Marbled Gecko Christinus marmoratus

Lizards of Victoria series

Identification

The Marbled Gecko, Christinus marmoratus, can be distinguished by its large finger and toe pads and flat body, often with orange coloured specks on the tail. It has a snout vent length of up to 70 mm.

Marbled Gecko, Christinus marmoratus

Marbled Gecko
Source: Michael Kearney

Distribution and habitat

The Marbled Gecko is widely distributed throughout western and northern Victoria. It is common in Melbourne, but may have moved here after white settlement due to the transport of granite rocks from its natural habitats. It is an arboreal species and hides under the bark of trees, fallen timber or logs during the day.

Biology

Marbled Geckos mate in late summer to early autumn. The females retain sperm until fertilisation, which occurs in the late spring to early summer. They produce one clutch annually, containing two eggs.

Further Reading

Cogger, H. 2000. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia. Reed Books.

Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2003. Reptiles of Australia. Princeton University Press.

Comments (86)

sort by
newest
oldest
katie 24 March, 2010 14:43
good pic
reply
rebekkah 20 August, 2012 15:26
thats a good coment katie \
Lindsay 28 May, 2010 16:40
A marbled gecko has taken up residence in our letter box in suburban Melbourne and enjoys chewing our mail.
reply
Alex Smart 16 July, 2010 18:55
I am delighted that a family lives in my garden
reply
jess 3256497 4 August, 2010 10:43
cooooooooooooolllllllllllllllllll!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
reply
NYAH 10 August, 2010 12:22
marbled gecko is like wicked
reply
Phillip 15 August, 2010 17:03
we have a whole family of mabled geckos in our wood shed. :)
reply
callum 20 September, 2010 18:01
I has a pet marbled gecko and i love her! she may lay eggs!
reply
cool dude 4 11 December, 2010 17:21
we have a batch of eggs we hope the hatch
reply
Moot 21 December, 2010 20:15
My partner just found one in the car port in eltham! awesome
reply
Chuck :) 9 January, 2011 20:34
i had one pre awesome lil thingg :) but it kinda left :\
reply
Peter 7 March, 2011 21:22
we have a family that come out at night near the windows (four adults)
reply
Les 8 April, 2011 08:32
Surprised to see what appears to be a Marbled Gecko inside unit in Mentone. I always thought Geckos were a tropical reptile but then I'm only in my 50's
reply
Les Harris 9 April, 2011 10:58
I saw a dark chocolate gecko in suburban Werribee recently, a colour that I haven't seen before in any mainland gecko. It had a lighter barred pattern along its spine and tail, again not one that I have seen before. Can anyone throw any light on this? Les Harris
reply
Grant 6 January, 2014 11:46
I live in melton victoria and often find a chocolate brown coloured gecko here and have caught marbled geckos before which are clearly different i did some book research and discovered there is also a wood and a stone gecko found in victoria nobody seems to recognise
de 13 April, 2011 00:05
I absolutely love geckos and one just dropped off my sliding door inside my house and my cat seen it. The gecko went under my lounge, didnt want to leave him.accidently hurt him while moving lounge cant believe it so sad:(:(
reply
Discovery Centre 13 April, 2011 11:22

Hi Ian, unfortunately we cannot confirm an identification without a photograph or specimen, our Herpetologist informs us that the Marbled Gecko is the only native species of gecko in the Melbourne/Werribee region.

close this reply
Write your reply to Discovery Centre's comment All fields are required

We love receiving comments, but can’t always respond.

