Recognized Subspecies in VA: None
Size: 4 - 7.5 inches
Range: Mostly warehouses and urban buildings
The Mediterranean Gecko is a small House Gecko native to the land around the Mediterranean Sea, but they are much more widespread in North America. These are typically photophobic (afraid of lights) city-dwellers, seeking refuge in buildings during cold or hot times. At night, they lurk outside, in the shadows, usually hunting moths and other insects drawn to the building lights. But how did they get here? Well, they probably arrived to the US in cargo or via eggs on plant shipments. Their eggs incubate around 88F, which is not unusual for a greenhouse to run at. I have found them in offices receiving a lot of packages (such as a post office), as well as there are some iNat records of House Geckos in packages. Even though these geckos are not native, they pose no real threat as they are not edging out anything from a native niche. I would say this is a safely "naturalized" species.
The best way to find them is by searching building walls at night with a flashlight. I have found them in three-ringed binders and behind vertical furniture in buildings as well.
Similar Species: The only other gecko that we see with any frequency is the Tropical House Gecko, though there seems to be no established populations documented in VA (there probably is one in a greenhouse somewhere). Tropicals are usually less contrasting, with a longer head, and smaller tubricals on the dorsal. Their pattern is more "mossy" and not quite banded, like the Mediterranean. People also mistake Eastern Fence Lizards for these as well... but the morphology and general habitat is very different.
Maps and External Sources
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