Added and updated November 2003: updated Oedura listings.

A look at the

Subfamily DIPLODACTYLINAE - Diplodactyline Geckos


Genus PHYLLURUS - Leaf-Tailed Geckos

A small genus (four species) of geckos rarely seen outside their native habitat. They are chiefly notable for their highly effective camouflage which is in part aided by the spiny tubercles that cover every part of their body. All of them apart from P. caudiannulatus have very flattened, leaf-shaped tails. Please note that some of these species have since been reassigned to the Saltuarius genus.

Scientific name Common name Place of origin Size (max) Notes
P. cornutus ? Australia 8" The largest member of the genus. Arboreal.
P. salebrosus ? Australia ? Similar to the above but occasionally found among rocks or in caves.
P. platurus Broad-Tailed Gecko Australia ? Smaller than the above: found mainly in rock crevices or caves but occasionally in houses or other buildings.
P. caudiannulatus ? Australia ? Similar to P. platurus but with a straight tapering tail.


Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, Harold Cogger, 6th edition - absolutely indispensable for overview of Australian lizards.

Lizards of the World, Mattison

Breeding and Keeping Geckos, Coborn, TFH 1995 - a particularly valuable book for lesser known geckos, especially the Diplodactylines, although some of the taxonomic data now appears to be out of date.

Keeping and Breeding Lizards, Mattison

Geckos: Keeping and Breeding Them in Captivity, Walls and Walls, TFH 1999.

Reptile & Amphibian Magazine, Jan-Feb 1996, has a good article by Rod Rowlands on the Green Tree Gecko of New Zealand.

Reptiles of the Townsville Region has some good pictures of various of the above geckos.

See also Index of Gecko-related articles for more sources on geckos.

Coming soon.... the other gecko genera.

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