Thanks for taking the time to read this Blog on Reptiles in the Cairns Botanical Gardens and the Wet Tropics of Queensland. I’ve always had a love for reptiles, ever since I found a Blue Tongue Lizard in my backyard as a child and kept it temporarily as a pet. When I was a teenager I was plucked out of my class on a school excursion to hold a huge python around my neck and that sealed the deal for my love of reptiles. They demand respect but at the same time have incredible beauty and evoke a sense of mystery the world over.
Northern Leaf-tailed Gecko (Saltuarius cornutus)
Probably my favourite lizard so far…even though I’ve seen them on just a few occasions, it was love at first sight! It’s quite a large species, reaching about 14cm (5.5 inches) long. Unlike the majority of geckos its toes are clawed and don’t have adhesive disks. This is due to their arboreal behaviour. They are nocturnal and hunt for arthropods in the cool of the night unlike many lizards. Like many lizards they will lose their tail in an attempt to flee from a predator that has grabbed it. They have also been known to charge at aggressors with an open mouth and making threatening vocalisations.
Top & above: Northern Leaf-tailed Gecko (Saltuarius cornutus)