Photo: A web-footed gecko eating a dune cricket

The web-footed gecko's salmon-colored skin and light-brown stripes help it stay camouflaged in the Namib Desert's reddish sands.

Photograph by Roger Bannister/Animals Animals—Earth Scenes

Map

Map: Web-footed gecko range

Web-Footed Gecko Range

Fast Facts

Type:
Reptile
Diet:
Carnivore
Average life span in the wild:
5 years
Size:
4 to 6 in (10 to 15 cm)
Did you know?
Web-footed geckos communicate with a wide range of vocalizations, including squeaks, clicks, and even croaks.
Size relative to a tea cup:
Illustration: Web-footed gecko compared with tea cup

The ghostly web-footed gecko is nearly translucent with a pale, salmon-colored undertone and light-brown stripes. Their color provides perfect camouflage among the powdery reddish sands of the Namib Desert, their primary habitat.

These geckos have adapted their webbed feet not only to help them stay atop, but to bury beneath the dunes of the Namib Desert. Strictly nocturnal lizards, they spend the day in self-dug burrows and emerge at night to feed.

Their bloodshot-looking eyes are massively oversized to help them detect prey, which includes crickets, grasshoppers, and small spiders. They move surprisingly quickly across the sand, and adhesive pads on their toes make them excellent climbers.

Web-foots are considered medium-size geckos, reaching an average size of about four inches (ten centimeters) in length. Males are slightly smaller than females.

People sometimes hunt these tiny lizards for food, and human encroachment is destroying some of its habitat. Their estimated lifespan in the wild is about five years.

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