Henkel's Leaf Tailed Gecko Fact File


Henkel’s leaf-tailed gecko is a small beige or grey colored gecko. This can be patterned with black spots or bands. On their underside they are white. Along the sides of their head and part of the body is a frill of skin. This helps to break up their shape and with this coloration they are able to camouflage incredibly well in their environment.

The head is large and triangular in shape. They have a large eye which has a vertical pupil.

At the end of the body is a broad, flat tail which is shaped like a leaf.

On each foot they have toes which are circular in shape. These end in adhesive discs which can stick to trees and other surfaces to help the gecko climb.

Their body measures up to 25.4cm (10in) long.


Henkel’s leaf-tailed geckoes are carnivores. They feed on a range of insects which are typically hunted in the trees.

Henkel's Leaf-Tailed Gecko

Scientific Name

Uroplatus henkeli

Conservation Status



25.4cm (10in)


10 years



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Madagascar is the native home of Henkel’s leaf-tailed gecko. A small population is also found on the island of Nosy Be off the coast of Madagascar. Their population in Madagascar is fragmented.


They make their home in forests such as deciduous and bamboo forests.

Henkel's Leaf-Tailed Gecko


Females descend to the forest floor and dig a small hole in to which they can deposit two to four eggs. These eggs take 85-95 days to hatch.

Up to three clutches can be produced by a single mother in one season.

Once the eggs hatch they are provided no further care by their parents.


Henkel’s leaf tailed gecko is primarily arboreal and they will spend their day sitting with their head facing down to the ground on a tree trunk.

Most of their activity is undertaken at night making them a nocturnal animal.

Due to the lack of eyelids they will lick their eyes to remove dust from them.

Geckoes shed their skin throughout their life to grow. Leaf tailed geckoes can tear the skin off the toes and tail with their mouth.

Henkel's Leaf-Tailed Gecko

Predators and Threats

Their loose skin helps them to avoid predators. They can also shed their tail. When they do this is distracts a predator allowing them time to escape.

Humans affect the population of Henkel’s leaf-tailed gecko primarily through deforestation. They are also captured for the pet trade.

Quick facts

They are one of the 8 species in their genus.

Henkel’s leaf-tailed gecko may also be called Henkel’s flat-tailed gecko or the frilled leaf-tailed gecko.

Photo Credits

Top - By Charles J Sharp - Own work, from Sharp Photography, sharpphotography.co.uk, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=75493124

Middle - Under License

Bottom - Pierre Fleuret / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)


Ambrose, J., 2015. Wildlife Of The World. 1st ed. London: Dorling Kindersley,

Oaklandzoo.org. 2020. Oakland Zoo. [online] Available at: <https://www.oaklandzoo.org/animals/henkels-leaf-tailed-gecko> [Accessed 30 July 2020].

Seneca Park Zoo. 2020. Henkel's Leaf-Tailed Gecko | Seneca Park Zoo. [online] Available at: <https://senecaparkzoo.org/animal-pages/henkels-leaf-tailed-gecko/> [Accessed 30 July 2020].

Raxworthy, C.J. & Vences, M. 2010. Uroplatus henkeli. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T178653A7589062. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2010-4.RLTS.T178653A7589062.en. Downloaded on 30 July 2020

Akronzoo.org. 2020. Henkel's Leaf-Tailed Gecko - View In Akron Zoo Exhibit. [online] Available at: <https://www.akronzoo.org/henkels-leaf-tailed-gecko> [Accessed 30 July 2020].

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