The gecko I found is Tarentola mauritanica, an introduced species. Tarentola mauritanica was first reported in Funchal more than 20 years ago. Now it is spread from Garajau (7km east of Funchal) to Camara de Lobos (west of Funchal). There is another gecko species, Hemidactylus mabouia, that was detected in 2001, in Funchal.
I saw two specimens of Tarentola mauritanica apart from each other about 1 km, close to Camara de Lobos. It was the first time I saw a gecko. I had never seen one in several years and now I was able to see two individuals in just a few days. Geckos are nocturnal but both specimens were seen in day light. One of them was even seen sunbathing side by side with the common “lagartixa” (see photos below).
The endemic species seem to accept quite well the introduced gecko. Lagartixas behaved as the gecko was one of its own, standing next to it and even walking on top of the gecko’s body. None of the species behaved as the other was a competitor (maybe because one is nocturnal and the other diurnal, or maybe the gecko was seen as one more “lagartixa”…).
The two species, gecko and lagartixas, sunbathing side by side:
And a video that captured the moment when the gecko run away and hide below another rock:
- Animation of Madeira Island forming
- Accretionary lapilli?