Common house gecko

Hemidactylus frenatus

The common house gecko, scientific name ''Hemidactylus frenatus'' , is a native of Southeast Asia. It is also known as the Pacific house gecko, the Asian house gecko, or simply, the house lizard. Most geckos are nocturnal, hiding during the day and foraging for insects at night. They can be seen climbing walls of houses and other buildings in search of insects attracted to porch lights, hence their name "house gecko". Spread around the world by ships, these geckos are now common in the Deep South of the United States, large parts of tropical and sub-tropical Australia, and many other countries in South and Central America, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. They grow to a length of between 3-6 inches , and live for about 5 years. These small geckos are non-venomous and harmless to humans. Medium to large geckos may bite if distressed, however their bite is gentle and will not pierce skin.

A tropical gecko, ''Hemidactylus frenatus'' thrives in warm, humid areas where it can crawl around on rotting wood in search of the insects it eats. The animal is very adaptable and may prey on insects and spiders, displacing other reptiles.

Like many geckos, this species can lose its tail when alarmed. Its call or chirp rather resembles the sound "gecko, gecko". However, this is an interpretation, and the sound may also be described as "tchak tchak tchak" . In Asia/Southeast Asia, notably Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, and Malaysia, geckos have local names onomatopoetically derived from the sounds they make: ''Hemidactylus frenatus'' is called "chee chak" or "chi chak" , said quickly. Also commonly spelled as "cicak" in Malay dictionaries. In the Philippines they are called "''butiki''" in Tagalog, or "''tiki''" in Visayan, and in Thailand "''jing-jok''" . In India and Pakistan they are called "''chhipkali''", from ''chhipkana'', to stick. In India they are called "''Jhiti piti''" in Oriya language: ଝିଟିପିଟି, "Gawli" or "Palli" in Malayalam language and பல்லி in Tamil. In Bangladesh they are called "tiktiki" as they make a sound like "tik tik tik". In Central America they are sometimes called "Limpia Casas" because they reduce the amount of insects and other arthropods in homes.