Eve 24 April, 2011 18:40
We just had one dash into our house in Reservoir. I'm now trying to usher it out, so it doesn't get patted or squeezed to death by my enthusiastic 5 year old. It already shed it's tail when he moved something to get a closer look... :-(
reply
Brian 4 September, 2011 22:47
I've just seen a marbled gecko in my garden in Ashburton. I saw one a few years ago on the roof of my deck. I was amazed that Geckos can live in Melbourne - before I looked it up.
reply
Sean 24 September, 2011 18:26
I have 3 marbled geckos as pets. I never thought I'd find them in my garage and keep them as pets. They love to eat crickets.
reply
Andy 29 October, 2011 21:06
We have just found a Marbled Gecko living in a cardboard box in our Garage in Croydon South Victoria.
reply
Jazz 10 November, 2011 16:35
Hey, my Mum recently found what I believe to be a marbled gecko in her backyard. She lives in Knoxfield, Vic. She was so excited.
reply
Peter 24 November, 2011 16:18
Just found a pair of Marbled geckos on my front verandah in Albert Park. We had some in nearby St Vincent gardens a few years ago, under a seat, so they seem reasonably well established around here.
reply
Graham Lees 1 December, 2011 23:40
I have painted a picture of one. It is at http://www.flickr.com/photos/tram_painter/6417141159
reply
jo 13 December, 2011 13:08
could someone please advise the best thing to put on tne bottom of an enclosure to house a marbled gecko. I was told sand was no good, but how about rocks or regular soil or tree bark?
reply
Discovery Centre 21 December, 2011 10:38

Hi Jo, we have asked the Live Exhibits Team and it seems that many reptile keepers house Marbled Geckos in sand and this has always been successful for breeding.  The only possible problem with sand is the threat of impaction but this has never been observed by Museum staff and we haven’t heard of a case like this in Marbled Geckos.  Remember that one end of the enclosure should be misted about every second or third day.

Jane and Charlotte and Maddy 20 December, 2011 18:49
We have found one in our letter box and one outside under a gum tree. It ran up Mum's arm when she picked it up and tried to move it off the lawn onto the garden.
reply
Will 6 January, 2012 07:16
I thought I saw a gippsland water dragon down by the Yarra near Eltham. Could they be so close to Melbourne?
reply
Discovery Centre 11 January, 2012 10:27

Will, concerning the possibility of a sighting of a Gippsland Water Dragon close to the Yarra River at Eltham.

In a publication called Melbourne’s Wild Life published by Museum Victoria , and which may be available at your local library, on pp 161 it mentions under Water Dragon that....

“The Eastern(physignathus l. Lesueurii) and the Gippsland Water Dragon (Phyignathus i. Howitti) ...have been introduced into the Melbourne area, and  visible populations have become established on the Yarra River, including sightings of Eastern Water Dragons at Studley  Park and Gippsland Water Dragons from the Yarra in Warrandyte.”

 We would say that your sighting near Eltham would be a distinct possibility.

 

Elizabeth 7 January, 2012 11:44
Have had two Marbled Gecko's in as many days living inside our house. In over 20 years of living in Altona Meadows have never seen them here before. One poor thing was in my ironing basket and I discovered it just in time before I put the iron on that item of clothing. Beautiful little things!!!!
reply
Sean 13 January, 2012 16:12
i've got a marbled gecko behind my hot water system what should i do?
reply
Discovery Centre 14 January, 2012 12:12
Hi Sean - you probably don't need to do anything. You can most likely leave it be; they are pretty resourceful and come and go as they please in areas that suit them for food, shelter and temperature.
reply
Discovery Centre 1 March, 2012 09:53
Hi Coco, if the gecko is a regular visitor to your window are you able to try and get some images and email them to discoverycentre@museum.vic.gov.au It is much easier for our Herpetologist to provide identifications with an image.
reply
David Miller 15 March, 2012 13:25
We woke this morning to find a Marbled Gecko trapped in our kitchen sink in inner city Ballarat. Having never seen one before in our local area, I can only assume it came in via the drain and maybe had a long journey to reach daylight. Is it common for these lizards to enter drains and pipes?
reply
Discovery Centre 15 March, 2012 15:48

Hi David,

It is more likely that it fell in from the wall or ceiling and couldn’t climb out of the sink. These geckoes are pretty common in suburban gardens and around houses. They are often seen hiding in door frames, fire wood and under pot plants. This more likely than coming up through the drain.

