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Common name
Afro-American house gecko (English), hausgecko (German), cosmopolitan house gecko (English), Afroamerican house gecko (English), house gecko (English), geco-casero tropical (Spanish), wood slave (English), common woodslave (English), tropical house gecko (English)
Gekko mabouia , Moreau De Jonnes 1818: 138
Gekko incanescens , Wied 1824: 101
Gecko tuberculosus , Raddi 1823 (syn. fide Loveridge 1947)
Gekko armatus , Wied 1824 (syn. fide Loveridge 1947)
Gecko aculeatus , Spix 1825: 16
Gecko cruciger , Spix 1825
Gekko incanescens , Wied 1825 (syn. fide Loveridge 1947)
Hemidactylus tuberculosus , Fitzinger 1826: 105
Gecko mabuia , Cuvier 1829: 54 (nomen substitutum pro Gecko mabouia)
Hemidactylus mabouia , Dumeril & Bibron 1836: 362
Hemidactylus mercatorius , Gray 1842: 58 (fide Broadley & Howell 1991)
Hemidactylus (Tachybates) mabuya , Fitzinger 1846
Hemidactylus (Tachybates) armatus , Fitzinger 1846
Hemidactylus platycephalus , Peters 1854: 615 (syn. fide Loveridge 1947)
Hemidactylus mabouia , Guichenot 1855:12
Hemidactylus sakalava , Grandidier 1867: 233 (syn. fide Loveridge 1947)
Hemidactylus exaspis , Cope 1868
Hemidactylus frenatus , var. calabaricus Boeteger 1878 (syn. fide Loveridge 1947)
Hemidactylus mabouia , Boulenger 1885: 122
Hemidactylus benguellensis , Bocage 1893: 115 (syn. fide Loveridge 1947)
Hemidactylus gardineri , Boulenger 1909: 296 (fide Broadley & Howell)
Hemidactylus persimilis , Barbour & Loveridge 1928 (fide Broadley & Howell 1991)
Hemidactylus tasmani , Hewitt 1932: 120 (syn. fide Loveridge 1947)
Hemidactylus mandanus , Loveridge 1936: 167 (fide Broadley & Howell 1991)
Hemidactylus mabouia mabouia , Auerbach 1987: 82
Hemidactylus mabouia , Schwartz & Henderson 1991: 414
Hemidactylus mabouia , Cei 1993
Hemidactylus mabouia , Liner 1994
Hemidactylus mabouia , Glaw & Vences 1994: 278
Hemidactylus mabouia , Pauwels et al. 2004
Hemidactylus mabouia , Jacobsen et al. 2010
Similar species
Hemidactylus mabouia is a nocturnal, fixed clutch size lizard that is native to continental Africa. However, it is now widespread throughout southern North America, South and Central America since its introduction, thought to have first occurred via slave ships during the European colonisation of Africa. H. mabouia is commonly thought to be a human commensal, and can be found in both natural and altered habitats. It is an agressive species and has been known to displace and eat native geckos.
Hemidactylus mabouia is able to stick eggs on fishing boats. (Breuil 2009).

Principal source:

Compiler: IUCN SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG) with support from the Overseas Territories Environmental Programme (OTEP) project XOT603, a joint project with the Cayman Islands Government - Department of Environment


Publication date: 2010-06-08

Recommended citation: Global Invasive Species Database (2021) Species profile: Hemidactylus mabouia. Downloaded from on 18-09-2021.

Countries (or multi-country features) with distribution records for Hemidactylus mabouia
  • benin
  • cameroon
  • central african republic
  • congo, the democratic republic of the
  • eritrea
  • ethiopia
  • gabon
  • ghana
  • guinea
  • mali
  • mozambique
  • nigeria
  • sao tome and principe
  • senegal
  • south africa
  • swaziland
  • tanzania, united republic of
  • zambia
  • zimbabwe
Informations on Hemidactylus mabouia has been recorded for the following locations. Click on the name for additional informations.
