Saturday, February 16, 2008
I have several day geckos of various species, so when someone sent me the news item below, I was charmed. The geckos (they are the same type the Geico Gecko is modeled on) find insects called hoppers, but instead of eating them, they give the day gecko version of the lizard recognition symbol, the head bob. The hoppers recognize them and flick a dollop of sweet honeydew right at their mouths.
Watch the video
The stylized, jerky motion of the approach is part of the recognition procedure. When they want to move smoothly, day geckos are very fluid and fast. They are some of the few geckos to have such mobile necks, although they can't actually face as far forward as the Geico Gecko. (In fact I cringe when I see him, as some of his movements would be pretty painful for a real gecko.)
In case you're wondering, I don't squirt honeydew at my geckos. I do give them peach babyfood, though. They love peach babyfood.
The picture is of Fatty, a male Phelsuma madagascariensis grandis. I've had him about ten years and he was adult when I got him.