Kuhl’s Flying Gecko Fact File
Kuhl’s flying gecko is named for its ability to leap between trees. To aid this they have flaps on either side of their body, webbing between the toes and a flattened tail which all assist them to glide for short distances.
Along the length of the tail the fringes are scalloped. The tip of the tail is a pale cream color.
Their toes pads feature microscopic hairs and this allows them to grip on to almost any surface including tree trunks or glass.
Their body is colored a pattern of earthy greens, brown and tan which provide camouflage when holding on to tree trunks. The color and pattern is highly variable above individuals to suit their local habitat.
Their body measures between 18 and 20cm (7-8in) long.
This species is insectivorous. The will stalk and then ambush insects to eat.
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Asia is the native home of the Kuhl’s flying gecko. They are found in Thailand, Myanmar, India, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore.
They are one of the most widespread of the flying gecko species.
These animals can primarily be found in lowland forests but in parts of their range may be found in coastal habitats.
Where humans have expanded in to their range they may make use of human buildings.
Breeding records are rare but the season likely takes place through the rainy season from March to May.
Females lay two eggs each breeding season. These eggs are deposited in a common nesting site shared with a number of other pairs. Where they live in manmade areas they may be laid in roofs or other crevices.
During the day they will remain motionless on a tree trunk where they are well camouflaged helping to avoid detection by predators.
As they remain outside all day they face significantly more UV exposure than other geckoes. This has led to an adaption of pigment in their internal organs to protect these from UV damage.
When at rest they sit with their head facing down allowing a quick take-off if threatened.
At night they will move around to feed.
They are named for their ability to jump between trees. They can not fly but instead glide aided by the flaps of skin on the sides of the body and their webbed feet which increase surface area.
Predators and Threats
Their main defense against predators is their good camouflage and the ability to escape by gliding to another tree.
This species is present in the pet trade and collection from the wild likely occurs to supplement this.
Kuhl’s flying gecko is also known as the common flying gecko or Kuhl’s parachute gecko due to their ability to jump between trees.
Their common name comes from the German zoologist Heinrich Kuhl.
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By Bernard DUPONT from FRANCE – Kuhl's Flying Gecko (Ptychozoon kuhli), CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=40772804
By NHexasoft assumed (based on copyright claims). Own work., CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=842461
Burnie, D., 2011. Animal. 3rd ed. London: DK
Thai National Parks. 2021. Gekko kuhli, Kuhl’s parachute gecko. [online] Available at: <https://www.thainationalparks.com/species/gekko-kuhli> [Accessed 5 March 2021].
Griffing, A.H., Gamble, T. & Bauer, A.M. Distinct patterns of pigment development underlie convergent hyperpigmentation between nocturnal and diurnal geckos (Squamata: Gekkota). BMC Evol Biol 20, 40 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12862-020-01604-9
iNaturalist.ca. 2021. Kuhl’s Flying Gecko (Ptychozoon kuhli). [online] Available at: <https://inaturalist.ca/taxa/33886-Ptychozoon-kuhli> [Accessed 5 March 2021].
Ecologyasia.com. 2021. Kuhl’s Gliding Gecko – Ptychozoon kuhli. [online] Available at: <https://www.ecologyasia.com/verts/lizards/kuhl’s-gliding-gecko.htm> [Accessed 5 March 2021].
Indiviglio, F., 2021. Malayan and Kuhl’s Flying Geckos – Breeding and Care. [online] That Reptile Blog. Available at: <http://blogs.thatpetplace.com/thatreptileblog/2012/08/15/malayan-and-kuhls-flying-geckos-breeding-and-care/#.YEIuMmgzaUk> [Accessed 5 March 2021].
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