reply
Sean 15 March, 2012 16:51
with the crickets i feed to my marbled geckos. i was just asking is their anything else i can feed to the crickets beside carrot, or do i just keep feeding them only carrot.
reply
Simone 21 March, 2012 10:34
I found one of these on my hallway carpet this morning. I've lived in melbourne my entire life and have never seen a gecko here - having arrived home from a holiday borneo a week ago, I was worried it was something I'd brought home in my luggage - glad it wasn't ;) While I was looking at it, my dog ran up and tried to eat it. Thankfully, he spat him out immediately and the little fella was able to escape!
reply
Discovery Centre 25 March, 2012 16:28

Hi Sean, Crickets that are being kept as food animals need a good diet, as the health of your geckos can depend in part on the health of the crickets. Some breeders 'gut-load' their crickets with high-protein food a few days before feeding them off, as the extra protein is then passed on to the geckos. Other breeders 'calcium-load' their crickets with calcium powder, but this is most useful for frogs rather than reptiles. Both of these loadings are not essential for your geckos.

A good diet consists of a mix of whatever hard vegetables are available (e.g. carrots, sweet potato, pumpkin), softer vegetables (eg apples) and greens (e.g. lettuce, cabbage, endive) as well as dry dog or cat food. You can vary it over time and each component is not essential for every feed, but a mixture of foods will always be better than one type of food alone.

reply
Ian Wilson 11 April, 2012 12:52
I found what I believe to be a Marbled Gecko in my garage in Sale. Unfortunately, because of the time I spent retrieving it from under the tyre of the car I was about to move, I didn't take a photo and can't get it verified. Could it be a natural dweller in this area or could it just be an escapee?
reply
Adrian 11 April, 2012 20:32
What is the best food for a Marbled Gecko? Is a misted enclosure enough for water or do they need extra? Thanks.
reply
JB 14 April, 2012 17:00
I have one as a pet do I need a Licence?
reply
Discovery Centre 23 April, 2012 11:38
Hi JB - the information we have is on this is as follows: Marbled Geckos can be held without a licence - the list of all native wildlife that can be held without a licence can be found here

However, native wildlife cannot be collected from the wild and must be bought from a licenced dealer or a pet shop.

Hope this helps!

reply
Discovery Centre 23 April, 2012 11:51
Hi Adrian, according to our Live Exhibits team here at Melbourne Museum, Marbled Geckos do best on a range of live insect food, such as cockroaches, mealworms and crickets. Any insects caught around the backyard would be suitable, otherwise those above can be purchased at many pet shops. The enclosure should be regularly misted so that the humidity stays around 75%, but a shallow dish of water is necessary as well.
reply
David Chu 28 April, 2012 23:31
I was really surprised to find a marbled gecko hiding in our first floor balcony door frame this afternoon. I went to fetch my camera but it scuttered away before I got back. Beautiful creature though. I never knew we had geckos in Port Melbourne.
reply
deryn 7 May, 2012 18:03
we found one of these gecko's at kinder today - we are on the second floor of a building though, so i guess he hitched a ride with someone! we are planning to keep him for a day or two and then release him, we have him in a fish tank - should we keep him inside or outside?
reply
Discovery Centre 8 May, 2012 16:15

Hi Deryn,

Marbled Geckos happily live inside homes around Melbourne and they will readily inhabit multistorey buildings including in the roof space. 

