Mediodactylus kotschyi in the Peloponnese peninsula, Greece: Distribution and habitat

Rachel Schwarz, Ioanna Aikaterini Gavriilidi, Yuval Itescu, Simon Jamison, Kostas Sagonas, Shai Meiri, Panayiotis Pafilis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The gecko Mediodactylus kotschyi is considered rare in mainland Greece, yet it is very abundant on the Aegean islands. It has been thought to be saxicolous throughout much of its range. In a recent survey on the Peloponnese peninsula, however, we encountered it mainly on trees, and with higher frequency than previously reported. We combined our observations of localities in which we detected this gecko, and places where we failed to detect it, with data about its occurrence from the literature and museum collections. We posited two hypotheses as possible causes for the apparent relative scarcity of M. kotschyi in the Peloponnese: that it is associated with low precipitation and that it has an aversion to limestone rock. We predicted that M. kotschyi would be more likely to be found in arid places and where limestone is not the dominant type of rock, since it has been reported that this substrate is less suitable for this species. Moreover, we predicted that geckos occurring in limestone regions would be found on trees rather than under rocks. Geckos were indeed found mainly in the more arid parts of the Peloponnese, but not exclusively so. We found no evidence of limestone avoidance. We suggest that, because M. kotschyi is better known as being mostly saxicolous over most of its range, and exclusively so on the Greek islands, in the Peloponnese the search for this species has been restricted to a single habitat type, i.e., under rocks and not on trees. It may thus inhabit more localities in the Peloponnese and be more abundant there than has previously been thought.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-187
Number of pages9
JournalActa Herpetologica
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Firenze University Press.


  • Arboreality
  • Habitat preferences
  • Mediodactylus kotschyi
  • Peloponnese
  • Rock type

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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