The Satanic Leafed-Tailed Gecko is one of twelve different species of these striking and unusual gecko's. They are the smallest known gecko of this species and are known for their ability to camouflage themselves to blend in with the plants they are hiding in. They were first discovered in the forests of Mantadia-Zahamena in 1988 which is located in Madagascar. They cannot be found anyplace outside of Madagascar. They are nocturnal and are found only in the undisturbed forests making their survival highly dependent on their environment not being disturbed or destroyed. They are part of the Uroplatus Phantasticus and the larger of the species have more teeth than any of the other terrestrial vertebrate species, another reason for their being such unusual creatures.
George Albert Boulanger was the first to illustrate this being, stating that it has the smallest body of the Uroplatus geckos, however this has been debated because of a close cousin which has a shorter tail. These unusual gecko's are also know as Fantastic Leaf Tailed Gecko and the Eyelash Leaf Tailed Gecko. Adults range between three and six inches in total length including their flattened tails. Some of their tails have notches in them that resemble a decaying leaf, this seems to be seen more often in the males than the females of the species. The Satanic Leafed Tailed Gecko has very large eyes with an eyelash-like ridge above each eye, these help the Satanic Leaf Tailed Gecko search for food at night while providing additional camouflage. The Satanic Leaf Tailed Gecko have no eyelids however do have a transparent covering to protect their eyes. They have a mobile tongue that they use to wipe away any dust and debris that gets into their eyes. These animals come in a variety of colors from orange , yellow, tan and some shades of purple but they are most often found in a mottled brown. They have small black dots on their bottoms which distinguishes them from other gecko's of other related species.
The Satanic Leaf Tailed Gecko are able to move proficiently through the forest trees at night feeding on insects because they have adhesive scales located beneath their fingers and toes with strong curved claws. They are able to flatten their bodies to the extent that they avoid casting shadows which helps keep them hidden from predators. When they open their mouths wide they show a bright red mouth which works well at scaring away their predators, and they are able to voluntarily shed their tails another great trick they have for a predator. Like other reptiles the Satanic Leaf Tailed Gecko lays eggs, their reproduction cycle begins at the start of the rainy season. The female will lay two spherical eggs under dead leaves or ground litter and they hatch in about 90 days.
These unusual reptiles are often kept as pets and appear to survive well in captivity, they are fed moths and small insects and often lay eggs. There are seven known zoo's including the San Diego Zoo which breeds the Satanic Leaf Tailed Gecko ensuring its survival.
Because of the huge pet trade collection of this beautiful reptile, and the large amount of destruction that is found in its natural habitat the World Wide Fund of Nature (WWF) lists all of the Uroplatus species it is now listed in the CITES Appendix 2 protected animal list.