The Loud and Mysterious Call of the Tokay Gecko: What Is It?

Have you ever been lying in bed in a hostel, trying to get to sleep, when all of a sudden you hear this loud, screeching noise? You bolt upright and spend the next few minutes trying to figure out where the sound is coming from. It’s probably just a gecko, but what kind of gecko makes that noise? The tokay gecko! Keep reading for more information about the sounds this strange creature make.

Sound of tokay gecko

The tokay gecko is a nocturnal creature, so you’re most likely to hear it at night. The males make a loud “tok-tok-tok” sound to attract females and warn off other males. The females also make noise, but theirs is a higher-pitched “tek-tek-tek” sound. Both sexes make these noises by rubbing their throat sacs together.

The tokay gecko is found in tropical forest areas of South-east Asia. If you’re lucky enough to see one, you’ll notice that they’re quite large, with adults reaching up to 40 cm in length. They’re also covered in spots and have a long, prehensile tail.

If you’re traveling in South-east Asia and hear a loud screeching noise at night, don’t be alarmed – it’s probably just a tokay gecko! Now that you know what they are, you can try to get a glimpse of this fascinating creature the next time you hear their call.

Tokay gecko sound listen & download

Below are some sample tokay gecko sounds, in mp3, ogg and wav file formats. Some are restored from the old GGA website. Feel free to download, listen and possible covert into mp3.

Female Tokay (Gekko gecko) warning call

Press play below in order to listen to a female tokay gecko making warning calls.

Female tokay gecko warning call. Recorded by: Greg Christenson ©2000

Female Tokay (Gekko gecko) warning call (short version)

Below you can listen to a shorter version of an female tokay gecko making a warning call. Press play to listen och the three dots to download this gecko sound.

Female Tokay (Gekko gecko) warning call (shorter). Recorded by: Greg Christenson ©2000

Spectrogram for female Tokay gecko warning call

Spectrogram for short female tokay gecko audio clip.

Spectrogram showing first 0.8 seconds of female Tokay gecko warning call (short) – above. Time domain is from left to right and frequency domain is from bottom (0 Hz) to top (3000 Hz). Color of graph shows volume with dark blue lowest to dark red highest.

Male tokay gecko sound – mating call

Below you can listen to how a male tokay gecko sounds when he signals the he is interested in mating, in order to attract female tokay geckos.

Male Tokay (Gekko gecko) mating call. Recorded by: Sandy Kiraly

More tokay gecko sounds will be uploaded.