Mourning gecko, Lepidodactylus lugubris
The mourning gecko is quite an unusual gecko.
Superficially it looks absolutely normal. Just over 10 cm(4 inches) in total length, golden brown to almost black colour depending on temperature and mood and with black markings all over it´s body.
It´s feeding mainly on insects and fruit and scurries swiftly around on nearly all surfaces. It´s very easy to care for.
So, what´s so unusual about it?
The way it propagates!
The fact is that this gecko is breeding without the presence of males, a kind of propagation that is known as parthenogenesis. The cause for this is that the Mourning gecko is a hybrid of two other species of Lepidodactylus and as a result the genetics of this gecko has gone somewhat astray.
This has led to the near absence of males. "Near" I write because every now and then something goes "wrong" even in this kind of process and some figures say that about one out of every thousand hatchlings is a male. It is not fully known wether these males are functionally fertile since the females appear to be completely uninterested in them.
This geckos name in swedish(Jungfrugecko) and german(Jungferngecko) actually means "virgin gecko" and that name it has been given due to the facts mentioned above.
In reality this gecko is actually making clones of itself everytime it lay eggs and that it does every two to six weeks.