Midline Knob-tail gecko is a Western
Australian endemic species. The
white line of scales running down
their backs gives them their common
name. The scientific name also
refers to this vertbral marking.
Range: They are found in the interior deserts of the southern portion of WA.
Habitat: Nephrurus vertebralis prefers rocky soils in scrub forrests. They will often utilize the burrows of other animals, often digging into the side.
Natural History Notes: Like other species in the genus, these geckos are nocturnal denisens of the desert. The diet of N. vertebralis has a large percentage made up of vertebrates and these geckos can handle surprising large prey items. Numerous species of gecko, including Heteronotia binoei, Strophurus strophurus, Diplodactylus pulcher, and Rhynchoedura ornata, were found in the same area where midline knob-tailed geckos were commonly observed.
These geckos are sympatric with other species of Nephrurus, including N. wheeleri, N. levis, N. laevissimus, and N. stellatus. They avoid competition with these related species by niche partitioning in habitat and dietary preferences. They feed on various invertebrates, including centipedes, scorpions and spiders. There was no shortage of spiders observed when looking for these geckos.
These geckos are very similar to the more commonly kepts N. levis. They differ visually from N. levis by having a shorter and thinner tail and by the presence of the vertebral stripe. On two trips to WA, these geckos were commonly observed in suitable habitat. Their red coloration and beautiful pattern make them one of the most beautiful species within the genus.
General Notes: This species has become more commonly available, and many keepers are having success breeding this species of gecko in captivity. We were fortunate to obtain a pair of proven breeders in 2019 and we produced our first offspring in 2020. Please inquire for availability of this species.
An adult female Midline Knob-tailed gecko (N. vertebralis)
Young male Midline Knob-tailed gecko (N. vertebralis)
A hatchling Midline Knob-tailed gecko
Some nice habitat for N. vertebralis
A beautiful N, vertebralis found in the wild near Payne's Find, WA