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Monsters in the Trees - Leachianus Geckos!

Off of the Australian coast lies the New Caledonia archipelago, a group of islands known for its unique fauna. One of New Caledonia's claims to fame is that it is home to the largest species of gecko in the world, the Leachianus Gecko. Also known as the New Caledonia Giant Gecko, this species lives up to its name. Fully grown, it can weigh in at about a pound and grow longer than a foot.

Leachianus Geckos are omnivorous. Their diet consists of fruit, nectar, insects, and small vertebrates (including other geckos). Anything they can overpower and fit into their gaping maw is fair game.

Leachianus Geckos are primarily nocturnal and active under the cover of darkness. Like all geckos, they have vocal cords and make a variety of different vocalizations, including their mating call, which sounds like a growl. It is this call that has earned the Leachianus Gecko its nickname, "The demon in the trees," among New Caledonian natives.

The Kanak people hold an old superstition that the Leachianus Gecko is able to steal the souls of humans by touching them with their sticky toepads.

Leachianus Geckos are monogamous. Individuals will remain paired throughout the breeding season, and many couples will come together to breed for several years. Leachianus couples will take up residence in the same shelter, such as a tree hollow, and protect it fiercely. As it turns out, this monster is actually very family-oriented.

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