So they're very comfortable inside as well as outside. In Victoria you don't need a licence to keep a Marbled Gecko but it's illegal to collect them from the wild (which includes inside buildings). If you leave it where it is, it will retain its freedom whilst still being visible from time to time. 

reply
Kim 10 May, 2012 09:36
are there different types of marble geckos I have just bought some new ones and they are different to my 3 I have at home...
reply
Discovery Centre 10 May, 2012 12:10

Hi Kim,

There is only one species of Marbled Gecko, called Christinus marmoratus, however they can vary in appearance.
Another possibility is that your new lizards are not Marbled Gecko's. You are welcome to send photos to us via our Identification form, and we can determine what you have!

reply
Kim 11 May, 2012 14:22
Thanks for that I have sent through the identification form just before, now that I have taken pics I am sure I didnt get marble geckos I really do hope you guys can work out what they are. If you can't can you please let me know how I should find out what they are?
reply
Mere 25 May, 2012 11:06
Hi there, just found one of these guys this morning hiding behind some files on my desk! As I live with three indoor cats I 'rescued' him and have him in a ventilated Tupperware container at the moment... Where would be the best place to release him? If he's been happily living inside for a while I don't want to throw him out, although perhaps he only came inside to escape the recent deluge of rain overnight. Not sure whether to put him back indoors where I found him (and hope the cats don't discover him) or let him out into our courtyard/garden, where hopefully he can get away from the cats if they do seek him out! What would you suggest?
reply
Discovery Centre 27 May, 2012 16:23

Hi Mere,
We forwarded your enquiry to Museum Victoria's Live Exhibits team, the Museum's animal keepers, who provided the following information:

Marbled Geckos are a native species that have adapted well to human habitation. They are equally happy living amongst rocks in the garden or inside the walls of a house, emerging through wall vents at night to pick off insects around the home. The main danger to Marbled Geckos are cats and door jams. You can release the gecko outside the house and it will either remain outside or re-enter the house in its own time. The best time to release it is at night when the gecko is most active, and try to keep the cats away from it for a few hours to give it time to find its own space.

Sexxi Gurl 13 June, 2012 14:17
Are marbled gecko's invertebrates???????????????
reply
Discovery Centre 13 June, 2012 15:00

Hi,
No - Gecko's are vertebrates, which means that they have a back bone. You can read more about invertebrates on the Australian Museum website.

Kardo nunja 21 June, 2012 15:39
HeY not sure if this is the right place to post it but earlier on we came accross a lizard whilst cleaning a box out, unsure of the breed it doesnt have a blue tounge as far as I know as it hasn't stuck it out. It's hissed at me an has a dark scaley skin no real pattern also has strong legs an really grabby claws any information would be greatly apprichated photo here imageshack.us/photo/my-images/513/lizard.jpg/
reply
Discovery Centre 21 June, 2012 16:18
Hi Kardo,
Unfortunately the link to the image you provided does not work. It would be best if you submit the image and information about the lizard you saw through our Ask the Experts page, where we have a free identification service.
Lia Taylor 20 August, 2012 15:46
I am lucky enough to have a large "family" of Marbled Gecko"s living in my shed. They are thriving in there, and breeding well as there are many egg shells scattered around. Obviously ideal for them :)
reply
Katharine Shade 26 October, 2012 20:19
I just discovered a marbled gecko running across my bedroom floor! I'm in Macleod (between Heidelberg and Greensborough). I put it in a container for my 4yo and myself to watch for a while, and also gave me time to identify it. I think it was a fairly young one, the skin was a bit transcluscent. It's in the garden now, after we had a little bit of a play with it! (gently enough I think - it didn't drop its tail).
reply
Michael 30 October, 2012 21:39
Have just found a marbled gheko in our house. In my 24 years in Altona Meadows I have never seen a gheko and I delight in finding 'wildlife' in my backyard - could this be a good sign that they are thriving?
reply
Dani 11 November, 2012 19:28
Hi I recently purchased a marbled gecko, loving my new pet! Just wanted to know can I feed it dead crickets? I'm more nervous about the crickets than my pet... Also any type of mashed up fruit??
reply
Discovery Centre 13 November, 2012 16:25
Hi Dani, Marbled Geckos prefer live crickets to dead ones. They will occasionally eat dead crickets, but live crickets are fresher and therefore more nutritious generally, and the act of pursuing the crickets exercises the gecko's natural behaviours.

