Within the Uroplatus genus there are currently 18 described leaf-tailed gecko species, as well as 2 undescribed species, labeled with “aff.” Given measurements are from snout to tail unless otherwise stated.
Large bark/lichen/moss mimics with a well-developed dermal fringe.
Also known as the giant leaf-tailed gecko, U. fimbriatus is a lichen/moss mimic with light eyes with red veining. It is one of the largest Uroplatus species at 11”-13” (28-33 cm) long.
Skill level: Intermediate.
U. henkeli averages about 12” (30.5 cm) long and has a mossy appearance with dark pigmentation on the tip of its tongue. It is known as one of the hardiest Uroplatus species.
Uroplatus aff. henkeli
U. aff. henkeli is an undescribed species that looks like U. henkeli, but differs enough to be possibly one or more distinct species. It measures about 5”-6” (12.7-15.2 cm) long, has smaller eyes, and lacks tongue pigmentation.
Also known as the southern leaf-tailed gecko. This species is 7”-9” (17.8-22.9 cm) long and often confused with U. sikorae, but the primary difference between them is that U. sameiti has a pink buccal membrane.
U. sikorae is characterized by mottled gray, brown, tan, and green coloration and a black buccal membrane. It averages between 6”-8” (15.2-20.3 cm) long.
Uroplatus aff. sikorae
This undescribed species is most similar to U. sikorae, but it is difficult to collect more information because they live within Montagne d’Ambre national park in Madagascar, where specimen collection is completely forbidden. As far as we know, it has a black buccal membrane, shorter tail, chubbier body, and more speckled pattern.
Difficulty: Very Hard
This species often confused with U. fimbriatus, but the primary difference between them is eye color. U. giganteus are characterized by white eyes with silver veining, as well as large size at 12”-13” (30.5-33 cm) long. These also live within Montagne d’Ambre national park, so there are very few in the pet trade.
Small shrub-dwelling leaf mimics with little to no dermal fringe.
U. ebenaui is also known as the spearpoint leaf-tailed gecko. It is the smallest Uroplatus species, measuring just 3.5”-4” (8.9-10.2 cm) long. True to its name, it has a short pointy tail, as well as a black buccal membrane, eyelash-like horns above the eyes, and a cranial ridge. U. ebenaui are rare in the US.
U. fetsy was described in October 2019. It’s extremely similar to U. ebenaui in appearance. However, the two are genetically very different. U. fetsy lives in the forest around the limestone karst of Ankarana National Park, northern Madagascar, and can be most easily distinguished from U. ebenaui by the pink and black coloring of its mouth.
Further information about this species can be found in the official publication, A new species of Uroplatus (Gekkonidae) from Ankarana National Park, Madagascar, of remarkably high genetic divergence by Ratsoavina et al. (2019)
U. fiera is more common in the US than U. ebenaui, and both species are very similar. Like U. ebenaui, it has eyelash-like horns behind its eyes, but no cranial ridge, and its buccal membrane is pink rather than black. Recorded measurements put it at about 3.5” (8.9 cm) from snout to vent.
Newly described as of January 2019, U. finaritra can be most simply described as a giant U. phantasticus, with current data maxing out at almost 6 inches (15cm) from snout to tail. Aside from size, this new species also differs from U. phantasticus with a deep red mouth and a relatively shorter tail. This species is currently known only to exist in the lowland rainforests of Marojejy National Park.
Further information about this species can be found in the official publication, Finaritra! A splendid new leaf-tailed gecko (Uroplatus) species from Marojejy National Park in north-eastern Madagascar by Ratsoavina et al. (2019)
Also known as the long-tailed ebenaui, this gecko has a pink buccal membrane and measures about 4” (10-12cm) long, with females being slightly larger than males. U. finiavana are abundant in Montagne d’Ambre national park, making them rare in captivity.
A newly-described species named in November 2017. It is found between 1100–1538 meters above sea level around the Tsaratanana mountain massif in northern Madagascar. U. fotsivava is characterized by very little dermal fringe and a minimal fringe of eyelash-like crests around the eyes.
A newly-described species named in November 2017. Found in a very narrow range between 2000–2200 meters above sea level and occupies the highest elevation for any nocturnal gecko on Madagascar. Most likely limited to the montane forests of the Tsaratanana Massif. Possesses somewhat more of a dermal fringe, along with hornlike dermal protrusions above the eyes.
This species is also known as the smooth leaf-tailed gecko and does not appear to have ever been in the pet trade. Further information is extremely limited. Skill level:
U. phantasticus is also known as the satanic leaf tailed gecko. It comes in shades of red, tan, brown, or purple, and is characterized by prominent horn-like protrusions over its eyes. The inside of its mouth is orange and black.
Mid-sized bark/lichen mimics with some to no dermal fringe.
U. pietschmanni is also known as the corkbark leaf tail or spiny leaf tail, with its most distinctive feature being bi-colored eyes; the top half of the iris is light, while the bottom half is dark. It is about 6” (15.2 cm) long, very hardy, and one of the rarest Uroplatus species in the US.
U. alluaudi is very rare in the pet trade, but sometimes described as like a phantasticus x sikorae cross, with characteristics of both, including a moderate dermal fringe, and measuring 2.5”-3” (6.9-7.9 cm) long from snout to vent.
There is virtually no information currently available about U. malahelo. If one were to make its way into the pet trade, it would require an Advanced+ skill level.
U. guentheri is also one of the hardier Uroplatus species, tolerant of higher temperatures and drier conditions. Otherwise it is described as similar in appearance and behavior to U. henkeli, measuring 6”-7” (15.2-17.8 cm) long. Not common in the US.
Large bamboo/wood mimics with no dermal fringe.
Also known as the lined leaf tail gecko for its unique pattern and ability to “fire up” or down, increasing or decreasing pattern contrast. Although it has no dermal fringe, it does have eyelash-like crests above the eyes. U. lineatus also has a snakelike head, exceptionally smooth skin, and measures about 10”-11” (25.4-28 cm) long.
Two new species of leaf-tailed geckos (Uroplatus) from the Tsaratanana mountain massif in northern Madagascar by Ratsoavina et al. (2017) contains a very helpful visual side-by-side comparison of Uroplatus tail structures. To view, request the PDF here.
Leaf-Tailed Gecko Care:
- Introduction to Leaf-Tailed Geckos
- Leaf-tailed Gecko Shopping List
- Uroplatus Species (YOU ARE HERE)
- Terrarium Size Requirements
- Substrate Options
- Temperatures & UVB
- Humidity Requirements
- How to Decorate a Leaf-Tailed Gecko Terrarium
- What to Feed Your Leaf-Tailed Gecko
- Handling Tips & Body Language Info
- Common Diseases & Other Health Questions
- Additional Resources