Lorem Ipsum
Location Status Invasiveness Occurrence Source
Details of Hemidactylus mabouia in information
Arrival date
Species notes for this location
Location note
Management notes for this location
Ecosystem services:
Impact information
Red List assessed species 0:
[1] Competition
[1] Predation
[1] Environmental Ecosystem - Habitat
  • [1] Reduction in native biodiversity
Management information
Management Category
46 references found for Hemidactylus mabouia

Management information
IUCN/SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG)., 2010. A Compilation of Information Sources for Conservation Managers.
Summary: This compilation of information sources can be sorted on keywords for example: Baits & Lures, Non Target Species, Eradication, Monitoring, Risk Assessment, Weeds, Herbicides etc. This compilation is at present in Excel format, this will be web-enabled as a searchable database shortly. This version of the database has been developed by the IUCN SSC ISSG as part of an Overseas Territories Environmental Programme funded project XOT603 in partnership with the Cayman Islands Government - Department of Environment. The compilation is a work under progress, the ISSG will manage, maintain and enhance the database with current and newly published information, reports, journal articles etc.
O Connor, Rhon, 2008. Anguilla Invasive Species strategy (2008) draft
Summary: Available from: [Accessed 3 April 2010]
General information
Abarca, Juan ; Monge, Ana M., 2007. Hemidactylus mabouia. Herpetological Review. 38(3). SEP 2007. 351-352.
Ackley, Jeffrey W.; Muelleman, Peter J.; Carter, Ruth E.; Henderson, Robert W.; Powell, Robert, 2009. A rapid assessment of herpetofaunal diversity in variously altered habitats on Dominica. Applied Herpetology. 6(2, Sp. Iss. SI). 2009. 171-184.
Anjos, Luciano A.; Rocha, Carlos Frederico D., 2008. Reproductive ecology of the invader species gekkonid lizard Hemidactylus mabouia in an area of southeastern Brazil. Iheringia Serie Zoologia. 98(2). JUN 30 2008. 205-209.
Arnold, E. N.; Vasconcelos, R.; Harris, D. J.; Mateo, J. A.; Carranza, S., 2008. Systematics, biogeography and evolution of the endemic Hemidactylus geckos (Reptilia, Squamata, Gekkonidae) of the Cape Verde Islands: based on morphology and mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences. Zoologica Scripta. 37(6). NOV 2008. 619-636.
Blihovde, W. Boyd; Owen, Richard D., 2002. Hemidactylus mabouia (Amerafrican House Gecko). Herpetological Review. 33(3). September 2002. 224.
Bonfiglio, Fabricio; Balestrin, Rafael Lucchesi; Cappellari, Lize Helena, 2006. Diet of Hemidactylus mabouia (Sauria, Gekkonidae) in urban area of southern Brazil . Biociencias (Porto Alegre). 14(2). DEC 31 2006. 107-111.
Breuil, Michel, 2009. The terrestrial herpetofauna of Martinique: Past, present, future. Applied Herpetology. 6(2, Sp. Iss. SI). 2009. 123-149.
Bugoni, Leandro; Welff-Neto, Pedro, 2008. Hemidactylus mabouia (tropical house gecko). Human-induced introduction. Herpetological Review. 39(2). JUN 2008. 226-227.
Butterfield, Brian P.; Hauge, Brian; Meshaka, Walter E., Jr., 1993. The occurrence of Hemidactylus mabouia on the United States mainland. Herpetological Review. 24(3). 1993. 111-112.
Carreira, Santiago; Achaval, Federico; Umpierrez, Silvia, 2005. Hemidactylus mabouia (Cosmopolitan House Gecko). Herpetological Review. 36(4). DEC 2005. 468.
Daudin, Jacques; de Silva, Mark, 2007. An annotated checklist of the amphibians and terrestrial reptiles of the Grenadines with notes on their local natural history and conservation. Applied Herpetology. 4(2). 2007. 163-175.
