Hemidactylus - Diagram and Description

Hemidactylus or common house lizards are scaly vertebrates belonging to the gecko family. Their unique feature is that they can regenerate their broken tail. The species of wall lizards are adapted to walk on roofs, walls and smooth surfaces. They have dilated digits with a double series of ridged lamellae and they work under the vacuum principle. The digits are first pinned over the wall and are gently released to create a vacuum. In this way, they are able to walk while remaining adhered to the wall.

Table of Contents:

Hemidactylus – Classification

Kingdom

Animalia

Phylum

Chordata

Class

Reptilia

Order

Squamata

Family

Geckknoidae

Genus

Hemidactylus

Labelled Diagram of Hemidactylus

Hemidactylus Diagram

Habitat and Distribution

Hemidactylus or common house lizards are cosmopolitan in distribution. They are found in most houses and hence the name house lizard. They are well adapted to walk on house walls. They are mostly distributed in Asia, Europe, Africa and especially in countries like India, China and Sri Lanka.

Hemidactylus are nocturnal animals. These scaly reptiles hibernate under logs, woods and in the cracks of the walls during winter. They are fast runners and feed on insects and other small invertebrates.

Description

  • The lizards have a slender body covered with minute scales. Their body measures about 25 cm in length and can be distinguished into head, neck, body or trunk and tail.
  • Some of them have dark grey or black patches on the dorsal surface while the others have brown or dark grey dorsal surface. Their abdomen is typically yellowish white.
  • The Head is flat and triangular and it contains nostrils, eyes and external ear openings. They have a sticky and protrusible tongue and their eyelids are fused over the eyes.
  • They have well-developed hind limbs and forelimbs. Their toes are unique with circular adhesive pads.
  • They have five clawed digits that are dilated.
  • They have amphicoelous vertebrae and their quadrate bone is movable. Only one supratemporal arch is present.
  • Parietal organ is present.
  • Their tail possesses regeneration ability.
  • Their eggshells are calcified.

Significance

Most house lizards are considered as pests or nuisances while some can also act as a source for pest control. They feed on small invertebrates and keep their population under control.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are geckos?

Geckos are small lizards that are mostly carnivorous. Most of them live in warmer climates and are known for their unique vocalisations. Examples – Tokay gecko, Pacific gecko, Common house gecko, etc.

Where are common house geckos found?

The common house geckos are cosmopolitan in distribution and are mostly found in urban environments. They are well adapted to walk on house walls. They are mostly distributed in Asia, Europe, Africa and especially in countries like India, China and Sri Lanka.

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