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Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family: Gekkonidae
Subfamily: Uroplatinae
Genus: Calodactylodes
Strand, 1928[1]

Calodactylodes is a genus of lizards, commonly called golden geckos, in the family Gekkonidae (geckos). The genus is distributed in peninsular India and Sri Lanka. Lizards in the genus Calodactylodes are primarily distinguished from other lizards by their characteristic, paired flower petal-like skin extensions on their fingers and toes.


The generic name, Calodactylodes, created in 1928 by Embrik Strand, is a replacement name for Beddome's Calodactylus. Replacement was necessary because when Richard Henry Beddome created Calodactylus in 1870, this name was already preoccupied by a genus of beetles which Émile Blanchard had named Calodactylus in 1850.


The following two species are recognized as being valid.[2]

Geographic range[edit]

The Indian species, C. aureus, is found in the Eastern Ghats hill range in Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu states. The Sri Lankan species, C. illingworthorum, is found in the Eastern Province, Sri Lanka.

Natural history[edit]

Both species of Calodactylodes live in rock crevices, are nocturnal, insectivorous, and very social, living in colonies of multiple individuals. During breeding seasons, the dominant male acquires a brilliant golden yellow colour all over the body, and hence the common name. Females and young ones are drab brown, camouflaging among the rocks. These geckos are very vocal, and their loud rattling calls are often to be heard inside the dark ravines. They reproduce by laying eggs. Females are communal nesters and many may lay their eggs (often numbering in thousands) together simultaneously in a safe and suitable rock crevice, away from predators' reach.


  1. ^ Strand E (1928) ("1926"). "Miscellanea nomenclatorica zoologica et paleontologica ". Archiv für Naturgeschichte 92 (A8): 30-75. (Genus Calodactylodes, replacement name, p. 54).
  2. ^ "Calodactylodes ". The Reptile Database.

Further reading[edit]

  • Beddome RH (1870). "Descriptions of some new Lizards from the Madras Presidency". Madras Month. J. Med. Sci. 1: 30–35. (Calodactylus, new genus, p. 30).
  • Smith MA (1935). The Fauna of British India, Including Ceylon and Burma. Reptilia and Amphibia. Vol. II.—Sauria. London: Secretary of State for India in Council. (Taylor and Francis, printers). xiii + 440 pp. + Plate I + 2 maps. (Genus Calodactylodes, pp. 77–78).

External links[edit]