Echternacht, A. C.; Burton, F. J., 2002. Hemidactylus mabouia (Amerafrican house gecko) Herpetological Review. 33(2). June, 2002. 148.
Franz, Richard; Dodd., C. Kenneth, Jr.; Buden, Donald W., 1993. Distributional Records of Amphibians and Reptiles from the Exuma Islands, Bahamas, Including the First Reports of a Freshwater Turtle and an Introduced Gecko. Caribbean Journal of Science. 29(3-4). 1993. 165-173.
Fuenmayor, Gilson Rivas; Ugueto, Gabriel N.; Bauer, Aaron M.; Barros, Tito; Manzanilla, Jesus, 2005. Expansion and natural history of a successful colonizing Gecko in Venezuela (Reptilia: Gekkonidae: Hemidactylus mabouia) and the discovery of H. frenatus in Venezuela. Herpetological Review. 36(2). JUN 2005. 121-125.
Germano, Jennifer M.; Sander, Jennifer M.; Henderson, Robert W.; Powell, Robert, 2003. Herpetofaunal communities in Grenada: A comparison of altered sites, with an annotated checklist of Grenadian amphibians and reptiles. Caribbean Journal of Science. 39(1). March 2003. 68-76.
Henderson, Robert W.; Berg, Craig S., 2005. A post-Hurricane Ivan assessment of frog and reptile populations on Grenada, West Indies. Herpetological Bulletin.(91). SPR 2005. 4-9.
Hoomoed, M. S., 1981. Introduced species of reptiles in Surinam: Notes on herpetofauna of Surinam. Amphibia-Reptilia. 1(3-4). 1981. 277-286.
Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS), 2010. Hemidactylus mabouia (Moreau de Jonn�s, 1818)
Summary: Available from: [Accessed 2 December 2009]
Klowden, Gregg S., 2002. Hemidactylus mabouia (Amerafrican House Gecko). Herpetological Review. 33(3). September 2002. 224.
Kraus, Fred, 2009. Alien Reptiles and Amphibians A Scientific Compendium and Analysis In: Invading nature- Springer Series in Invasion Ecology Volume 4 Series Editor: JAMES A. DRAKE University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, U.S.A.
Krysko, Kenneth L.; Daniels, Keidra J., 2005. A key to the Geckos (Sauria : Gekkonidae) of Florida. Caribbean Journal of Science. 41(1). 05. 28-36.
Krysko, Kenneth L.; Enge, Kevin M.; Townsend, Josiah H.; Langan, Esther M.; Johnson, Steve A.; Campbell, Todd S., 2005. New county records of amphibians and reptiles from Florida. Herpetological Review. 36(1). MAR 05. 85-87.
Krysko, Kenneth L.; Sheehy, Coleman M. III, 2005. Ecological status of the Ocellated Gecko, Sphaerodactylus argus argus Gosse 1850, in Florida, with additional herpetological notes from the Florida Keys. Caribbean Journal of Science. 41(1). 05. 169-172.
Krysko, Kenneth L.; Somma, Louis A., 2007. Hemidactylus mabouia. Herpetological Review. 38(3). SEP 2007. 352.
Krysko, Kenneth L.; Thomas, Travis M., 2007. Hemidactylus mabouia. Herpetological Review. 38(3). SEP 2007. 351.
McCranie, James R.; Wilson, Larry David, 2000. Hemidactylus mabouia (tropical gecko) Herpetological Review. 31(2). June, 2000. 113.
Meshaka, Walter E., Jr., 2000. Colonization dynamics of two exotic geckos (Hemidactylus garnotii and H. mabouia) in Everglades National Park. Journal of Herpetology. 34(1). March, 2000. 163-168.
Meshaka, Walter E., Jr.; Butterfield, Brian P.; Hauge, Brian, 1994. Hemidactylus mabouia as an established member of the Florida herpetofauna. Herpetological Review. 25(2). 1994. 80-81.
