Common House Gecko (Hemidactylus frenatus)
Location: Kohala Coast, Big Island, Hawaii
Without a doubt, the Common House Gecko (Hemidactylus frenatus) is the lizard seen most frequently in Hawaii -- at least in areas populated by humans. These geckos live on our porches, in our garages, and often inside our houses as well. They eat insects -- a good thing -- and generally don't bother us except to chirp at us, "Chik-chik-chik."
The Common House Gecko is not as pretty to look at as some of its more colorful cousins, like the Gold Dust Day Gecko. Seen mostly at night, Common House Geckos usually look quite pale like the one in this photo. They can change their color a bit in an attempt to blend in with their surroundings. They also turn darker during daylight hours.
The one pictured here is about 13 cm (5 in) long. This guy lives on our front porch, along with several others of the same species. They tend to hang out in the corners and under the eaves until they see some prey -- a bug attracted to the porch light, perhaps. Then off they go, scampering over the walls and across the ceiling to capture a meal.