Gecko feeding on rat, rare incident say herpetologists
A rare incident of a gecko feeding on a rat was observed for the
first time from Galoya National Park in Moneragala district by
herpetologists D M S Suranjan Karunarathna and A A Thasun Amarasinghe.
Karunarathna said that this is the first time a gecko feeding on a
rat species was observed.
According to him, the spotted giant gecko called Hemidactylus
maculatus hunae is an endemic reptile in the country. It is the largest
gecko in Sri Lanka. Locals call it Daventha Thith Hoona or Thalagoi
"We observed a mature male gecko, 300 mm in length, from a distance
of two metres on a large rock boulder. It then moved to the forest floor
where there were two small rat holes nearby. Twenty minutes later, we
heard a noise and the gecko came out of the mole rat hole with a
juvenile mole rat approximately five cm long in its mouth. The gecko
then dashed the prey on the granite rock wall, eight to 10 times and
swallowed the prey head first," he said.
Hemidactylus ginus geckos are highly carnivorous and mainly feeds on
especially insects. However, there are few incidents reported from India
that these geckos actively prey on small geckos, skinks, agamid lizards,
small birds and small mammals, Karunarathna said.
This particular spotted giant gecko is an arboreal species found on
granite caves, rock-out boulders, anthropogenic habitats and trees in
the shaded areas in the dry and intermediate zones of Sri Lanka.
He said that there are 42 species or subspecies belonging to eight
genera of geckos, family Gekkonidae, which have been recognized from Sri
Lanka and 31 of them are endemic to the island.