That Strange-Sounding Thing!
“Nature Notes” by Nancy Zakon
Several of you may have heard strange sounds, perhaps from the woods, or on the golf course…(endless possibilities) and wondered what they were. Hearing this sound also in my yard, I questioned avian enthusiast Harold Brewer if it were not a bird sound? “No,” he said, “it sounds like a Tokay gecko.” What’s that? Well, it’s like the cute little creature you’ve seen for ages on TV’s Geico insurance commercials – always smiling, a British accented green lizard with big eyes. Found naturally in India and Southeast Asia, geckos can be found in warm climates throughout the world, and have immigrated to Florida, yes as ever, through local pet stores. They are very cute!
In the wild, they are hard to find. Geckos are party animals, preferring mostly night-time activities, having developed much better vision than ours (they can drive at night!). But they have no eyelids per se. Nope, they use their tongues to lick their eyes for cleaning and moisture. If interviewed for the Press, our Tokay gecko would say, “Other than my night vision, I have special pads on my feet so I can cling vertically – indefinitely. Being modest, my skin is soft, unlike most lizards, and while my natural skin tone is gray with red dots, I can also change my skin tone to blend with surroundings. And if a bad guy bites off my tail, I can simply regrow a new one.” (If only we could regenerate ourselves!) He continues, “I have no teeth, but strong jaws. I’m about 12 inches long, harmless to people and pets. Food? I like to eat insects. And, humbly speaking, my fellow geckos and I are symbols of good luck and fertility.” The Tokay gecko makes two unique sounds when threatened or mating. One sounds like gekkgekk. And the other like tuck-tooo or poo-kaay.
Just another of our exotic creatures who enjoy our exotic surroundings with us.
Featured above: Tokay gecko – hard to see but easy to hear.