Tokay geckos (Gekkonidae: Gekko gecko) preferentially use substrates that elicit maximal adhesive performance

Austin M. Garner, Alexandra M. Pamfilie, Ali Dhinojwala, Peter H. Niewiarowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Gecko substrate use is likely influenced by adhesive performance, yet few studies have demonstrated this empirically. Herein, we examined the substrate use, adhesive performance and vertical clinging behaviour of Gekko gecko in captivity to investigate whether adhesive performance influences patterns of substrate use. We found that geckos were observed significantly more often on the substrate (glass) that elicited maximal adhesive performance relative to its availability within our experimental enclosures, indicating that geckos preferentially use substrates on which their adhesive performance is maximal. Our work here provides additional, yet crucial data establishing connections between adhesive performance and patterns of substrate use in captivity, suggesting the hypothesis that substrate preferences of free-ranging geckos should be correlated with adhesive performance. Clearly, further experimental and field research is necessary to test this hypothesis and identify other parameters that individually and/or collectively influence the habitat use of free-ranging geckos.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberjeb241240
JournalJournal of Experimental Biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Behaviour
  • Fibrillar adhesion
  • Habitat use
  • Substrate preference
  • Surface roughness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Physiology
  • Aquatic Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Insect Science


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