Gecko vs. Lizard

However, lizards and geckos share the same classification to some extent, but the main difference between them is the suborder. The geckos belong to the Gekkota infra order within the Lacertilia suborder, which are mostly found in warm climate throughout the word.

On the other hand, lizards are the reptiles that belong to the order Squamata, with over 6000 species, found across all continents except Antarctica and other ocean islands.

Both Lizards and geckos are cold-blooded animals that have four legs and can change color and blend well in their surroundings.

Comparison Chart

Basis                          Gecko Lizards
Kingdom Animalia Animalia
Phylum Chordata Chordata
Superclass Tetrapoda Tetrapoda
Class Reptilia Reptilia
Order Squamata Squamata
Suborder Lacertilia Lacertilia
Species More than 1500 species Over 6000
Groups Gekkota Anguimorpha, Iguania, Lacertoidea, Gekotta and Scincomorpha
Climate Warm climate Lizards can be found in nearly all types of climate
Nocturnal Geckos are mostly nocturnal, they hunt insects at night and sleeps during the day Most lizards are not nocturnal
Eyes They don’t have eyelid they lick their eyes to keep them clean Most lizards have eyelids
Skin Geckos have thin skin with small bumps on it Lizards have dry and scaly skin
Toes and tails They have broad toes, and they can detach and grow back their tails. Some have broad toes, and some have narrow toes. Some species of lizards can detach and grow back their tails
Reproduction Most of them are egg-laying and will lay between four or five pairs of eggs during the mating period between May and August Some lizards lay eggs in the nest, or some may give birth after they hatched the eggs inside their bodies
Food Geckos mostly feed on live animals like insects, moths, butterflies and crickets or cockroaches On the other hand, lizards can eat fruits, some vegetations and insects

What is Gecko?

Geckos are the lizards that belong to the Gekkota infra order and mostly they are found in warm climate throughout the world. They can pop-off their tails to distract the predator when the predator is distracted with the tail, the geckos run away and this process is called autotomy. Their tails can also grow back, but there are some other types of lizards that cannot re-grow their tails.

Geckos don’t have eyelids unlike other lizards, but they lick their eyelids to keep them clean and moist. They also can climb the vertical surface as they have specialized pads on their toes, which help them in climbing flat and vertical surfaces like walls or windows. However, the average lifespan of gecko is five to seven years.

Geckos are mostly nocturnal, unlike lizards. Nocturnal species of geckos have very good night vision; their color vision is almost 350 times more sensitive than human color vision. Moreover, they also have a multifocal optical system that enables them to create a sharp image for two different depths.

The Kawekaweau, the specie is only found in the basement of a museum in Marseille, France. However, this gecko was 24 in (60 cm) long in size. Geckos are found throughout the warm areas of the world except for Antarctica. Geckos are normally grey and brown color, a genus made of the day geckos of Madagascar, which is bright green and usually active in the daytime.

The banded gecko is the widespread North American species, and it grows to 15 cm or 6 inches long and it is pinkish to yellow in color with dark bands. The Tokay gecko, the largest species, found in Southeast Asia is 25 to 35 cm in length and it is grey with red and white spots and bands.

They eat insects, moths, beetles, butterflies, cockroaches, mosquitoes and crickets. Caledonian gecko hunts other young lizards and small birds. Some pet geckos such as the leopard gecko eat fruits and insects.

What is Lizard?

Lizards are reptiles that belong to the order Squamata and are found all over the world. Lizards have four legs and are cold-blooded. They are dry and scaly skin reptiles which are distinguished from snakes as they have legs, external ears and movable eyelids.

Lizards are a common group of Squamata reptiles which includes more than 6000 different species. The group is paraphyletic, it does not include snakes which also belong to Squamata and they may vary in size from chameleons and geckos only a few cms long to the 3 m long dragon.

Most lizards are four-footed reptiles and they run with a strong side to side motion. Some are legless and consists of a long snake-like body. Some other species are iguanas, chameleons, geckos, monitors and skinks.

Lizards mostly eat fruits and other vegetation, small insects, frog and mice with their long and sticky tongues. Lizards as pets like iguanas, bearded dragons, monitor lizards mostly feed on live worms and crickets. Some are predators who eat mammals, birds and other reptiles, and some are vegetarians who eat vegetable, fruits and flowers.

Lizards mostly lay eggs that mean they are oviparous. Some species give birth after they have hatched the eggs inside the body. And if they are egg-laying the lizards will keep the eggs in their nests. They are capable of parthenogenesis in Squamata, that is asexual reproduction and it is found in almost 50 species.

Key Differences Gecko and Lizard

  1. Geckos belong to the Gekkota infra order within the Lacertilia suborder whereas lizards belong to the Squamata suborder.
  2. Lizards have dry and scaly skin on the other hand geckos have thin skin with small bumps on it.
  3. Most lizards have clawed feet whereas geckos have special toe pads that help them to stick to surfaces.
  4. There are over 6000 species of lizards whereas geckos have more than 1500 species.
  5. Lizards have eyelids whereas geckos don’t have eyelids as they use their tongues to keep their eyes clean.
  6. Geckos are nocturnal as they hunt the insects at night and sleeps during the day time whereas lizards are not nocturnal.
  7. Lizards have a very long life span as they can live up to 50 years.
  8. Gecko will be considered a lizard, whereas a lizard cannot always be a gecko.

Comparison Video


However, geckos and lizards are most similar and confusing reptiles in the animal kingdom. Lizards are cold-blooded animals which have a small head, a long body, a tail and four legs. They are found all over the world. On the other hand, geckos are mostly found in warm climate areas throughout the world. Geckos are mostly nocturnal as they hunt the insets at night and sleep during the day.

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