Kotschyi's Gecko / Mediodactylus kotschyi / وزغة كوتسشي

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Status: Common

Kotschyi's Gecko belongs to the Gekkonidae family in the Sauria (lizards) sub-order of the order Squamata (scaled reptiles). It is one of five species of geckos present in Palestine, reaching a maximum total length (body + tail) of 10 cm. Kotschyi's Gecko is truly a master of disguise – very well camouflaged, in terms of coloration, pattern and even the texture of its scales perfectly matching its natural surroundings. There is great variation in the coloration and the markings on its body, including differences in lightness or darkness of colors within and between populations. It lacks pads or discs on the tips of its fingers, but instead the finger joints are designed to act in a fashion that they lock into any miniature crevices or rough spots on any surface, allowing the gecko a confident grip and unbelievable climbing abilities. It is very commonly found on the bark and trunks of trees, and is alternately active during daytime (diurnal) or night (nocturnal) depending on season. The diet of Kotschyi's Gecko consists of small invertebrates, mainly insects. It is oviparous (the young hatch from eggs), hatchlings usually appear during late summer and early autumn. Each female deposits just two eggs in each clutch, but if conditions are good and food is abundant a single female may lay two clutches, or perhaps even three, per breeding season. The eggs are laid in rock crevices, under rocks, in cracks under the bark of trees or under rotting wood. Kotschyi's Gecko inhabits southern Europe, Turkey and parts of the Middle East.

Conservation status – least concern (LC).

In Palestine – Common in most Mediterranean habitats.

Sites: Umm at-Tut, Beitillu nature reserves