- Dhiraj D Sharma
The Colorful Gecko of the Andaman!
Whats popularly know to us as the Andaman Day Gecko or the Andaman Gecko.
Geckos are reptiles which are small to average sized lizards. The presence of Geckos are found in all continents except Antarctica. This little colorful creature has got there habitats ranging from rain forests, to deserts, to cold mountain slopes as i learnt today.
As the name suggests this Gecko is little to far away from the Indian mainland and i was simply amazed to lay my eyes on it for the very first time when in Andaman for the fourth time, i got a glimpse of this beautiful as we stopped to have our lunch next to a farm land while exploring the Island on a bicycle tour called "Tour of Andaman" that Team Parikrama has been hosting since 2019 and we were lucky enough to spot this amazing little one making multiple trips to feed on the ripen Banana. I was not too late in calling my fellow cyclist to watch it and i found myself too excited to see this little one.
I had now learnt from my fellow cyclist that Andaman is known for high endemism of species and i was quick to notice few of them this time and they were special to me. To name a few i saw the Andaman White-Headed Starling, Scarlet Minivet, Nicobar Sparrow Hawk.
We all saw this Gecko hanging on to its spot as we observed from a safe distance, few borrowed my telelens to see and he would only pose for a photo and put his tongue out which was fascinating for me and as we left he still hung in there.
Now i believed to spot the Gecko in dense jungle like Andaman was tough and this belief of mine only lasted for 2 days as we were now back to Portblair and we saw them hanging on to man-made structures almost everywhere.
The Previous researchers have found that increase in number of banana, coconut and betel nut plantations have only benefited this little ones thrive who feed majorly on fruits and insects.
Over a long period of time, geckos have developed special physical features to help them survive and avoid predators. Gecko tails serve many purposes. They help balance their weight as they climb branches, they act as fuel tanks to store fat, and as camouflage to help them disappear into their environment. As a strategy to escape from the predator Geckos shed their tails.
Most geckos are nocturnal, which means they are active at night, but day geckos are active during the day and nibble on insects, fruits, and flower nectar. Most geckos make noises such as chirping, barking, and clicking when they are defending their territory or attracting a mate.
While i was observing the Gecko, a pair of Starling and Bulbul flew in and out having there quota of share in harmony. It was not just Gecko feeding on the ripen banana but the birds that you see in the above image that made multiple trips and as i relate it to human kind now, the animal planet left me a lesson to live in peace. A lesson that all of us as human beings get to learn from animals is how to coexist in a sensitive ecosystem. Neither the Starling, Bulbul or the gecko are fighting over the territory for the plantain.
With Loads of Love & Compassion for living beings, Dhiraj D Sharma