I also mentioned in the above post that these are Mediterranean House Geckos - not native to Arizona. They are evidently imported for the pet trade, and after escaping or being released, set up shop in the urban areas, like in front of my house, feeding on insects attracted to exterior lighting. At left is a wide shot of another before he scurried away for the nearest opening. The eave vent hole at bottom is about 2 inches in diameter, providing a bit of scale - these aren't large at all, topping off at about 5" long or so. Because they are so shy, I've never been able to observe their hunting technique. While they were all running for cover, this little fellow paused at the rear end of a Moneilema gigas - a cactus longhorn beetle. I can't tell if it was considering taking a bite of it, or was attempting to hide behind it, but he continued scurrying away after taking the photo at right.
|Anaglyph 3-D - get your red/blue glasses!|
|Anaglyph 3-D, get your red/blue glasses!|
Their feet and pads are equally amazing. While the local lizards we've had the privilege of imaging close-up have little fingernail claws - like the horned lizard shown here, these geckos seem to have little scale-covered fingerlets. This effect is shown in close-up at left, showing one of his front arms from shoulder to toe-tips. This is a 3-frame focus stack to extend the zone of sharpness over the full image... Similarly, the image at right used 10 frames, all with a slightly different focus point, combined to make a sharp image.
I'm closing with one of the favorite photos taken this week - a 6 frame, hand-held image stack in close-up of a gecko hiding in a crack about a quarter inch wide between our security door and adobe bricks. The detail in the eyes and head are quite amazing, taken with pretty simple equipment - my nearly decade-old Canon XSi, plus a few cm of extension tubes with the 100mm macro lens and on-camera flash. I'd use the newer 6D, but I don't have a flash unit for it and it doesn't sport the standard on-camera unit... It would be nice to get this close to all of them w/out them hiding from me, but themz the breaks! We love our little bug-eating reptilian monsters, and I like the challenge in catching them in photos!