Photograph by Joel Sartore, National Geographic Photo Ark
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A web-footed gecko photographed at Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium in Nebraska
Photograph by Joel Sartore, National Geographic Photo Ark

Web-Footed Gecko


About the Web-Footed Gecko

The ghostly web-footed gecko is nearly translucent with a pale, salmon-colored undertone and light-brown stripes. Their color provides perfect camouflage among the powdery reddish sands of the Namib Desert, their primary habitat.

Desert Adaptations

These geckos have adapted their webbed feet not only to help them stay atop, but to bury beneath the dunes of the Namib Desert. Strictly nocturnal lizards, they spend the day in self-dug burrows and emerge at night to feed.

Their bloodshot-looking eyes are massively oversized to help them detect prey, which includes crickets, grasshoppers, and small spiders. They move surprisingly quickly across the sand, and adhesive pads on their toes make them excellent climbers.

Size

Web-foots are considered medium-size geckos, reaching an average size of about four inches in length. Males are slightly smaller than females.

Conservation

People sometimes hunt these tiny lizards for food, and human encroachment is destroying some of its habitat. Their estimated lifespan in the wild is about five years.