Satanic Leaf Tailed Gecko

Satanic Leaf Tailed Gecko


Ever since I read about this gecko I knew I just had to see and photograph one in the wild. What was so special about it for me?  Well, it’s all in the name – the Satanic Leaf Tailed Gecko! The scientific name is just as intriguing: Uroplatus phantasticus.

I spent 3.5 weeks in Madagascar, and saw so many wonderful creatures and sights. But as the end of my trip got near a particular thought kept nagging at me – I didn’t get to see this little gecko yet. Our last full day on the island rolled in, and all I could think about was this gecko. As we were about to start hiking in the rainforest in Ranomafana, our last stop, I told our guide that I would really like to see one. After a couple of hours some wildlife spotters were gesticulating at us to go have a look in a bush. At first I thought I was looking at a reddish dry leaf but then it moved ever so slightly and was staring at me with apparent scorn. So here it is, satan’s little sidekick giving me its best “evil” pose.  It’s also showcasing its tail which totally looks like a dry leaf.  How awesome is that?

Techs: Canon 550D | Canon 100mm 2.8L Macro IS | f20 | 1/250s | ISO 400 | Canon Speedlight 600EX-RT off camera with diffuser.

There are 3 comments

  1. Mark Scherz

    Phantastic shot, Alison! Congrats on getting to see one! Not only do you have him showing off his tail, but you also have him showcasing another unusual behaviour: the leg off to the side, toes curled up to look like a twig. This behaviour is only newly known from these geckos. Really great stuff!

  2. admin

    Thank you Mark! I had no idea this was a known behaviour for these geckos, I just thought it froze mid-stride due to disturbance. Silly me! Now I know better so thanks once again!

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