Any soft fruits such as bananas can be mashed up as food, but as geckos are basically carnivores the provision of insect prey is more important than fruit.

reply
Mj 25 November, 2012 12:18
I found some thing white and round in my geckos tank today, unfortunately as I investigated it broke and I realised it must have been an egg. Inside was what looked like a fetus. As my gecko lives alone I wondered how this could be. And will she lay more eggs with or with out a partner. We have had the gecko for about 18 months to two years.
reply
Discovery Centre 29 November, 2012 15:34
Hi Mj - It depends entirely on which species of gecko you have. Whilst most gecko species require partners to breed, a few such as Bynoe's Gecko will readily produce young parthenogenetically (ie from unmated females). The gestation period of this species is not well known, but the incubation time for eggs is between 55-70 days.

We don't know of any gecko species that has a gestation period longer than a few months, so it appears your individual is able to reproduce parthenogenetically.

Mike 3 December, 2012 02:34
Just found a Marbled Gecko at Sovereign Hill, Ballarat tonite near the creek! First Gecko I've found in Vic at all! Pretty excited!
reply
Patricia 25 December, 2012 14:01
According to my research Asian House Geckos should not be found this far south (Melbourne) but the other night I spotted two juveniles of what seem to be exactly that. Have there been other reports of them here?
reply
Jane, Kew 27 December, 2012 00:27
This page has just allowed me to identify two Marbled Geckos spotted on the verandah at my home in Kew. I was staggered to see these odd little creatures as I had never known there to be Geckos in Victoriam, but their padded feet were clear indicator.
reply
Kati 19 February, 2013 14:02
Hi found a Marbled Gecko. I saw what looked like a tail, still wriggling,decided to look for its owner in case it needed help. The little fellow is dragging its right rear leg. Decided to give it a safe place to rest, hoping it will recover. Have put leaves, a couple of rocks and a container lid with water in it - all into a large shoe box. Sealed the lid onto box, and put about 90 odd tiny holes into the lid. Can he survive with only 3 functioning legs? he seems to move around pretty well. Thanks. Live in Canberra
reply
Discovery Centre 22 February, 2013 11:41

Hi Kati,

Geckos can survive with three legs as long as any wounds heal and don’t become infected. Although Marbled Geckos are common and can be kept without a licence, it’s illegal to take them directly from the wild without a licence to do so. So whilst it’s thoughtful to take it into captivity and look after it, the gecko would be better off in the wild. Alternatively you could take it to a vet if you’re concerned about its health or welfare.

Renee 11 March, 2013 21:16
I have found a newborn Marbled Gecko in my kitchen this morning. I have been to the local exoitc pet shop & have been advised not to have a water dish in the enclosure. I was also advised to give it calvin powder & a vitamin powder on the live crickets. I have tried to get it to eat small crickets but with no luck. Any suggestions on how I can help this beautiful little creature?
reply
Discovery Centre 17 March, 2013 14:20

Hi Renee,

Marbled Geckos are able to look after themselves as soon as they hatch from the egg. Although this species is common and you can keep them without a licence, it's illegal to collect them from the wild and they must be purchased from a licenced breeder or pet shop. The best option would be to release it into the garden, particularly if it's not feeding in captivity. This species is well adapted to living in suburban areas and will find plenty of food and shelter outside.

