George - Namib Sand Gecko - Pachydactylus rangei
The Namib sand gecko or Namib web-footed gecko (Pachydactylus rangei), is a small lizard (13 cm) that lives in the arid deserts of Angola, Namibia and South Africa. It has very large dark-coloured eyes with vertical pupils and the rest of the body is nearly translucent. It is very well camouflaged in the sand with a dark-pink skin undertone with some light brown patterns. The legs are thin but the feet have fully webbed toes, enabling this gecko to burrow easily and to run on loose sand.
Its prime habitat are sand dunes and rocky planes in between dunes with some loose vegetation and rocks. It eats crickets, grasshoppers as well as smaller insects, beetles and small spiders. This gecko is a strictly nocturnal hunter and stays during the days in burrows which they dig themselves with their webbed feet. These burrows can be up to a meter under the ground. Its oversized eyes help him to detect prey at night. Like other geckos they don’t have eyelids, but their eyes are covered with a transparent scale called a spectacle. They clean their eyes by licking with their tongue. There main source of liquid are dew droplets on vegetation.
Namib Sand Geckos live solitary and can vocalize to communicate with conspecifics and find a mate. After mating the female lays one or two hard-shelled eggs and buries them in moist sand where they incubate at about 30°C. The main threats to the geckos are human activities that destroy there habitat. They are also hunted for food and to trade in the pet industry.