All About the African Fat-Tailed Gecko: Hailing from the Deserts of Africa

African Fat-Tailed Gecko

Photo: Kaan Sezer via Getty Images

The fat-tailed gecko is a unique creature that can be found in the deserts of Africa. They are distinguishable by their large, fluffy tail and dark coloring. These lizards have adapted to live in some of the harshest environments on Earth, and are able to withstand temperatures as high as 120 degrees Fahrenheit! In this blog post, we will learn more about these fascinating creatures and their adaptations to the desert environment.

Description and Appearance

African Fat-Tailed Gecko

Photo: Kaan Sezer via Getty Images

The African fat-tailed gecko is a small lizard, usually measuring between 4 and 7 inches in length. They have wide, flat heads with pointed snouts, and large eyes that allow them to search for prey at night. These lizards have thick tails which account for most of their body size – hence the name ‘fat-tailed’. The tail is used to store fat and water, enabling them to go without food or water for extended periods of time.

The African fat-tailed gecko has a brownish-gray coloring with dark spots and stripes. This helps it to blend in with its desert surroundings and avoid predators. They also have a yellowish-orange stripe that runs along the length of their back, adding to their camouflage. Additionally, these geckos are nocturnal and therefore have large, reflective eyes which enable them to see in the dark.


The diet of the African fat-tailed gecko consists chiefly of insects, but they will also eat small invertebrates and even small lizards. They hunt using their keen sense of smell and hearing, and are able to store large amounts of food in their tail for later consumption.

In addition to this, African fat-tailed geckos can survive long periods of time without food or water by relying on the fat stored in their tail. This adaptation allows them to survive the dry, arid conditions of the African desert without having to search for food or water frequently.

The African fat-tailed gecko is a remarkable creature that has adapted to some of the most extreme environments on Earth. Thanks to its unique diet and ability to store fat in its tail, this species of gecko can survive for long periods of time without food or water. It is an amazing example of the power of evolution and adaptation.


African fat-tailed geckos breed during the rainy season. The female will lay her eggs in a burrow or underground chamber. She will guard them until they hatch, usually after around two months. When the eggs have hatched, she will leave the young to fend for themselves, as she cannot provide parental care.

The male fat-tailed gecko’s role in reproduction is mainly to fertilize the eggs. After mating, he will leave and take no further part in parental care.

Habitat and Distribution

The African fat-tailed gecko is found in the deserts of Africa, from southern Morocco to northern Namibia. They inhabit desert regions, but can also be found in semi-arid and savanna habitats.

In their arid environment, these geckos need to find shelter from the heat during the day. They will often burrow into the ground or take refuge in rock crevices and hollow logs. This allows them to hide from predators and regulate their body temperature.

African fat-tailed geckos are also known to be found in urban areas such as parks and gardens, where they can take advantage of the food sources available there.

Conservation Status

African Fat-Tailed Gecko

Photo: Kaan Sezer via Getty Images

The African fat-tailed gecko is listed as ‘Least Concern’ on the IUCN Red List. This means that it is not currently considered to be threatened with extinction and is not in immediate danger.

However, this species has suffered from habitat loss due to human development, which can have a serious impact on its population numbers. It is important that this species’ habitat is protected so that it can continue to thrive in its natural environment.

In addition, the African fat-tailed gecko is threatened by illegal pet trade and hunting for food. If these threats are not addressed, the species could become endangered in the future. Therefore, it is important that further research is conducted and conservation measures put in place to protect this species.

Although its current population numbers are stable, it is important that we continue to take steps to ensure the species' survival in the future. With adequate conservation measures, we can ensure that this unique gecko will thrive for many years to come.

Final Thoughts

The African fat-tailed gecko is an amazing species of lizard that has adapted to the extreme conditions of the African desert. Its diet, large eyes, and ability to store fat in its tail enable it to survive long periods without food or water. This species can be found from Morocco to Namibia, inhabiting both remote deserts and urban areas. The African fat-tailed gecko is a remarkable example of evolution and adaptation.



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