Spring and summer microhabitat use by Schlegel's Japanese gecko, Gekko japonicus (Reptilia: Squamata: Gekkonidae), in urban areas

Anim Cells Syst (Seoul). 2018 Dec 4;23(1):64-70. doi: 10.1080/19768354.2018.1554542. eCollection 2019 Feb.


Differential microhabitat use may be beneficial to achieving fitness in seasonally variable environmental conditions. To explore whether the microhabitat use of the nocturnal Schlegel's Japanese gecko, Gekko japonicus, varies seasonally and depends on juvenile, male, and female reproductive groups, we investigated five categorical and five quantitative measure variables of microhabitat use in a wild population both in spring and summer. Most geckos were found on white, vertical planes of concrete and plastered brick walls. None of the categorical variables (type of location, substrate, substrate color, light source, and refuge) significantly differed according to season or group, while substrate temperature and irradiance at the location where geckos were observed and the distance from the nearest potential refuge were significantly greater in summer than in spring. The quantitative measure variables did not differ among the reproductive groups. These results suggest that G. japonicus seasonally adjusts its microhabitat use mainly in terms of quantitative measure variables rather than categorical variables.

Keywords: Gekko japonicus; Nocturnal gecko; microhabitat; quantitative measure variable; season.

Grant support

This research was supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education (2016R1D1A1B03931085).