Giant Cave Gecko Fact File

Pseudothecadactylus lindneri

Credit: PG Palmer, CC BY-SA 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons








Wild 20 years

Captive 20 years




Conservation Status


Least Concern

Australia's Giant Cave Dweller!

The giant cave gecko is, as their name suggests, a large species of gecko lizard which can be found inhabiting caves in the northern areas of Australia.

They are carnivores which will snack on a range of invertebrates.

These reptiles are active by night when they will emerge to seek out food. They are equipped with sticky pads on their feet which allow them to cling to smooth surfaces.

This species is threatened by changing fire patterns and collection for the pet trade.

Read on to learn more about these remarkable reptiles.


What does the Giant Cave Gecko look like?

This species has a large head with two bulging eyes colored red with a vertical, slit-shaped pupil.

Adhesive pads are present on each of the five toes on either foot. Each toe features a small retractile claw.

They have a yellow or orange pupil with a black pupil.

Their upper surface is colored reddish or purplish brown. This is patterned with yellow spots running in stripes across the back. These become bands of solid yellow and brown on the tail. On the underside of the body they have pinkish skin.

At the end of the body is a long, slender tail.

An average adult will measure 20cm (8in) long with an average weight of 25g (0.9oz).


How does the Giant Cave Gecko survive in its habitat?

The giant cave gecko is able to climb smooth cave walls and tree trunks with ease aided by the adhesive pads located on the underside of the feet and at the tail tip.

Their tail is considered prehensile and can assist them to hold on to objects in their environment.

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What does the Giant Cave Gecko eat?

This species is a carnivore which will feed on a range of insects.

Learn more about Geckoes in this video from Animal Fact Files on YouTube


Where do you find the Giant Cave Gecko?

Australia is the native home of the giant cave gecko. Here they are restricted to the Arnhem land region within the Northern Territory.


Where can the Giant Cave Gecko survive?

This species is found in caves and crevices within rocky areas. Much of their habitat is made up of sandstone. Occasionally they are found on tree trunks near these formations.


How does the Giant Cave Gecko produce its young?

From captive observations the female has been noted as the dominant individual during mating behavior.

Females will lay two eggs.

Sexual maturity is reached at two years old.


What does the Giant Cave Gecko do during its day?

This species is nocturnal when they will emerge to feed.

A peak in activity is seen after periods of rain.

Giant Cave Gecko (Pseudothecadactylus lindneri)

Credit: PG Palmer, CC BY-SA 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

Predators and Threats

What stops the Giant Cave Gecko from surviving and thriving?

This species appears to be common but is hard to find and as a result it is difficult to determine the current population size of the giant cave gecko.

Changes in fire regimes within their range have affected their numbers.

Small numbers are present within the pet trade in Australia. Some may be collected from the wild to supply this.

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Quick facts

This species was first described for modern science in 1975.

They may also be known as the Arnhem Land Cave Gecko.

A subspecies was formerly recognized known as Pseudothecadactylus lindneri cavaticus. They have now been elevated to a full species. This subspecies is found in Western Australia.

This species may be referred to as the northern giant cave gecko to differentiate it from Pseudothecadactylus cavaticus which is also known as the giant cave gecko.


Swanson, S. and Parish, S., 2011. Field Guide To Australian Reptiles. 2nd ed. New South Wales: Pascal Press. 2022. Species: Pseudothecadactylus lindneri (Giant Cave Gecko). [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 17 January 2022].

The Reptile Database. 2022. Pseudothecadactylus lindneri. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 17 January 2022].

Tim Faulkner. 2022. Giant cave gecko. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 17 January 2022].

Gillespie, G., Greenlees, M., Fenner, A., McDonald, P. & Woinarski, J. 2018. Pseudothecadactylus lindneriThe IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T75605268A75605272. Accessed on 17 January 2022. 2022. Giant Cave Gecko-Encyclopedia of Life. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 17 January 2022].

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