Frequent confusion between Reeves' Tokay Gecko (Gekko reevesii) and Tokay Geckos (Gekko gekko)

I was looking over the observations for both species, and in the area where Reeves’ Tokay Gecko (Gekko reevesii) is found, southern China, northern Vietnam, a bit of northern Laos, and a little bit of NE Myanmar, it is frequently misidentified as a Tokay Gecko (Gekko gekko).

They are similar species, and in this area they overlap in range, but there are some differences. One of the easier ones to see is the color of the tubercles (the bumps) on their skin. Tokay tend to have more of a red/orange color to these, while Reeves’ tends to have dark, almost black ones.

There are some other differences, but I’m still learning to distinguish between the species more accurately, so I’m less certain over all on these: Reeves’ seem to have an overall more green color than Tokays, and Reeves’ also seems to have a more boldly black-ish/white banded tail than Tokays, but Tokays are pretty variable.

Apparently the calls are slightly different too, but I don’t know what the difference is.

Herpers interested in these species might want to take a look through the observations and suggest corrections where appropriate.

There is not an enormous amount of information on Reeves’ Tokay Gecko online in the conservation literature, and I suspect that evaluations of the population status and range may not be accurate due to the frequency of misidentification.


One article gives G. gekko the common name Red-spotted Tokay Gecko. I created a request to prioritize this name as it could help clear up any confusion the common names themselves may be causing. Since otherwise it’s entire common name is encapsulated in the common name of Reeves’ Tokay Gecko. I think some of the subspecies or morphs also have common names which could be added, e.g. Black-spotted Tokay Gecko, but didn’t look far into that.


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