Mediterranean House Gecko
(Turkish gecko)
(Hemidactylus turcicus)

Image required
Invasive Status
Introduced Population increasing
Natural Range
  • Mediterranean Sea
  • Middle East
Introduced Range
  • Southern North America
  • Greater Antilles
  • Central America
  • Canary Islands
Pet trade

Accidental shipping


None confirmed

Removal Methods


The Mediterranean house gecko (Hemidactylus turcicus), also just called the Mediterranean gecko or the Turkish gecko, is a small gecko species native to southern Europe, northern Africa and the Middle East.

Range Edit

Native Range Edit

The Mediterranean house gecko can be found along the coasts of the Mediterranean sea, from south-west Portugal & Spain and from northern Morocco across to western Syria, Lebanon, Israel and western Jordon.[1]/[2]

It is also present on many Mediterranean islands, such as the Balearic Islands, Corsica, Sardinia, Sicily, Malta, Crete and Cyprus.[1]

This gecko can also be found throughout most of the Arabian Peninsula and as far east as Pakistan, as well as in the Horn of Africa, excluding Ethiopia.[3]

It is suspected that much of this range may not be the gecko's native range, but instead that this species was introduced in antiquity. Since there are no records from then, it can't be known whether this theory is correct and, if it is, specifically when these introductions took place or from where the gecko truly originates.[1] This gecko is incredibly invasive.

Introduced Range Edit

Introduced Mediterranean gecko populations are centred mainly around urban areas.[4]

North America Edit

The Mediterranean house gecko has become established across a thick band of the southern United States, from California across to North Virginia and Florida.[3]/[4] It is also present in parts of Mexico, Cuba and Puerto Rico.[1]/[3]

Central America Edit

The Mediterranean house gecko may be present in Belize. It is also established in Panama.[1]/[3]

Europe Edit

The Mediterranean house gecko has been established in the Canary Islands ([1]), on the islands of Gran Canaria and Tenerife.[3]

Pathways and Introduction Edit

Mediterranean house geckos are great hitch-hikers in both vehicles, and eggs may be laid in construction equipment used to construct homes, and this is likely a major factor in it's widespread introduction.[4]

The first records of the Mediterranean house gecko's presence in the United States of America date from 1915, when it was found in Key West, Florida. It is thought these geckos were accidentally brought to America on ships from the Mediterranean area.[4]

Impacts Edit

No definite negative impacts of Mediterranean house gecko introductions are known.[4]/[5] However, there is still concern that the geckos represent competition for native species, especially where present in high numbers.[4]

Control and Removal Methods Edit

No official control methods are currently in place. This gecko is resilient to insecticides and pesticides, and so their use is not recommended.[4]

Sources Edit

1 Encyclopedia of Life

2 Wildscreen ARKive

3 The Reptile Database


5 Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission