The Mediterranean House Gecko is a relatively small, 4 – 5 in (10 – 13 cm), species that has become ubiquitous in certain areas of the United States. Unlike any native lizard, geckos have sticky toe pads, vertical pupils, and their large eyes lack eyelids. These geckos are generally light gray or almost white in color, but may have some darker mottling. This species is most easily distinguished from the similar Indo-pacific gecko by its bumpy (warty) skin. The Mediterranean House Gecko can usually be found praying on insects near external houselights or other forms of lighting on warm nights.
Like most other invasive species, the Mediterranean House Gecko breeds rapidly. Females are capable of laying multiple clutches of two eggs each throughout the summer. These eggs are laid in cracks and crevices in trees or man-made structures including buildings. Like rodents, the Mediterranean House Gecko has been aided by human development. It is very common to see the geckos on the sides of buildings under lights catching insects on a summer night.
It is uncertain how the Mediterranean House Gecko first made its way to the United States. It was first reported in Key West, Florida 1915. It is thought that this gecko was probably a stowaway on a ship from the Mediterranean area. Mediterranean House Geckos are quite common in the pet trade, which has no doubt led to its spread across the United States. Currently, this species has high numbers in Florida, and has established breeding populations all along Southern states.