Meshaka, Walter E., Jr.; Moody, Barron A., 1996. The Old World tropical house gecko (Hemidactylus mabouia) on the Dry Tortugas. Florida Scientist. 59(2). 1996. 115-117.
Mueller, P., 1969. The distribution of Hemidactylus mabouia in the southern Brazilian Islands. Zoologischer Anzeiger. 182(3-4). 1969. 196-203.
Oliveros, Oswaldo; Prieto, Antulio; Cornejo, Pablo, 2000. Reptiles from Cerro Colorado and its surroundings, Cumana, Sucre State, Venezuela. Acta Cientifica Venezolana. 51(2). 2000. 104-108.
Philibosian R; Yntema J. A., 1976. Records and status of some reptiles and amphibians in the Virgin Islands Part 1 1968-1975. Herpetologica. 32(1). 1976. 81-85.
Powell, R.; Crombie, R. I.; Boos, H. E. A., 1998. Hemidactylus mabouia: Reptilia: Squamata: Sauria: Gekkonidae. Catalogue of American Amphibians & Reptiles. 0(674). 1998. 1-11.
Punzo, Fred, 2001. A comparative study of digestive function in three species of hemidactyline geckos from Florida. Florida Scientist. 64(2). Spring, 2001. 124-130.
Ramires, E. N.; Fraguas, G. M., 2004. Tropical house gecko (Hemidactylus mabouia) predation on brown spiders (Loxosceles intermedia). Journal of Venomous Animals & Toxins Including Tropical Diseases. 10(2). 2004. 185-190.
Reptiles Database, 2010. Hemidactylus mabouia (Moreau de Jonn�s, 1818)
Summary: Available from: [Accessed 2 December 2009]
Reynolds, R. Graham and Matthew L. Niemiller. 2009. Geographic distribution: Hemidactylus mabouia (wood slave). Herpetological Review. 40 (4): 452.
Rocha, C. F. D.; Anjos, L. A., 2007. Feeding ecology of a nocturnal invasive alien lizard species, Hemidactylus mabouia Moreau de Jonnes, 1818 (Gekkonidae), living in an outcrop rocky area in southeastern Brazil. Brazilian Journal of Biology. 67(3). AUG 2007. 485-491.
Teixeira, Rogerio L.; Loss, Devanir Geraldo; Vrcibradic, Davor, 2003. Hemidactylus mabouia (tropical house gecko). Herpetological Review. 34(4). December 2003. 368-369.
Townsend, Josiah H.; Krysko, Kenneth L.; Reppas, Anthony T.; Sheehy, Coleman M., 2002. Noteworthy records for introduced reptiles and amphibians from Florida, USA Herpetological Review. 33(1). March, 2002. 75.
Van Dyke, James U., 2004. Hemidactylus mabouia (Amerafrican house gecko). Herpetological Review. 35(1). March 2004. 82.
Vanzolini P. E., On South America Hemidactylus Sauria Gekkonidae. Papeis Avulsos de Zoologia (Sao Paulo). 31(20). 1978. 307-343.
Wojnowski, David; Selempo, Edwin, 2005. Hemidactylus mabouia (Tropical House Gecko). Predation. Herpetological Review. 36(2). JUN 2005. 178-179.
Zamprogno, Claudio; Teixeira, Rogerio L., 1998. Food habits of the tropical house Gecko Hemidactylus mabouia (Reptilia, Gekkonidae) from a sandy coastal Plain of Espirito Santo, eastern Brazil Revista Brasileira de Biologia. 58(1). Feb., 1998. 143-150.
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Hemidactylus mabouia
Afro-American house gecko, hausgecko, cosmopolitan house gecko, Afroamerican house gecko, house gecko, geco-casero tropical, wood slave, common woodslave, tropical house gecko
Date assessed
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Eicat category
Justification for EICAT assessment
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Mechanism(s) of maximum impact
Countries of most severe impact
Description of impacts
Recommended citation
(2021). Hemidactylus mabouia. IUCN Environmental Impact Classification for Alien Taxa (EICAT).