices. They seem very much at home, and we are not in a hurry to have them leave as they eat insects and spiders.