On my third night here in Campinas last week, I went out to check the building lights around the hotel grounds. Surely a fantastical assortment of gaudy, tropical insects would be awaiting me on this hot, humid, summer night in southern Brazil. Alas, virtually no insects were to be found anywhere – on the walls, in the window sills, under the street lights, or crawling on the sidewalks. A disappointment, although I’m loathe to complain too much considering the number of insects I’ve encountered during the daylight hours. I did find a gecko on the hotel wall, however, and although it is not a “bug” the lack of insects at the lights made a photography subject by default.
I’m not at all an expert on reptiles, and certainly those in South America, but I can’t help wondering if this is Hemidactylus mabouia – the tropical house gecko, or lagartixa-doméstica-tropical – an African species introduced to the New World and now widespread from the southern U.S. through much of South America and the Caribbean.
Copyright © Ted C. MacRae 2011