9 Types of Geckos in Australia

Geckos make up the most diverse group of lizards. There are roughly 1,500 species spread worldwide on every continent except for Antarctica. Popular geckos you see on the net, like the Leopard and Tokay gecko, are native to Southern Asia and Africa. There are also the beloved Gargoyle and Crested geckos from New Caledonia.

But did you know there are over 60 fascinating gecko species native to Australia? That’s right! Although they’re less talked about, Australian geckos are just as striking and diverse as other more well-known species. Keep reading to learn more about Australia’s unique geckos! I’ll cover nine of the most beautiful local species in this article.

Lesueur’s Velvet Gecko (Amalosia lesueurii)

  • Family: Diplodactylidae
  • Genus: Amalosia
  • Origin: Eastern coastline of Australia, from Queensland to New South Wales
  • Habitat: Dry woodlands and around rocky rivers with sandstone and granite outcrops
  • Size: 3-4 inches

Lesueur’s velvet gecko is the most common gecko in Sydney and surrounding regions in Southeast Australia. It belongs to the genus Amalosia, along with three other closely-related species— Amalosia rhombifer, Amalosia jacovae, and Amalosia obscura.

This species has a small, slender body, typically 3.14 inches in size. The back is straight and flat, its tail stout and cylindrical, and its limbs long and thin. Lesueur’s velvet geckos get their name from their smooth, velvety skin. The body color ranges from mottled grey to light brown.

These geckos sport a dark-lined zig-zag pattern; it spreads vertically along the back, from the neck to the tip of the tail. Like most reptiles, this gecko is nocturnal. During the day, it lies hidden among rocks and in shaded areas. Its natural diet consists mainly of insects.

Northern Velvet Gecko (Oedura castelnaui)

  • Family: Diplodactylidae
  • Genus: Oedura
  • Origin: Northeast Australia
  • Habitat: Forests and savannas
  • Size: 5-3.5 inches

The Northern velvet gecko is widely present in Queensland, Australia. It has a similar appearance to Lesueur’s gecko, although these species belong to different genera. Like its counterpart, the Northern velvet gecko has thin, smooth skin and a small stature.

This gecko species looks stocky all around. It has a plump body, a round back, and a fat tail. When seen from above, the tail is almost as wide as the gecko’s upper body. Another distinguishing characteristic between the Northern velvet gecko and Lesueur’s gecko is the skin patterning.

Northern velvet geckos stand out thanks to the large saddle-like bands on their bodies. These alternating bands go from the base of the neck and down the back and tail. These bands can be yellow, cream, brown, or light violet. The base body color ranges from cream to dark brown.

Ocellated or Blotched Gecko (Oedura monilis)

  • Family: Diplodactylidae
  • Genus: Oedura
  • Origin: Eastern coastline of Australia, in Queensland and New South Wales
  • Habitat: Woodlands, dry rainforests, vine thickets
  • Size: 3-4 inches

The ocellated gecko is a varied species. It’s arboreal but also lives among rocks, so it can thrive in various habitats. Also called the “Ocellated Velvet Gecko,” this species has smooth skin that gives an iridescent sheen under direct light.

Ocellated geckos are small-sized but have stout bodies, rounded backs, and long, plump tails. The limbs appear long and slender in comparison to the body. This gecko comes in different earthy tones, including light brown, dark brown, dirty olive, and pale yellow.

The main distinguishing characteristic of this gecko is its intricate body pattern. They’re not called blotched geckos for nothing! These lizards are covered in a complex web of small, pale splotches spreading from snout to tail. Some morphs also present lateral bands.

Northern Spotted Velvet Gecko (Oedura coggeri)

  • Family: Diplodactylidae
  • Genus: Oedura
  • Origin: Far North Queensland, Australia
  • Habitat: Forested rocky areas
  • Size: 3-4 inches

This species resembles the Northern Velvet gecko and the Blotched gecko. All three species belong to the same genus. However, while its two sister species are primarily arboreal, the Northern Spotted Velvet gecko is saxicoline, which means it lives almost exclusively among rocks.

Appearance-wise, Oedura coggeri shares the same physical traits as its two close relatives. This gecko is small and has a plump body with a round back. The tail appears thick but is proportional to the rest of the body. Its limbs are slender. Northern spotted velvet geckos are quite colorful.

Some morphs are tan, cream, or light to dark brown. But some can be bright yellow, orange, or reddish brown. This species has dark-lined blotches on its back and tail. They can be dispersed in a random pattern or form uneven vertical lines. These splotches are typically cream or yellow.

Marbled Gecko (Christinus marmoratus)

  • Family: Gekkonidae
  • Genus: Christinus
  • Origin: West and South Australia, from Northeast New South Wales to Southwest Western Australia
  • Habitat: Shrublands, riparian forests, urban regions
  • Size: 2-3 inches

The marbled gecko is Australia’s southernmost species. This arboreal lizard has adapted to a wide range of habitats, including dry shrublands, riverine woodlands, and even city dwellings. Like other geckos, this species can drop its tail as a defense mechanism.

The newly-regenerated tail is usually of a different shade than the rest of the body. Marbled geckos are small-sized and have slender, cylindrical bodies and moderately-sized heads. The fat reserves in the tail give it a round and sturdy appearance. However, the tail is tapered and proportional to the rest of the body.

