Tokay geckos are lizards, found in tropical countries mostly in Southeast Asia. They got their name from the strange call they make. It is similar to a booming “tok – kay” or “tok – ko”. You’ll often hear this sound from male Tokay geckos during breeding season (usually during the wet season). Tokay geckos have toe pads covered with tiny hair-like structure called setae which allows them to climb smooth surfaces easily. They can run across ceilings and even walk on vertical glass surfaces.
Posts Tagged ‘gecko’
Maybe for those who have just bought the Tokay Gecko companion they have from pet stores or from captive breeders, a Tokay Gecko’s bark is just a bark or it is just an ardent call to announce he wanted to mate. “Tu-ko” or “Toh-kay” is a mere announcement that in some human expression is “Hey, girl! There is an able male here, I am ready!” Well, this is technically correct however there is more to this call if any of you have experienced hearing or living with them in their natural habitat. (more…)
Geckos are among the world's most wonderful creatures. They have several adaptations to help them live and survive the environment where they live. And in fact, they can easily adapt and are so prolific to various environments that there are now not less than 2,000 distinct species of geckos distributed in the different parts of the globe. Each has evolved and altered some of their physical features and appearance to survive their hostile environment. (more…)
Tokay geckos are lizards originally found in tropical countries in Southeast Asia such as Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines. Tokay gecko grows around from 7 to 15 long, and they usually have grayish shade and orange spots. There is really no clear account how the first Tokay reach US and Europe. Some accounts suggest that the first Tokay geckos were stowaways in ships doing commerce in the Southeast Asia in the early years. Still some stories tell that the Chinese first introduced Tokay geckos in the Americas as a medicine, and somewhat some escaped and became the ancestors of today’s Tokay gecko found in the wild. But these are just stories.
Tokay Geckos are very fascinating creatures. Aside from their various interesting colors that changes its hue depending on their environment and the time of the day, what’s more interesting is their feet. Do you ever wonder how this creature could cling and ran quickly on walls and even on ceilings? Interesting right?
Most people think that Tokay geckos move or cling on walls and ceilings through little suctions on their feet like octopus. That is a wrong perception. Tokay Geckos like lizards cling on vertical surfaces and ceilings by using the microscopic hairs on their feet. They have millions of these tiny hairs that clutch on different types of surfaces. Each of these tiny hairs further branches out into smaller ones making the grip stronger even on smooth surfaces.
What's amazing about their feet?
Studies have further been conducted to support the said facts. Researchers have found out that the microscopic hairs found on a Tokay Gecko’s feet measures roughly about 100 millionths meters long or equivalent to twice the diameter of a human hair. Each hair called seta (pl. setae) further branches out into 1000 smaller tips that measures approximately 200 billionths meter, even much smaller than the wavelength of visible light.
Furthermore, researchers found out that the strength of a single strand of seta can lift the weight of a 25mg ant. Therefore, if you have a million of this seta, it can even support the weight of a child weighing 45lbs or approximately 20kgs. The maximum force of all the tiny hairs found in a Tokay Gecko’s feet is a thousand times more that what is required for them to be able to cling on walls or ceilings. Technically, the almost 2,000,000 setae on the four feet of geckos can produce force equivalent to 400 Newton or roughly 90 lbs of force whereas the weight of a normal Tokay Gecko only ranges from 50 to 150 grams. That is why geckos can support their entire weight even with only one finger.
No matter how strong their feet’s grip could be, there are instances wherein their capability to cling on certain surfaces are reduced. Tokay Geckos cling best on rough and dry surfaces. Rough texture makes it easier for the tiny hairs to cling harder on the surface. However, geckos are also capable of clinging on smooth surfaces provided that it is not wet or covered with water.
The toe pads of a gecko are super hydrophobic which means that water easily rolls off the toes quickly, keeping it dry as much as possible. How? It is through the air bubbles that build up between the microscopic setae on the feet creating water beads that easily fall off the hairs. Although the hairs found on a gecko’s feet are capable of repelling water quickly, it can only tolerate a certain amount of wetness. It can only tolerate surfaces covered with water less that 0.5 cm deep. More than that, Geckos lose their grip on the surface.
Amazing isn’t it? These findings led to the development of gecko tapes and other tools that uses synthetic setae which can aid humans in various useful ways.
In the wild, when geckos are threatened or grabbed by bigger specie or by a predator, it naturally drops its tail as a defense mechanism. When its tail drops off, it wriggles as to create a diversion to distract its enemies as it fled to safety. If you have a gecko as a pet, you don’t want to grab it by its tail, it will naturally shed off its tail as a defense to a possible threat. When this happens, there are several things that may take place in a gecko when it lost its tail.
Salmonellosis, a serious illness, is among the most notorious diseases your gecko might be carrying. It is caused by Salmonella bacterium, which can be potentially fatal especially in children if remained untreated. It is also a hard-to-kill strain of bacterium. Salmonella bacterium is not easily destroyed by a simple administration of antibiotics. Often it stays within your gecko and continues to spread especially when geckos are exposed to stressful situations (like transportation or sudden change in environment).
- Clean the cage thoroughly and throw away substrate materials, branches and disposable cage furnitures
- While the gecko is being treated for the parasites, newspaper bedding can be used to facilitate frequent cleaning and eliminate egg-laying sites
- Use dichlorvos to kill the parasites in the cage by placing pieces of dichlorvos strips in a jar in which holes have been made. Place the jar (with the dichlorvos strips inside) in the cage for 3-4 hrs for 2-3 times a week for at least 3 weeks. Make sure that the cage is well ventilated and remember to remove the water dish while the jar (with the dichlorvos strips inside) is in the cage, OR
- Use ivermectin. Dilute 1 ml of ivermectin 1% solution with 1 quart of water. This solution is stable for 30 days. Thoroughly spray the cage and the animal (your tokay gecko) with the diluted ivermectin solution every 4-5 days for up to 3 weeks. Water dish should be removed while spraying.