Why is this diurnal lizard active at night?

The streak or striped gecko (Gonatodes vittatus) is perhaps one of the most common native lizards in Trinidad and Tobago. They occur mainly near residential and urban houses and gardens, thus they are most often observed by people. These small lizards are diurnal, feeding on small insects and arthropods. However, in December 2021, I happened to observe an adult female perched on a concrete beam about 15 cm / 6 inches off the ground at approximately 7:30 pm.

The sun had already set more than an hour prior to the observation. Why this diurnal lizard was active at night is uncertain. Perhaps it may have been perched waiting for food, as it was unable to do so during the day. Whether the late night hunger outing was from competition with other stripe geckos, or pressure from the exotic bronze anole lizard (Anolis aeneus), which is also found in my yard, might be worth further examination.

Author: Renoir Auguste

Renoir Auguste is a herpetologist and naturalist from Trinidad and Tobago. He has been involved in herpetology and ecology for the past ten years, which includes a Masters degree from The University of the West Indies in Biodiversity Conservation, co-authoring more than twenty peer reviewed science publications including the Field Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Trinidad and Tobago, and volunteering with the Trinidad and Tobago Field Naturalists' Club (TTFNC). Renoir is the current Herpetology Group Leader of the TTFNC.