reply
Jakob Dawson 20 March, 2013 21:06
Is it illegal to catch and keep marbled gecko's because I have been doing so. If it is illegal can you get license to catch and keep them?
reply
Discovery Centre 23 March, 2013 10:37
Hi Jakob, check out the response we posted on April 23rd 2012, I think you will find the answer to your questions.
reply
Damian 13 April, 2013 18:18
I have marbled geckos in my wood pile in the ACT. I saw 2 adults and one baby today whilst moving the timber.
reply
Varun 20 June, 2013 16:58
Thankyou guys for throwing light on this vital topic
reply
DirtyDazz 16 July, 2013 11:38
I just came across a Marbled Gecko in my backyard, northern subs, Melb. it's the middle of winter and he was sitting on the brick wall next to the hot water system at around 10pm. I've lived around here my entire life and never came across a gecko. Drop tails I see all the time. here's a link to the photo I took. http://i0.wp.com/www.dirtydazz.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Gecko-in-back-yard.jpg
reply
Sarah 15 August, 2013 11:24
I've noticed my pet marbled geckos change colour, ranging from very pale blueish cream tones, to dark brown, and that their marble patterning gets fainter and stronger accordingly. I've not been able to find any reputable sources as to why this may be -- is it related to temperature?
reply
Discovery Centre 18 August, 2013 14:03
Hi Sarah, there are a number of reasons Marbled Geckos change colour, the main one being temperature. They become darker during periods of cold to absorb more heat, and paler during warm periods to better cool off. The colour of the female can vary at the start of the breeding season, and also in response to predators or stress.

How geckos and other lizards do this is complex. Colour pigments, such as melatonin, are located beneath the skin expand or contract. The hypothalamus or pineal gland may trigger the colour change in response to a change in the gecko’s environment. This is a care sheet for the Marbled Gecko.

 

Sarah 18 August, 2013 18:57
Cheers!
reply
Adam 8 December, 2013 01:22
I think I just found a Marbled Gecko in our toilet in Broadmeadows. It was sitting their on the tiles. Never seen one in the 10 yeas we've lived in the house. Is it ok to touch them? I've put it in a large plastic jar with holes in the lid, put some grass and water in it so I can show the kids in the morning. May let it go after that.
reply
Discovery Centre 9 December, 2013 11:32
Hi Adam - I hope your kids enjoy seeing your small visitor! Please be aware that it is illegal to collect creatures from the wild (including your toilet!) to keep as pets - releasing the gecko outside near where it was found would be appropriate.
joe 29 December, 2013 08:27
Found a very small gecko on the brick wall of the house outside around 9 o clock In the morning. I have seen larger ones of the same type before on the brick walls but at night only. It it normal for them to come out in the morning sometimes?
reply
Claudia 29 December, 2013 19:42
My mum found gecko underneath our compost bin in the garden in Yarrawonga. It looks like the marbled gecko picture with similar patterns but the body is a lot paler. We will try and take a photo and send it in.
reply
Tomas 2 March, 2014 15:48
Just a question I have a marbled gecko and she can not climb glass I saved her form my cat and put it in an Enclosure where she does not want to leave as there is an opening at the back to allow her to come and go as she pleases but she is not able to clime up the glass (Windows or Enclosure)is this an issue or will she be fine I have been feeding her crickets and she has been eating and is very healthy but I do not want to let her go if she has an issue.
reply
Discovery Centre 7 March, 2014 11:14
Hi Tomas, well done for rescuing the gecko from your cat. Domestic cats are one of the biggest killers of native reptiles around Melbourne. The best thing to do is either let the gecko go, or contact Wildlife Victoria, a rescue and rehabilitation centre, 13 000 9435.

 

 

 

 

Lyn M 11 April, 2014 13:00
Two adorable lizards climbing wisteria about 3 weeks ago and today, thanks to Herpetologist (Jane) who advised they were indeed marbled geckos. In all my years in Melbourne and nearly 30 years in my house in Ricmond, I have never seen such a spectacle. Will try to be careful in the garden from now on!
reply
nikki 21 April, 2014 10:23
I moved my front door mat in Montmorency and there was a marbled gecko. How beautiful. ...
reply
Pete @ VB 5 July, 2014 21:44
We have found a few since moving to Viewbank 18 months ago. Another today. All have been in the wood pile - we now lift each piece carefully. Such adorable creatures. We are gradually planting more indigenous plants and creating more rocky and scattered timber habitat for the them. Oh, and we have also had two blue tongues hanging about last summer. One large one stayed a couple of months. Nest project will be a small frong bog. Its great to have little natives visit and hand around.
reply