These absolutely fabulous lizards are commonly known as GARGOYLE GECKOS, known by the scientific name Rhacodactylus auriculatus. They come from the small islands of New Caledonia off the north eastern coast of Australia, the same islands from which my crested geckos, chahoua and giant geckos also originate!
The beautiful individual in the pictures above is a female and the first gargoyle gecko I ever hatched in my collection, back on New Years Eve 2011! She is named Ember, a fantastic name reflecting her beautiful orange and red markings. This name was chosen following a competition I ran at the end of 2012 to find a suitable name for her. I was overwhelmed by the response the competition received but the winning name of Ember was first suggested by Mrs Julia Newstead from Chipping Campden in North Gloucestershire!
The beautiful individual pictured directly above and below is an adult female named Kluiverta after Patrick Kluivert, the former Dutch international footballer! This is because my Kluiverta was bred in the Netherlands and I hand picked her (not knowing she was female at the time!) due to the beautiful bright orange & red colouration of her parents, the orange being like the bright orange of the Dutch national football kit!! She is Ember's mother and also the reason I waited until I was sure of Ember's gender before running a competition to find a name for her!
There is never any guarantee that gargoyle geckos will end up looking like their parents but I bought Kluiverta in the hope that as she grew her colouration would become much more like them! Not only did Kluiverta end up very beautiful like her parents but her own babies are sometimes even more beautiful and brighter orange than she is herself, as proven by the fabulous Ember at the top of the page! Below are pictures of Kluiverta as a baby (first) and as an adult (second), showing the amazing colour change gargoyle geckos go through during development.
As well as the gorgeous Ember & Kluiverta I have three other adult gargoyle geckos named Gollum, Lady Gargoyle and Guinevere! All are very attractive but they have different patterns because, like crested geckos, gargoyle geckos naturally occur in a wide variety of colours and patterns including greys, browns, oranges & reds as well as striped / blotched and reticulated patterns. Gollum the male's pattern is more striped and, despite not being bright oranges & reds like Kluiverta and some of their offspring, he is still very beautiful as you can see below:
Lady Gargoyle's pattern is very different to Gollum's as she is a reticulated gargoyle gecko with a lovely contrast between pale cream and dark brown markings:
This is Guinevere - she has a striped pattern very similar to Gollum and Kluiverta but a much paler base colour than they do, and no orange at all unlike Ember & Kluiverta who have lots!
Gargoyle geckos can demonstrate amazing colour change and what I find absolutely remarkable is that even the same individual gargoyle gecko can change colour SO much during a single day! The pictures below are both of Kluiverta and were taken at different times on the SAME day!!
This colour change has nothing to do with skin shedding, despite the fact that prior to skin shedding a gecko's colour will become noticeably more drab than usual (similar to the way Kluiverta looks when pale grey in the first picture above). Instead the change is triggered by a wide variety of factors including temperature, humidity and the hormonal changes associated with breeding, amongst others. When geckos are at their brightest they are said to be 'fired up', a very appropriate term in the case of the brightly coloured Kluiverta I'm sure you'll agree!
For LOTS more information and many more photographs of gargoyle geckos please click HERE!