what is the difference between geckos and lizards

Geckos Vs Lizards

Distinguishing between geckos and lizards can be difficult, as there are many similarities between them. They are both reptiles, and many species of each look very similar. However, there are some key differences to be aware of.


  • Geckos: small, typically no larger than 10-15cm in length. A wide array of colours and patterns adorn the skin of many species of gecko, from greys and browns, to brighter shades of yellow, blue and red. Geckos are also known for their large eyes and adhesive toe pads.
  • Lizards: larger than geckos, usually between 20-90cm in length. The skin of lizards often somewhat resembles that of geckos, though there is more variation in many species, ranging from spotted, to striped and even solid colours. Many lizards also have long, forked tongues that help them sense their environments.


  • Geckos: nocturnal animals which utilize their adhesive toe pads to climb walls and ceilings, and hunt small insects. When threatened, geckos typically freeze in place and rely on their camouflaged patterns to avoid detection.
  • Lizards: diurnal animals that actively hunt their prey, often relying on their tongues to sense their environments. They are capable of running or digging to escape their predators in different ways.

Ultimately, understanding the physical and behavioural differences between geckos and lizards is key to differentiating between them. Both make for fascinating pets, and studying them more can help deepen your appreciation for these wonderful animals.

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