beautiful lizards are named Yoda and Mrs Yoda and
they are commonly known as
MOSSY NEW CALEDONIAN PREHENSILE-TAILED GECKOS,
a species with the scientific name Mniarogekko chahoua,
formerly Rhacodactylus chahoua.
Many people who keep these amazing geckos, including
myself, often refer to them simply by the name
can see from these pictures of my pair of chahoua
this is another gecko species which is very variable
in terms of colour and pattern, just like my
gargoyle geckos and
crested geckos. All three
of these species come from the same group of islands
called New Caledonia, which are off of the eastern
coast of Australia. All of them have beautiful
eyes but I personally think that the eyes of chahoua
are the most amazing of them all, see what you think
as having beautiful eyes, chahoua also demonstrate
amazing camouflage skills. The picture
directly below is of Yoda, along with a second
chahoua I used to own, when they
were babies on a piece of
cork bark. Can you see both?? Yoda is
certainly easier to spot than the second one (he is on the bottom left of the picture in case
you're struggling to find him!), but as you can see
they both have excellent colour and pattern for
camouflaging on this kind of bark.
just one individual (Yoda) in this next picture and once
again he is quite well hidden - at a glance a bird
or other predator would almost certainly not notice
him, which of course is the reason they are
camouflaged in the first place!
are very sociable geckos and can often live
together perfectly happily - this is my favourite
photograph of three babies together!!
Despite different shades of
greys and browns being their main colours as
juveniles, as you can see in the pictures above, as
adults they can be an absolutely stunning mixture of
greens and reds. This is ably demonstrated by
the beautiful adult female below named Sage, who I think is
absolutely stunning! My sincerest thanks to
Debbie & Leon of The Gex Files in the Netherlands
for allowing me to use this fantastic image of their
lovely Sage on my website!
this remarkable colour most chahoua will not remain
so brightly coloured all of the time. In fact
these geckos demonstrate quite striking colour
changes even at different times of the same day!
Pictured below is Yoda in both his 'dark' and
'light' colour forms, these pictures both taken
within a 24-hour period!
Unfortunately, soon after I had bought my first
ever chahoua it had a horrible accident in which its tail
became trapped in the lid of its enclosure.
When geckos feel threatened or in any kind of
danger, for example when their tail is bitten or
pulled by an animal attempting to eat them, they are
able to lose their tail to escape from the predator
- a truly amazing process known as autotomy.
Sadly when this gecko's tail was trapped he
dropped (or autotomised) the tail very
quickly, leaving it wriggling around on the floor of
the enclosure for a couple of minutes. This
wriggling distracts and confuses the predator
allowing the gecko time to escape, which in their
rainforest home could mean the difference between
life and death. The two
pictures directly above and below were taken just a
couple of hours after the tail had been autotomised.
was extremely upset to have caused the accident to
happen, it was absolutely fascinating to watch the
wriggling action of the tail after it had been dropped.
Also, unlike my crested
geckos, which cannot regenerate any part of
their tails after they have been dropped, chahoua can
regenerate their tails! The 'new'
tail is made of cartilage rather than bone, and can
sometimes look quite different in both colour and
shape to the lizard's original tail. The
pictures below show how quickly the tail can regenerate
in a chahoua, the first two pictures having
been taken exactly one calendar month following the
tail being dropped:
picture shows the tail regrowth just 18 days after
these first pictures above. You can see clearly how
large the tail has grown and also how variable an
gecko's colouration can be at different times too,
again just like my
crested geckos and
last pictures were taken another 18 days after the
ones above, on February 23rd 2011, a total of just
67 days after the tail was dropped. It is
amazing just how large the tail grew and the speed at which it occurred!
last two pictures you can quite clearly see the
'join' from where the tail has regenerated, and also
that it is a slightly different colour to the base
of the original tail.