By Nelson Groom
This is the bizarre moment a camouflaged gecko blends into its surroundings while lapping up a fruit smoothie from a spoon.
Footage shows the New Caledonian giant gecko, named Kamikaze, quenching his thirst in his enclosure The Australian Reptile Park on the Central Coast of NSW.
The tree-dwelling reptile is known for its striking eyes and ability to blend into bark in the mountains of New Caledonia, a cluster of islands in the Pacific Ocean.
Spokesperson for the park Amanda Woodbine, who formerly worked as the reptile handler, said the 30cm-long reptile is a big hit with visitors.
Amanda said: “They are the largest species of geckos in the world and he is about as big as they come. ”
“A lot of people fall in love with them. They have beautiful coloration and blend in really well with trees. And people are drawn to their patterned eyes.”
“They also have unusual velvety-feeling skin, it’s an interesting feeling. The public loves that when we take them out to greet them.”
Amanda said the lizards are docile in nature but turn aggressive if their personal space is encroached upon – whereupon they have a curious defence mechanism.
She added: “If they aren’t happy or feel someone is invading their territory they make a barking sound, which is actually very loud for their size.”
This, and their tendency to leap around, has earned them the nickname among some locals as “devil in the trees”.
Happily, these weren’t issues during this particular meal time, with Kamikaze looking blissful as he tucks into the nutritious health drink.
Amanda said: “They have a predominantly fruit pulp diet. This time he was drinking banana, passion fruit and honey.
At 30cm long, Kamikaze is a fully-grown adult and among the world’s largest geckos.
Though generally nocturnal, the sedentary geckos sometimes bask in the morning sun.