Gekko vittatus HOUTTUYN, 1782
Type locality: “Nordaustralien” [Gecko trachylaemus PETERS, 1873]
Gekko Vittatus HOUTTUYN, 1782: 325
Lacerta vittata - GMELIN 1789
Lacerta unistriata SHAW, 1792
Stellio bifurcifer SCHNEIDER, 1792
Gecko vittatus - BRONGNIART 1798
Platydactylus vittatus - FITZINGER 1826
Lomatodactylus vittatus - VAN DER HOEVEN 1833
Platydactylus vittatus - DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1836: 331
Platydactylus bivittatus DUMÉRIL & BIBRON, 1836: 334
Platydactylus (Scelotretus) bivittatus - FITZINGER 1843
Platydactylus (Scelotretus) vittatus - FITZINGER 1843
Gecko bivittatus -GRAY 1845
Gecko trachylaemus PETERS, 1873: 774
Gecko vittatus - BOULENGER 1885: 185
Gecko vittatus var. bivittatus - BOULENGER 1885
Gecko vittatus - DE ROOIJ 1915: 52
Gekko villatus (sic) WHITAKER et al. 1982
Gecko trachyloemus (sic) COGGER et al. 1983
Gekko vittatus - BAUER et al. 1995: 55
Gekko vittatus - RÖSLER 2000: 82
Description: G. vittatus is a slim representative of the genus Gekko. It grows to a total length of up to 30 cm, of which the tail accounts for a little more than half. Many fully-grown specimens will not exceed about 25 cm in total length, though. Its slender body and narrow head accentuate the long limbs and the let the fingers and toes stand out in particular. A characteristic and prominent trait is the white line that runs from the base of the tail to the rear of the head where it will split and continue to the eyes on both sides. This stripe accounts for the gecko’s vernacular name. The original tail carries white cross bands instead. Regenerated tails lack this banded pattern. The dorsal ground colour is usually a yellowish shade of brown, but greenish yellow, reddish brown, or dark brown specimens are known. Animals with twinned longitudinal stripes, only one very weakly expressed stripe, or with no stripe at all have also been noted.
Distribution: Indonesia, on numerous islands such as Halmahera to the east of Java, New Guinea, to the islands of Oceania.
Ecology: Being nocturnal, the lined gecko typically lives on trees, palm trees, screwpines and banana shrubs, but also occurs as a commensal on/in houses and huts.
Husbandry: G. vittatus is easily maintained in a terrarium as long as two important aspects are taken into consideration: The terrarium should be higher rather than wide, because this is a tree-dwelling species; 80 x 50 x 100 cm (l x w x h) will suffice for keeping a pair. Its walls should be lined with natural cork, for example, with a few cork tubes providing the required shelters. Secondly, the required elevated level of humidity is achieved by misting the tank several times a day. A live plant (e.g., Scindapsus) completes the outfitting.
The females produce clutches of two eggs each several times per year, attaching their eggs to suitable surfaces. Hatchlings are miniature issues of their parents, with those of certain populations having white spots on the head. The tail will be a little darker, though, so that the white cross bands seem brighter. The resultant signal function is employed when approached by a parent in that the tail is waved, preventing young from being accidentally consumed. Keeping a family clan together is only possible until the juveniles become sexually mature. The latter have to be removed when they turn adult as they may otherwise be attacked by the parental geckos. They can be fed with all feeder insects of adequate size. Yoghurt and fruit gruel should be made available, too.
GROSSMANN, W. & M. KREUZER (2012): Der Streifengecko Gekko vittatus. - Natur & Tier Verlag, 64 S.
MANTHEY, U. & W. GROSSMANN (1997): Amphibien & Reptilien Südostasiens. - Natur & Tier Verlag, 512 S.
RÖSLER, H. (1995): Geckos der Welt. - Urania-Verlag, 256 S.
TREU, B. (2001) Haltung und Zucht des Streifengeckos, Gekko vittatus HOUTTUYN, 1782. Sauria 23 (4): 31-35.
Andreas Schillert & Wolfgang Grossmann