This gecko typically inhabits sandy shrublands and forests, so its muted colors help it blend in with the environment. Marbled geckos can be grey, brown, tan, or cream. They’re covered in intricate dark patterns, which create a marble or tree bark effect.

Western Beaked Gecko (Rhynchoedura ornata)

  • Family: Diplodactylidae
  • Genus: Rhynchoedura
  • Origin: Throughout Australia, except for the coastal regions or the tropical north
  • Habitat: Sandhills and plains, areas with bunchgrasses, and arid shrublands
  • Size: 2-3.7 inches

The Western beaked gecko can be found throughout Australia. It covers a huge range of territories, including New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, Northern Territory, as well as Western and South Australia. This is ironic since these geckos maintain very small living ranges of under 100 feet. They don’t venture outside this perimeter throughout their lifetime.

Western beaked geckos are quite different from the other species I’ve covered so far. These lizards are terrestrial and have unique body shapes. They have long, slender bodies and tails. Their heads are narrow and short, giving them a beaked appearance. The neck and eyes also appear disproportionately large due to the small head size.

This gecko can be brown, pale orange, or reddish-brown on the dorsal side. Its neck and belly are pale and well-delineated. Its back is covered in brown, white, and yellow splotches of varying sizes. These travel from the base of the head to the tip of the tail. A light-yellow fringe borders its eyes.

Northern Leaf-tailed Gecko (Saltuarius cornutus)

  • Family: Carphodactylidae
  • Genus: Saltuarius
  • Origin: Northeast Queensland to Central-eastern New South Whales
  • Habitat: Tropical rainforests and humid bushlands
  • Size: Around 5.5 inches

The entire genus Saltuarius is endemic to Australia and encompasses just seven species. Of these, the Northern leaf-tailed gecko is the most well-known. This gecko, along with its sister species, looks vastly different than most geckos you might’ve seen.

Leaf-tailed geckos have long limbs and toes and lack the adhesive toepads present in other arboreal species. They’re small to medium-sized and have narrow, flattened bodies, thin necks, and triangular heads. The tail is short but broad compared to the rest of the body. It has an almost oval, leaf-like shape.

This gecko has rough skin due to the short horns protruding on its head, back, tail, and limbs. It comes in various earthy colors like grey, brown, pale olive, or reddish brown. Another specific aspect of this gecko is the alternating pale and dark splotches on its dorsal side. These create a mottled-bark appearance and aid in camouflage.

Eastern Stone Gecko (Diplodactylus vittatus)

  • Family: Diplodactylidae
  • Genus: Diplodactylus
  • Origin: Central-eastern to Southeast Australia
  • Habitat: Forests, dry bushlands, and other semi-arid regions
  • Size: 2-2.5 inches

The Eastern stone gecko is a terrestrial species. It’s widely seen throughout Queensland, Victoria, and New South Whales, not just in the wild but also in zoo enclosures. This gecko is also widely available as a pet. It can live between 5-8 years in captivity.

This tiny gecko reaches up to 2.3 inches on average from snout to vent. Its tail is rather short, measuring just a little above 1 inch. These geckos have narrow cylindrical bodies and proportional limbs and heads. The tail is stout, tapered, and almost as wide as the upper body. Eastern stone geckos are typically light to dark brown, tan, or dark grey.

They’re easily distinguishable from other species thanks to their consistent body patterns. These geckos have an irregular pale stripe or zig-zag pattern going from the base of the head toward the tip of the tail. The top of the head is also pale. Sometimes, the zig-zag pattern is accompanied by small, pale dots.

Northern Spiny-tailed Gecko (Strophurus ciliaris)

  • Family: Diplodactylidae
  • Genus: Strophurus
  • Origin: Interior Australia, spanning most states except for Victoria
  • Habitat: Arid and subtropical shrublands
  • Size: 5-5.5 inches

All geckos in the genus Strophurus are native to Australia. The Northern spiny-tailed gecko and its close relatives have unique defense mechanisms. These geckos can shoot a foul-smelling fluid from their tails to deter predators. They also have brightly-colored orange mouths, which they flaunt during threat displays.

These geckos have slender bodies and long limbs. Their tails are medium-sized, stout, and tapered. The tail margins are lined with vertical rows of protruding spines. This species also has long, pointy spikes above its eyes.

Northern spiny-tailed geckos vary in color from grey to brown to cream. Their bodies are also covered in pale or dark splotches. The random patterning creates a natural and earthy mottled look. The spines are typically black or bright orange.

The overall coloration and size depend on the gecko’s natural environment. There are two sub-species of Northern spiny-tailed geckos— Strophurus ciliaris ciliaris and Strophurus ciliaris aberrans. Ciliaris geckos are smaller and typically present in subtropical areas. Aberrans geckos grow up to 5.5 inches and inhabit arid regions.


Australia has a bunch of unique and captivating gecko species. Over 60 species exist on the continent, and they all belong to different genera. The geckos in this article alone encompass seven different genera and three families. Needless to say, Australia is a haven of gecko diversity!

These nine geckos have similar stature, body type, and coloration. However, some species with unique traits stand out. The Beaked gecko, Leaf-tailed gecko, and Spiny-tailed gecko are unlike anything you’d see in other parts of the world.

Robert from ReptileJam

Hey, I'm Robert, and I have a true passion for reptiles that began when I was just 10 years old. My parents bought me my first pet snake as a birthday present, which sparked my interest in learning more about them. read more...