(by Camilo Arredondo)
Within the global diversity of lizards, only a small number of species are able to produce acoustic signals in social, defensive and/or sexual contexts, and most of them belongs to the Gekkonidae family. Curiously, the lizard species of this family are commonly referred as ‘Gecko lizards’ and, in fact, the name ‘Gecko’ is an onomatopoeia of the advertisement call of an Indonesian lizard species.
Hemidactylus frenatus is part of the Gekkonidae family. It is one of 90 currently known species belonging to one of the most diverse genera of Gecko: Hemidactylus. The native geographic distribution of the species of this genus only includes Asia, Africa and Southern Europe; however, several species can now be found in the Americas (insular and continental) as a product of accidental and/or intentional species introduction.
Hemidactylus frenatus is currently broadly distributed in Colombian territories with low and moderate elevations (0 to 1600masl), mainly in the Caribbean region, Pacific Coast and inter Andean valleys. It is a species with high tolerance to human-modified environments and as such its higher densities are mostly related with urban settlements. The advertisement call of Hemidactylus frenatus is made up of a sequence of consecutive chirps, each one short in time and with a high modulated frequency. The call duration can exceed two seconds, producing between 3 to 15 chirps per call.