The British Herpetological Society

The Herpetological Journal is the Society's prestigious quarterly scientific journal. Articles are listed in Biological Abstracts, Current Awareness in Biological Sciences,Current Contents, Science Citation Index, and Zoological Record.

The 2017/18  impact factor of the Herpetological Journal is 1.268

pdf 01. Faeces avoidance behaviour in unisexual and bisexual geckos


Open Access


Authors: Susan G. Brown, Farrah Gomes And Frederick L. Miles

Abstract: The unisexuat gecko, Lepidodactylus lugubris, harbours fewer types of parasites and has lower prevalence of infection than does the bi sexual gecko, Hemidactylus frenatus, or its bisexual parental species. Because many diseases and parasites are transmitted through faeces, we conducted a series of experiments to examine whether or not L. lugubris had a greater tendency to avoid faecal matter than H.frenatus. The research found that both species defecated away from their daytime hiding places. The unisexual geckos, when given a choice, picked hiding places that were surrounded by clean rather than contaminated sphagnum moss, or places that were sprayed with distilled water rather than faecal solution. The bisexuals also displayed a tendency to pick hiding places surrounded by uncontaminated sphagnum moss, but, unlike the unisexuals, did not avoid faecal solution. Neither species avoided dried faecal matter. These data support our hypothesis that the unisexual gecko, L. lugubris, exhibits more parasite avoidance behaviours than the bisexual gecko, H. frenatus.

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